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12th ALIA National Library Technicians Conference
9-12 September 2003
Bridging services - embracing reality


Objectives of conference

  • To provide a forum for the exchange information relating to the many aspects of customer service
  • To create a leaning environment where library and information workers can further their professional development
  • To present sessions relevant to library technicians from all sectors
  • To provide valuable networking opportunities.

Synopsis of conference theme:
Bridging services - embracing reality

Bridging Services: encapsulates the broad range of library services in which library technicians play a pivotal role. Library technicians pursue their careers in all streams of library work (academic, specials, state, school, TAFE, public etc), and in widely varying professional positions. They provide skills and knowledge in the delivery of all aspects of library work - circulation, document delivery/ILL, technical services, marketing, promotion and display, electronic services, web page design and maintenance, online delivery, staff selection and supervision, team leadership, system maintenance and special library programmes.

Library technicians have a broad-based education and are encouraged to pursue continual opportunities as part of their employment, career development and personal goals. Thus, library technicians who are often found as front line staff have a vital role to play in the performance and delivery of all library services. They provide the link (or bridge) between libraries and clients, other library staff members, management, other libraries and external organisations.

Embracing Reality - The daily reality of the role of library technicians is that of client service in all of its forms. They are at the forefront of all face-to-face activities, and play a relevant and vital part in the delivery of personal, virtual and online services. Embracing Reality describes:

  • the challenges faced by libraries today;
  • the need to stay relevant to clients and organisations;
  • adaptability and flexibility in today's work environment;
  • personal qualities essential for quality client service; and
  • use of innovation and creativity to provide services in a cost effective manner.
  • the need to embrace new services, technologies and techniques as the needs of clients change.

Synopsis of daily themes
To reinforce the theme Bridging services - embracing reality and to focus on specific issues, each day of the conference has been assigned a separate and special theme.

Day 1 - Tuesday 9 September, 2003
The Pier
- the starting point, the foundation. This day will be devoted to pre-conference activities and networking opportunities.

- Pre-conference activities (focus groups, ALIA sectional meetings)
- Registration
- Social activities
- Trade exhibition opening
- Official opening of conference/cocktail party/welcome drinks

Day 2 - Wednesday 10 September, 2003
The Arch/Spanning the information gap

This day will look at the "big picture" of customer service.

Suggested topics:
- customer service in a rapidly changing environment
- customer service policies
- definition of theme,
- importance of customer service,
- library technicians' significance in this role,
- planning of library services
- use of creativity to find innovative solutions to customer service issues

Day 3 - Thursday 11 September 2003
The Girder:

Library technicians provide the strength and support for this 'bridge'.
This day will focus on career development and the skills and knowledge needed to provide superior service in a dynamic library environment.

Suggested topics:
- Career development
- Database skills/training
- Effective communication (written and oral)
- Emerging roles/future directions for Library Technician profession
- Further education and training
- IT and information systems skills
- Leading edge technologies
- Networking
- Project planning
- Public Speaking
- Staff selection/supervision
- Technologies used in new or novel ways
- Workplace Health & Safety

Day 4 - Friday 12 September 2003
Rivets, Nuts and Bolts - Holding it all together.

Library technicians upholding and underpinning customer service in libraries. Embracing reality/getting back to basics.

Suggested topics:
- Conference organisation
- Education and training for clients
- Graphic design for effective communications/displays
- Internets/intranets/digital information
- Keeping abreast of new products and services
- Literature reviews/reviewing
- Marketing the library to the right people
- Multicultural services
- Negotiation
- Problem solving
- Promotion and display
- Relationships with clients/vendors
- Storytelling
- Visual auditing

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