The LIANZA conference 2019 was my first foray into the Library conference world. Having only been in my position for 15 months as the Buller District Librarian. You might have seen me around. I was the person who kept uttering “Librarians really are the nicest people!” I’ve just come from 12 years in the education sector and five years working with tech start-up companies. I can hand on heart stand stand by that comment. Librarians really are the nicest people. As a profession you have been so welcoming and supportive. We are a small library located in a very isolated area of New Zealand. Our professional network ensures that we have specialist support we would never be able to afford to have as part of our paid team.
This year I also made a decision to attend less professional development so what I did attend I could take a staff member along. I was able to bring with me our Senior Librarian Ina Pape, who has been working in Libraries for 13 years. This was also her first conference.
For me the benefits of taking along another staff member far outweighed anything else I might miss attending this year. Instead of coming back with a brain full of ideas and no-one to bounce them off, or trying to convince a team that it is worthwhile. I now have a partner in crime. We all know there is power in numbers.
I also got to witness what we as managers and leaders all strive for. Watching our staff grow professionally. Ina has come back excited and engaged with what she has learned. She is also feeling confident that what she has been doing for the last 13 years has merit and feels proud of what our library offers in the way of services. On a more personal note I got to spend some quality time with a staff member and get to know her better as a person.
Emma Sherie, RLIANZA | District Librarian, Buller District Libraries