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.  


We need to talk about… designing better library experiences

Think it’s time libraries moved from goods to experiences? Want to create an amazing library experience? 

Attend @zaana  Howard’s ALIA Infoonline session Tuesday 12th Feb 11.55 #aliaonline  Brisbane  2013  See you there!