ALLA Conference 2016

The biennial Australian Law Librarians Association (ALLA) Conference ran over 3 days in late August, in my hometown of Melbourne.

It was exciting to be able to attend my first multiple day conference as a Law Librarian, and be able to get involved as well.

I ran a workshop on ‘Using Infographics for Engaging Visual Communication’ over 2 hours with about 13 participants. It was a great success (despite some technical difficulties) and I received a lot of positive feedback from the attendees. Many planned to use the two programs we worked with (Piktochart and Canva) for their upcoming projects.

The next day, my colleagues and I presented our conference poster on ‘Building statutory research skills for students’ which also gathered a positive response from the crowd. It was enjoyable to discuss all our hard work, successes and challenges with other professionals in the same field.

On the final day of the conference, I was lucky enough to present on stage. There had been a last minute cancellation and I volunteered to fill the spot. The topic was on the benefits of social media and blogging, so I felt I had some useful information to share! While it was a bit of an ad hoc presentation, everyone was very supportive and said they learned something useful from my short discussion. It was so exciting to be able to present at the conference on my own, and I was happy to be able to help the organisers with their empty spot too.

Amanda Surrey has written up a great post about the Conference, and I even get a mention in it 🙂

Throughout the days there were a number of really interesting talks. My favourite was on gamification by Dan Hunter, a topic I am very interested in. He gave some great ideas for what to consider when gamifying content, as well as introducing us to an app called ‘Quitch’ where you can build mobile quizzes for students. I’m really looking forward to implementing some of these ideas in my work soon! If you want to learn about this, you can read his book ‘For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business

Other notable talks included Clare O’Dwyer discussing moving overseas to Vietnam to work (I’m definitely keen on an international career and her experiences really cemented that passion), as well as Junior Browne from the University of the West Indies, who reminded me how easily we take all our access to information for granted (and mentioned some great jobs going in the Caribbean!)

All of the presentations were of such a high calibre, I learnt so much over the course of the 3 days, and the conference organising committee did an amazing job with the whole event. And a big thank you of course to the event sponsors, who also provided me with a massive goody bag of free merchandise (mugs, pens, pads, mints, toys, stress gavels, bags, and more!)

I can’t wait to attend the next ALLA Conference in Darwin in 2018 and continue learning from all of my peers.

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