I was really excited to hear I'd won the David Wylie Award. I took last year off to go back to study as a mature student. I've had a varied career to date. I've worked in the university sector in research and evaluation, and in government policy roles. I was seeking to step back and use my brain in a different way and I certainly did! I've always been interested in issues around information access and use.
Can you tell us about the qualification you have just completed and what you enjoyed in this training?
I've just completed my post-graduate diploma in library studies. I really enjoyed the range of courses available and meeting my fellow students from all different sorts of professional backgrounds. I was really impressed with the 'real world' expertise that the lecturers brought to the professional programme, and the emphasis on trying out new (for me!) technology. The highlight was my chance to shadow a range of information professionals at Victoria University library. The staff were really generous with their time and it was well organised. The visit gave me a much clearer idea of the range of job opportunities in the sector, progressions, current issues and challenges facing the library and information sector, and what various roles are like in practice.
What are your plans for the future?
I've come back from my sabbatical with a fresh perspective and lots of new enthusiasm around how we can improve access and use of information and evidence in my agency. At some point in the future, I would like to make a switch to working in a library context.
Do you have a view on how new graduates can be supported by the sector?
I thought the opportunity to get some hands-on work experience as part of my qualification was really valuable. I wondered if there were opportunities to build on this further through partnerships between libraries and the university to broker job placements or transitions into library work for those not already working in the library sector.
About the David Wylie award
It is awarded to both Victoria University of Wellington and Open Polytechnic students who are judged by their institution to have completed the best piece of written work on an aspect of library and information studies. Each award is for one year of LIANZA membership or LIANZA Professional Registration.