Lightning Talks

Join us for a very fast paced session starting 11.25am sharp in the Great Hall on Tuesday 12th  February 2013  @ALIAonline.  See a different side of our speakers.  Their short stories will inspire and challenge you.

There won’t be time for formal introductions – so read more about the speakers here or watch the video introduction  and follow our speakers via twitter.

Sue Hutley, Lightning Talk Host.  Twitter:  @suehutley


 Jamie Teh and Michael Curran

Having met as children, James Teh and Michael Curran have spent many years working together in the field of software accessibility, a passion they both share. Both totally blind, James and Michael have always strongly believed in the principles of free, open source software and in helping themselves and their community where possible. In 2006, they merged these passions by creating the free, award-winning NVDA screen reading software, finally facilitating fully independent and free access to Windows computers for themselves and other blind people.

Twitter : @NVAccess

Sue McKerracher

Sue McKerracher was appointed to the position of Executive Director, ALIA, in August 2012. Sue is well known in library circles as director of The Library Agency, the team that managed the National Year of Reading on behalf of 15 founding library partners.

Twitter : @ALIANational

Anna Troberg

Anna Troberg is an author and the leader of the Swedish Pirate Party. She never intended to become a politician. She was set on becoming an expert in English literature and even embarked on graduate studies to become one.  Troberg lives in Stockholm with her girlfriend and three cats.

Twitter: @AnnaTroberg

Christopher Cheng

Christopher Cheng is an award winning author of more than 40 children’s books in print and digital formats including the picture books One child, and Sounds Spooky, the historical fiction titles New Gold Mountain and the Melting Pot and the non fiction titles 30 Amazing Australian Animals and Australia’s Greatest Inventions and Innovations. In addition to his books, Christopher writes articles for online ezines and blogs and he wrote the libretto for a children’s musical.  He dwells with his wife in an inner-city Sydney terrace and is often heard to say that he has the best job in the world!

Twitter : @chrischengaus

Baden Appleyard

Baden is currently retained as the National Programme Director of AusGOAL, the Australian Government’s Open Access and Licensing Framework, which provides support and guidance to all levels of Australian government, government agencies, and the research sector, to facilitate open access to publicly funded information. Baden is a Barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland and Barrister of the High Court of Australia.

Twitter : @AUSGoal

Roy Tennant

Roy Tennant is a Senior Program Officer for OCLC Research, where he manages projects relating to technology, infrastructure, and standards.Previous employers include the California Digital Library and the University of California, Berkeley.  Roy is also a commercial whitewater river guide, treehouse builder, (the fourth in his backyard in the Sonoma Valley), husband, and the father of grown twin daughters now in college.

Twitter: @rtennant

Alex Bruns

Dr Axel Bruns is an Associate Professor in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCi). He is the author of Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond: From Production to Produsage (2008) and Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production (2005), and a co-editor of  A Companion to New Media Dynamics (2012, with John Hartley and Jean Burgess) and Uses of Blogs (2006, with Joanne Jacobs). Bruns has coined the term produsage to better describe the current paradigm shift towards user-led forms of collaborative content creation which are proving to have an increasing impact on media, economy, law, social practices, and democracy itself.

Twitter : @snurb_dot_info


Ebooks, the future of research & cultural preservation by libraries

Closed stacks

I read this post from O’Reilly TOC this morning and I was glad that someone finally raised these issues that have been bothering me for some time. I almost posted about the same issues a few weeks ago, but was distracted. The post raises some real concerns about the preservation of knowledge for future research. For me it is wider than that and goes to cultural preservation for our communities. Is it right that for our e-content we should just rely on someone else to have a copy (like Apple or Amazon as the article suggests)?

I had been worried about this, because like many other libraries we have been e-preferred for some time now. Is it also right that cultural material we collected and provided for our own communities could be unavailable for them in the future because the e-content is no longer available via our library? I don’t think it is and I don’t think we should simply hope for the best, divest ourselves of this responsibility and rely on others doing it for us, like say the National or State Libraries and certainly not the publishers because it isn’t really their role and it really never has been. Don’t we have an obligation along these lines (i.e. cultural preservation) for those in our communities? I think the rush to e-preferred has possibly led us to a focus on the now, the most convenient, the most efficient, and the least expensive alternatives, but quite probably at the expense of our obligation to preserve knowledge and culture for future generations.

I had been running around asking everyone who was involved with ebooks a lot of questions about what happens when the providers go bust, when we cease subscribing, or in the case of other inconvenient but worrying events (like hacking, file corruption, etc.). I am told that it varies with different ebook providers. Some regard it as a lease of those ebooks, others allow you to download the content in their proprietary format or in xml, but this ultimately isn’t a solution. Encrypted formats offer a whole other dilemma. Many contemporary publications are in danger of disappearing, becoming untrustworthy or inaccessible in the future if we don’t seriously consider this issue now. My own view is that there is actually more to cultural preservation of publications than simply preserving the xml. Books have always had other features, like covers, layout, typography, illustration, decoration, way finding assistance, etc., that add to the reader’s experience. In our relentless hunt for efficiency and convenience I think we’ve progressively discounted the value of these features for our readers.

Perhaps this will be addressed by those talking about ebooks at the conference.

Information Professional Confessional FAQs

What is it?

The Information Professional Confessional is a video blog of anecdotes about mistakes that we have made in the performance of our professional duties.

We learn from our mistakes. By sharing your mistakes, we can learn from you.

What do you confess?

Your professional sins, big, small or in between.

You can use the questions below as a starting point:

  • Tell me about a time you have provided less than exceptional service
    • Why did you do it?
    • Why was that bad?
    • What did you learn?
    • What would you do differently next time?
    • Tell me about a time when something went terribly wrong
      • What happened? How did you respond?
      • Tell me about a time you ‘got away with it’
        • What did or didn’t you do? How did you cover it up? What did you learn?
        • Describe your worst experience as an informational professional
        • Describe your most embarrassing professional moment

Watch some of the confessions to see some examples on the ALIA National YouTube Channel

How do you confess?

You can get filmed at Information Online 2013

You can email a written confession and have it converted to video by our team.

If you are not attending Information Online, but would still like to contribute, please contact Catherine and discuss how we can arrange for your confession.

Who can confess?

Anyone who is an information professional at any level.

Can it be anonymous?

We will need to collect your details, so that we can contact you should we want to do anything else with the confessions. However, if you request it, we will do our best to preserve your anonymity in the videos.

Options to disguise your identity are:

  • Filming in silhouette
  • Filming with your back turned
  • Altering your voice
  • Wearing wigs
  • Using a stand in (that is you tell us you story and we film someone else repeating it).

Can I choose not to have my confession published?

Yes, we are interested in enhancing the experience at Information Online. We would like to publish them to add to the “online” part of Information Online, and to extend the conversation to our colleagues beyond the conference. However, we understand the delicacy of having information in the public sphere.

Why are you doing this?

We want to add to the Information Online conference experience by encouraging discussion about what we do wrong, how we fix mistakes, what are the rules – written or unspoken – about being an information professional, when and why do we bend those rules, what does perfect practice look like, what are the taboos.

We only start to improve if we accept that we are imperfect.

What are you going to do with the confessions?

We will be publishing them on the ALIA Information Online 2013 YouTube channel.

We will also be screening them as part of the Information Online conference.

After the conference it is intended that they be available by request to information professional educators and researchers.

We are intending also to publish a paper analysing the themes that arise in the confessions.

How do I get involved?

Contact Catherine on or phone 0437 265 321

Visit the Confessional booth at Information Online 2013.

Keynote speakers

If you haven’t checked out the keynote speakers @aliaonline yet, do so without delay.  They include  Sarah Drummond  on engaging digitally, Sue Gardner,  Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation,  Anna Troberg, Leader Swedish Pirate Party and Dick Rijken, Director of STEIM.  Full list

Want a taste of #aliaonline ?  Go t o ALIA’s Youtube channel to see some of the great session video promo’s.

Remember standard registrations close soon.



Libraries and Open Access

If you’re attending the conference, one of the many significant, and important presentations is being given on Tuesday afternoon by Paula Callan, Danny Kingsley and Lisa Kruesi on recent developments in Open Access. Danny also had an excellent piece on this subject in The Conversation recently:

Oh, I can hear you saying that is only relevant for academic libraries. Well, not so it appears. And it isn’t me saying this. Well, I did write it just now, but the point is that Hugh Rundle, a public librarian from Victoria (a small state many of you will have heard of, well south of NSW) has today released this wonderful post Not just an academic question: Why Open Access matters for public libraries. You should read it. Read it now.

I believe that Hugh is now one of the leading thinkers with regard to libraries in Australia. The Program Committee also recognised this recently and tried to get him to do a lightning talk for the conference on a hot topic, but unfortunately he wasn’t available. I read what he writes. I don’t always agree with everything, but I think that is a good thing.

Charles Nesson & Aaron Schwartz

RIP Aaron Swartz (shown on the right) by Mike Champion on Flickr

The Informational Professional Confessional

What professional secrets would you confess? Real people, real stories @aliaonline  Brisbane February 12-15. Register now


On your marks!

#ALIAonline  Information online 2013 is being gamified.

Dont wait – join the game now.