Kei aku iti, kei aku rahi o ngā māta waka o te motu, tēnā koutou katoa! He mihi nūnui ki a koutou, Ngā Kaiwhakahau, i tautokotanga i a ahau ki tē huihuinga ‘Karanga rā! – Shout!’ i tērā tau. Kāore e kore nā koutou manaakitanga i whakatū ahau ki te hui-a-tau, ā ngā whakawhetai mōku ki a koutou!
The 2015 LIANZA Conference held in Te Whanganui-a-Tara in November last year was, in a nutshell, awesome! The venue (TSB arena) was great, the food was fabulous and the organising committee were really welcoming, enthusiastic and accessible, especially the Bicultural Convenor, Te Rōpū Whakahau Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui members and the LIANZA crew! Kris Wehipeihana, the incoming LIANZA President, really set the tone for the conference in her opening address, inviting people to ‘leave the venue and go shopping’ if they needed a break. I have never heard that said by a President at a LIANZA Conference before! It looked to me though that people were very relaxed and really engaged! Ae, Marika!
As I was only there for the Sunday afternoon, Monday morning and Wednesday I did not get to see every keynote speaker. The Keynote speakers that I did see, namely Justin Hoenke, Kim Taieri and Ghil’ad Zuckerman were great. They all spoke passionately about their work, their experiences and their visions and it was animating. I was equally impressed by our own local people who presented at the concurrent sessions. The vast amount of intellectual nowse and practical advice born out of personal experience that was so generously being shared by peers in those sessions was valuable and interesting.
This brings me to why I was so keen to attend Conference in the first place. I could literally fill pages with what I got out of each of the sessions I attended but for the purposes of this report I will keep it brief.
Intention #1: To glean some fresh ideas and inspiration from the conference and re-ignite my enthusiasm and passion for the information profession. Every session I attended inspired me and I came away from Conference with a renewed vigour for my work and some fresh ideas for how to work more effectively and strategically. I really enjoyed Justin Hoenke’s session in which he spoke about valuing the unique contributions that each of the individuals within his Library brought to their workplace every day and I tried to look differently at some people I work with and play to their strengths to get tasks done rather than get frustrated.
Intention #2: To promote membership of Te Rōpū Whakahau at every level through networking and working on the Te Rōpū Whakahau stand. Having got a new staff member, Celeste Daymond to sign up as a member of Te Rōpū Whakahau within 2 weeks of her starting work at the ATL, I proactively organised her being given time off and a [shared] ticket to attend the Conference. She really enjoyed it and got heaps out of the sessions. She has also since taken on responsibility for the Te Rōpū Whakahau Face Book page!
I also spent time at the Te Rōpū Whakahau/LIANZA stand talking (quietly) to people about becoming associate members of Te Rōpū Whakahau to which there was definite interest, and I made an effort to point our members towards the designs for our new logo so we could get consensus.
Intention #3: To promote interest in and involvement with Te Upoko o Te Ika a Māui LIANZA Committee. With Ines supplying chocolate cupcakes, her homemade chocolate and other pretty incentives at the stand, this was easy. I am not sure if the incentives worked to increase LIANZA membership, but there was quite a bit of interest in LIANZA events in our region and I talked to quite a few participants wanting to know more about the Committee. I also ate far too many cupcakes and took 2 too many of Ines’ chocolate bribes!
Intention #4: To re-kindle old and build new networks within my profession. The Te Rōpū Whakahau Conference dinner on Sunday night at the Crab Shack was a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and old mates, meet the ‘new kids on the block’ and share what we have all been up to. I was also surprised and delighted to see my old mate Manu Huatahi still in the profession and some others from Auckland who had not been to either Te Rōpū Whakahau of LIANZA for many years. The Te Rōpū Whakahau/LIANZA stand was THE PLACE TO BE and a good space for catching up with speakers to flesh out some of the points from their presentations which I took full advantage of.
Intention #5: To build my kete of knowledge and learn about the best practices on offer and bring that knowledge back to share with my Te Rōpū Whakahau and other colleagues. There were two sessions that really stood out for me: Sally Pewhairangi’s ‘7 vital details your boss expects you to know about digital literacy’ and Jane Hill’s ‘Career Resilience: what is your brand?’workshop. I really enjoyed Sally’s presentation and was relieved to see that I DID in fact know and practice all 7 of the digital literacies she put up with varying degrees of skill. I have since been working steadily improving them with a little help from my teenage daughter.
My recent lack of my professional mojo, meant Jane Hill’s session ‘Career resilience: what is your brand?’ was for me an essential session. In terms of practicality it was right up there with Sally’s session as I was immediately assessing my skills and self- knowledge to determine ‘where to’ career-wise. What I found even more useful were the Values and Career Focus worksheets that Jane gave us at the end to take away and work on. It is still a work-in-progress but I am more focussed now and my passion for my work is returning slowly but surely. I just want to give a quick shout out here for my cuzzies Jaz and Sandy from the awa for their Te Kauru presentation – it was even better than when they presented at the Te Rōpū Whakahau hui earlier in the year.
Intention #6: Provide a report to Ngā Kaiwhakahau as required within a month of attending the Conference. Okay, so this last one I have obviously failed abysmally on in terms of the delivery time (ka aroha e hoa mā!!). I am a Procrastinator and Perfectionist and my habit of procrastination has cost me on a professional level as well as in other significant areas of my life. I am working hard to transform this across the board by having my colleagues, friends and others call me out and this is having a positive impact on my ways of working and achieving goals. My next goal is to translate this paper into Te Reo Māori for the Library Life Māori issue. If Ngā Kaiwhakahau have suggestions for changes, I would welcome them.
In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed LIANZA 2015 and got a lot out of it! I thank you once again for supporting my attendance and I look forward to seeing you all at our Te Rōpū Whakahau Hui-a-tau 2016 in Parihaka.
Nā Trish Beamsley