Sarah Fraser, Lincoln University, is one of our lucky recipients of Aoraki sponsorship to attend this year’s LIANZA conference. Here is what she thought of her time in windy Wellington…
I feel incredibly privileged to have received sponsorship from Aoraki LIANZA to attend to the 2015 LIANZA Conference. I had never been to any type of conference before so it was an eye opening experience for me. I can certainly say that this was an amazing and rewarding experience, and I highly recommend it.
Highlights – how to choose? There were so many wonderful keynote speakers and fantastic breakout sessions. There’s also the lovely people, great food, interesting excursions… Seriously I could go on and on, but I think I will just stick to some of my main highlights.
Justin Hoenke – I loved his energy, his passion for the profession and what we do as individuals within the wider profession. I know I wasn’t the only one who wanted to work for Justin after hearing him speak with such passion. It was great that someone wanted to shout out about how amazing his staff were, and what they contributed to the community. So much better than simply talking about how great the services are that libraries offer (not that they’re not, just that there is more to a library than just its contents).
Ned Potter – Ned said that we live in a world where we are bombarded with a constant barrage of information, and as a result we have developed this ability to automatically filter. As such, marketing has to be something we are truly interested in, in order to draw our attention. This brings up the question, how do we effectively market to our audience? The answer is not all the difficult, or even surprising – targeted marketing. We need to strip down our marketing strategies to a single element, one main focus, and really concentrate our efforts in a targeted campaign.
What’s the fun in going to a conference in another city if you don’t use the opportunity to explore? I may have spent the first 9 years of my life growing up in Wellington but I have never had the opportunity to really explore the city as an adult. Which is why I joined the Weta Workshop tour; and guess who ended up being shoulder tapped by the LIANZA event organiser to be the tour ‘champion’ – you guessed it, ME! I was a bit apprehensive about saying yes when asked but it was a really rewarding experience playing part organiser (making sure everyone had the information they needed), and part mum (I didn’t lose anyone! – Seriously this was a major concern of mine).
Gala Dinner – Wow, librarians really know how to party! I loved seeing everyone let loose and spend time chatting, dancing, enjoying lovely food, and taking full advantage of the photo booth (I even managed to drag my reluctant colleague to the booth before we left – hehehe).
I met so many amazing librarians, learnt so many useful tips and tools that I could bring back to my institution, and quite simply gained a lot of confidence in myself and in what I am doing. This amazing experience would not have been possible without the sponsorship and support of Aoraki LIANZA, who paid from my conference fees and gala ticket, and Lincoln University’s Library, Teaching and Learning, who paid for my travel and accommodation – so thank you. If anyone is interested in attending these kind of events, put your hand up and let your manager know. Without the support of my manager, Kerry Lyford, I would never have even applied for the Aoraki LIANZA sponsorship. If you’re interested in hearing more about my experience, or are thinking about applying for future sponsorship, feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org