This blog will trace the evolution of the New Professionals Network in New Zealand from its humble beginnings in February 2013 onwards. It is a central hub of resources, conversations, and information where new professionals (and those not so new!) are able to share their ideas and enthusiasm and take steps into making this dream a reality.
How did it all begin?
It all started with an announcement in LIANZA’s Library Life, February 26th, 2013 just calling for expressions of interest in a New Professionals Network for New Zealand. Within the first few days, e-mails were flying in with people keen to be involved, and so I launched a blog on Thursday, February 28th, to be the central hub. So far, it’s had over 1500 hits (in less than a week!) and has been a great place for discussion.
A bit about me
My name is Abigail Willemse and I’m a young new information professional myself, studying a B.A. (LIS & The Humanities) through the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand – doing my last paper this semester. I’m editor of LIANZA’s Library Life, and involved as a student rep at the Open Polytechnic as well as being on LIANZA Waikato/BOP regional committee, and communications committee for LIANZA Conference 2013.
I’ve been thinking for a while that we need a place/community/network for New Information/Library professionals in New Zealand as it’s very fragmented – Victoria’s MLIS students have networks, Open Polytechnic ones don’t really, and quite a few of them aren’t involved with LIANZA so aren’t contactable through those channels. I’ve been trying to focus on students and new professionals for a while with Library Life (particularly the Students in the Stacks issue coming out in a couple of weeks), and was talking with some people that have been to the New Librarians Symposium 6 in Australia. They were all enthused, and eager for something similar to happen soon in New Zealand. I just thought I’d test the waters to see who was interested, and so many people have responded – it’s been very exciting and overwhelming!
Where is it going?
Well, it’s up to you! I am aiming for us as a group to work out the role and purpose of this network through interaction on the blog, and through the Twitter chat on Thursday, 7th March, and the Skype chat on Thursday, 14th March. At the moment, I am visualizing it primarily as a network that we can share ideas, resources, and questions on, and out of that interaction, take action and run events for New Professionals (whether online or face-to-face), and be an inspiration and support to new professionals.
Who can be involved?
This network is for people who are ‘new’ in every sense of the word. Here are some (not exhaustive) examples:
• People in their first (or second) professional librarian position
• Those who have just changed library sector
These definitions are not intended to be limiting in any way – we all feel ‘new’ at various stages in our career, and if you think you are able to benefit from the support and interaction, you are very welcome to contribute and be part of this community.
It is also valuable for us to interact with others who have been in the profession longer, and thus it would be fantastic if these people would also like to be involved and able to offer advice, support, encouragement, etc…
So whether you fit into one or the other of these groups, please come and join the community!
Come and dream with us!
“We are the music makers; we are the dreamers of dreams” ~ lines 1 and 2 from Arthur O’Shaughnessy’s Ode
Please drop me a line if you would like to help moderate the blog or be involved in the New Professionals Network NZ!