New chapter – Customer Services Librarian

I started a new chapter: I have been appointed Customer Services Librarian at Leys Institute. My first day was the 6th of April 2010, one of the busiest days in community libraries: first day after Easter, Tuesday, and first day of school holidays. Hooray!

I share my new job with more experienced Librarian and this seems to be a perfect arrangement: I have a chance to learn on the job from the best person and still have some extra time to pursue my MIS studies. The position is temporary, until the end of October 2010. It gives me 6 months of extraordinary experience.

But my adventure as Customer Services Librarian begun one week earlier: I acted as a first-aider in an accident involving one of our senior patrons. I would never learn that much about first aid in a public library as what I learnt in that 30 minutes of the incident. As my manager commented: “You will never learn these things in a library school”. How true it is…

I decided to write my thoughts on first aid and accidents  in a library for future reference:

– Be aware of patrons, especially seniors and kids, inside the library, but have your eyes and ears open for noises coming from outside the building too;

– Know where your first aid kit is and what it contains;

– Know  your library address and telephone number and how to get there.

– Keep calm and reassure yourself you are doing everything you can think of now.

I am going to book myself for the next available First-Aid refresher course to keep myself more confident in case of another accident… You never know what can happen while on desk duty…


“So how did you get your scholarship? – First time at the LIANZA Conference”

I would like to take this opportunity and invite you to

“So how did you get your scholarship? – First time at the LIANZA Conference” presentation.

A short presentation will include: first-time-goer’s impressions of the 2009 LIANZA Conference & tips on getting a scholarship in librarianship.

Date&time: Wednesday, 11 November 2009, 6pm

Venue: Leys Institute/Ponsonby Community Library
20 St Mary’s Road
ph: (09) 3741315

Post-presentation: Join us for a drink at Belgiam Beer Cafe in Ponsonby

Please, RSVP by Wednesday, 11 November, 12pm to:; ph: (09) 3741315

Please, don’t miss this opportunity to network with MLIS fellow students.
I am looking forward to see you there,

Ania Biazik
MLIS Student, Auckland Mode
Library Assistant, Leys Institute

LIANZA Conference 2009, Wednesday 14 October

Wednesday, 14 October 2009 

The third day of the LIANZA Conference 2009 is starting late after a great party at SOL Square.

We all gathered to listen and learn from Penny Carnaby speaking “A new equity emerges: citizen-created content powering the knowledge economy”. The topic of Delete Generation and Lost digital Content is still hot but Penny sees an opportunity to save it with Digital New Zealand Content Strategy. We, information professionals and non-professionals are all involved in those important matters to preserve digital memory of NZ. Digital NZ collected 1mln digital assets in 1 year – it is NZ content, “it rocks and rolls”! It is positioning New Zealand on the world scene. The effort is supported by the public fund and is publicly accessible.

If you save this asset/content, you can reuse it, no more Delete generation…

  • Jessica Dorn

You are bold librarians! said Jessica Dorn in her address to the 2009 LIANZA Conference delegates. Jessica represented the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation. She presented a talk on “Libraries building communities: communities building libraries”.

  • Implementing Web2.0

Dunedin Public Libraries are into Web2.0 so much. Have a look at their website and be amazed! The presentation focused on few tools like: Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter, Flick and gave a short description and tips on how to implement them in a library. It is only one side of the Web2.0. The next session “Web2.0OhMyGod to Web2.0OhNo” showed failed examples of Web2.0. Unfortunately I did not attend this session but I am looking forward to read the paper.

  • Creating a vibrant collection development and management policy

Sounds dry? Yes, it does, but the project and its outcome is so important to the Library, staff and customers. A flexible, adaptable and living document is a necessary tool to manage the collection. I see that this approach can be really implemented in any policy development. I am thankful for this presentation to Victoria University Library: Margaret Ferguson and Emma Shepheard-Walwyn. What does it mean to me? Well, I am a patron of this library and I can experience these improvements by myself.

  • Lifelong learning and older adults

I was looking for this paper for my INFO525 assignment… It was great to listen to this presentation on how Christchurch City Libraries engage with community of older users of new technologies. The paper is supported by a research by Ryba (1992) and its conclusions are implemented by libraries. There are few tips on how to make a good learning programme: flexibility, freedom of choice, and a social space for participants. And it all happens in our libraries!

  • Social cataloguing – Tim Spalding and his LibraryThing

Tim Spalding invented LibraryThing in 2005 and today it has 850000 members, more than 44 million books (?) and 12+ languages. Well, I cannot agree it “has” books, people talk about books/stories on LibraryThing. It is a social cataloguing tool and it means that users overtake the job of cataloguers in libraries. Do they really? I believe that social cataloguing is empowering people and giving an opportunity to try new and exciting things. Tim says that it “re – humanises” the library by adding  the suers’s content. He added also that it is “last chance for libraries to join Web1.0, re-innovate library technology & library information systems, and it fits with the best traditions of librarianship: openness, public spirit and connection to the local and social aspect of the community”. It is worth to see how public libraries: Seattle and Palmerston North are using LibraryThing.

  • 2010 Conference Launch, Dunedin

The 2009 LIANZA Conference happened 99 times. Next year is a centennial Conference and it will be held in Dunedin as the first one.  The Convenor promised an interesting programme “At the Edge”…

  • Poroporoaki and Conclusion

The 2009 LIANZA Conference has been concluded by the LIANZA President, Barbara Garriock asking if we followed her suggestions. We did listen, learn and share as she told us to. I am looking forward to share this experience with my colleagues, students and all people interested.

Biculturalism was present at every moment of the Conference. It makes this experience even more powerful and emotional. And it is so unique that it makes me proud to be a LIANZA member. I hope our international guests enjoyed the Conference and Maori experience. I learnt a lot from them, chapeau bas.

Kia ora, thank you, dziekuje, merci for all of you who made this Conference possible, all the sponsors and organisers and people who stayed at work and allowed me to attend this “March of the Librarians”.

LIANZA Conference 2009, Tuesday, 13 October

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Day 2 of the LIANZA Conference 2009 starts with the presentation by Warwick Grey and Corin Haines on “Making IT work for you”. And the day goes as follow:

  • Claudia Lux and Libraries on the agenda

The 2009 LIANZA Conference participants have e a chance to listen to a very empowering speech of Claudia Lux on Tuesday morning. Claudia has an amazing ability of making her presentation right to the point. She talks and interacts with public by asking simple questions and adding “what do you do for your community?” and she is not afraid to say: “Libraries are not visible for other ministries or departments”, so you librarians, act! No complaints, talk about good news, surprise your customers and politicians, present your normal work in a new way. Claudia Lux sends us a very important message: Activate all librarians now!

  • Baby Rock&Rhyme CD production

In time of recession Wellington City Libraries produced a CD with kids songs and made significant profit out of it! I wish to congratulate to Kim Piper and Ella Martin for this innovative project. Their presentation was focused on the process of CD production from the product survey to copyright issues and positive impact on the Wellington libraries users. An example worth to follow.

  • Making allies to support your projects

How do you gain people – “bosses” – on your side? This session was a great interactive lesson for me on how to interact with managers and also with colleagues to convince them to my innovative ideas. Deborah Fitchell made the session as a workshop where content was created by participants and it will be available online for all those who are looking for some tips. I will certainly make sure I have this list in my folder.

  • Revitalising libraries for the self serve generation

Joanne Smith gave an informative talk on how libraries do present themselves for the generation self-serve. This generation does not always approach librarians and prefers DIY. So libraries adapted the spaces, buildings and machines to suit them: self check out machine, return after hours, navigating symbols, visual guides, etc. Libraries are part of community so location is so important, available carpark, retail&commercial proximity and convenience. Joanne pointed out also that still good customer service is crucial for patrons and library users.

  • Little Oscar – Hans Christian Andersen Award

I had a pleasure to listen to the presentation on IBBY and Hans Christian Andersen Award. I think it is important to know that those awards don’t just happen but there is a great volunteer movement behind it. Margaret Mahy was awarded this prize in 2006 after many years of New Zealand authors absence. The presentation gave me also an insight how many wonderful stories are unavailable to English speaking people even English is “the language”. It makes me thinking again about “access” issues in the modern world.

  • John McIntyre, Enthusiasm of a saleman

I am still moved after the presentation of John McIntyre. The title of his talk was “The Librarian as a bookseller” and supports the statement that we, librarians, and booksellers can learn a lot from each other. We have so much to offer to each other in terms of serving the community. John owns Children’s Bookshop company in NZ and is passionate about his job but also about people and their lives. His presentation gave me some tips on how I can serve better our younger readers but it is the second part of this speech which made everyone emotional. He read a thank you letter addressed to him from a young woman whom live had been change by John’s reading advice… While hearing those emotional words we all saw John and ourselves, participant, with red and watery eyes… It is amazing how a simple gesture of putting a book into a child hands can have impact on their feelings and live. Thank you John for that inspiring talk. Chapeau bas.

  • Networking

Before the Conference I equipped myself with a bunch of cards with my contact details. The second and third day of the Conference I wish to network with info professionals. I was nervous about it as it is difficult sometimes to guess who I am speaking to: student, manager, international speaker, or exhibitor? It was worth to overcome my shyness as I met very interesting people from all sorts of libraries, exhibitors, archives, cooperate libraries and I was so glad to be able to exchange cards!

  • SOL Square evening

What a place! What a great bunch of info professionals having fun! The evening started with drinks and food at chosen restaurants and bars and moved into a dancing floor… I had great time and met some amazing people.

LIANZA Conference 2009 Monday, 12 October

Pedro & Pierre

Pedro & Pierre

Monday, 12 October 2009

  • Powhiri

The room number 16 at the Women’s Hostel brought out some strange dreams on the 2009 LIANZA Conference… So without delaying the morning I went to Powhiri at the Victoria Square at 8.30 am and was amazed by a crowd awaiting the opening ceremony. The Powhiri made me shiver as the speeches were powerful and expressed with such dignity and respect for what was to happen at the LIANZA Conference 2009. Everyone was invited to hongi too. After the connection was made we all moved to the Convention Centre where the delegates started networking. Our MC Amira Reriti, advised us to “listen, learn and share” the knowledge gained from the Conference.


  • Generation Ngai Tahu

Sir Tipene O’Regan and his daughter Hana O’Regan gave a powerful talk on the intergenerational transmission of knowledge. It was interesting to see two generations arguing on this topic. This presentation provokes the discussion on the selective process of knowledge preservation – do we know what is lost in this process, can we influence it, how do we go about it, can we say that this part of today achievements is more or less important to preserve it? This paper made me thinking about that we do selection in preserving and presenting knowledge of today for the tomorrow generation. But can we really alter it? Can we preserve it all?


  • Richard Stallman on copyright

…wow, this presentation just pinned me to the wall… R. Stallman, a very charismatic person with strong opinions, is not afraid to express them. He launched and developed the GNU operating system which is free software, Linux. I heard about Linux while being at high school and still living in Poland but at that time the issues of copyright or free software were strange sounding words. Today this vocabulary surrounds me. Stallman is certainly a man who uses strong language. I noted few words which repeated during the presentation: copyright conspiracy, attack, battle, infringement, manipulation, restriction, be aware. I see his point: his position resembles a biblical Goliath and David, so he needs to use tactics to be heard. He sees the need to alter and adjust copyright to modern times and available technologies. This speech made me thinking that information professionals have a moral obligation to be involved in this discussion. Otherwise who else would support Stallman…? I have to say I enjoyed his presentation as it was thought provoking, but I cannot convince myself to his proposal of 10 year copyright and distribution tax & voluntary payment to the authors methods.  However I sign up for his statement: “Sharing is good. It builds society”.

  • APNK

Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa presentation focused on the current situation and its future. It gave me a good insight into its work but also raised an issue of ongoing sustainability of the network. The funding is crucial for this service to libraries’ customers. It has been proposed to position public libraries as key players in the: knowledge economy, networked world of the web and creative sector to have power in numbers and scale. In countries like New Zealand collaboration seems to be the key to success. I hope APNK will use this key to open doors to funds.


  • Otago University Library Induction method

That was such fun and interactive sessions! How you make students to come for a library tour??? Well, you don’t!  It is you, a librarian, who goes to see students at their first lectures at the Uni. If the mount cannot come to the wise man, the wise man will go the mount, as we say in Poland. The Cephalonia method was presented by Charlotte Brown and Simon Hart. They made the session engaging and convinced that the Generation M still has a need to use libraries.


  • The Housts

Please, meet Pedro and Pierre… don’t ask… they are awesome!


  • LIANZA Awards

I wish to congratulate all laureates of LIANZA, 3M, CRM, and other awards. It makes me feel really privileged to be in the same place with them at the Conference.

Day 1 of the Conference ended with welcome reception among exhibitors. I had some time to look around stalls, collect some business cards and brochures and engage into conversation.

What is great about the 2009 LIANZA Conference sponsors is that they provide free wifi. It make my life so much easier. So thank you for that too!

LIANZA Conference 09

First time at the LIANZA Conference

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Yes, I am a newbie to the LIANZA Conference and I am very excited about meeting very soon so many information professionals. I feel like a young chick flipping its little wings and doing cluck cluck cluck cluck…!


After my safe flight from Auckland I settled down in the Women’s Hostel in Christchurch, Barbadoes St, approximately 7 minutes walk from the Cathedral Square and then I went out to see the City.


It seems that LIANZA Conference and participants brought sun and warmth to Christchurch this time. So far I had a chance to see all main venues of the Conference: Convention Centre – while collecting up my registration pack, Victoria Square – while enjoying the sun and watching a gondolier, and SOL Square – watching people practising Ceroc in the French cafe! What an exciting city to be!


Unfortunately I missed the Christchurch City Libraries tour on Sunday afternoon because I registered too late. However I went to Central Library by myself and had a great customer service experience there. One customer, next to me at the computer desk, commented that the Library become his second home… I think public libraries are second/temporary living rooms for travellers/tourists. I believe they appreciate the service and hospitality.

 For me, the Conference begins tomorrow, with the Powhiri at Victoria Square at 8.30am…

A day in a life of a Library Assistant – Sunday is a reflexion day

Sunday is another day off for me. This time it is a reflexion day. I went to the beach and just watched people, sea, dogs, clouds, trees… They all seemed to be happy. It made me happy too.
My project “A Day in a life of a Library Assistant” finished. It was a very exciting week, full of events and good news. I have to say that I don’t get prizes and “thank you gifts” every week though!
Now it is time to think about my commitments related to the 2009 LIANZA Conference reporting, my MLIS studies, my work and projects and of course my personal life.

I am a Library Assistant who has been given a chance to develop. I will fully embrace this opportunity!

I also wish I could hear from other Library Assistants about their “A day in a life of…”