From the Regional Engagement Manager: libraries at home and afar

I’m back after a short break – a break which of course involved some international bibliotourism (visiting libraries in Berlin, Rotterdam, Gouda, Utrecht and Amsterdam) and connecting with library professionals from almost every continent at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC). An IFLA WLIC highlight was the Librarian Flashmob in Rotterdam which celebrated the importance of reading to children. I read Mem Fox’s “Possum Magic” and took delight in explaining what a ‘lamington’ was to a Swedish librarian.

Images above (L to R): Emily Wilson (with “Possum Magic” by Mem Fox Illustrated by Julie Vivas) and James Wilson (with “Swoop” by Nicole Godwin Illustrated by Susannah Crispe); As well as libraries & a conference, my holiday included windmills & ice-cream!


Back in Australia I was invited to take part in another flashmob. This one was at the State Library of South Australia, where we wore floral to celebrate the beginning of spring.

Last week I was fortunate to spend time with our library technician educators who were visiting Adelaide for a workshop. A group of these educators, along with Adelaide based mentees from the ALIA Mentoring Scheme, joined me for a tour of the State Library of South Australia. Barbara, a volunteer Ambassador, guided us through the Institute Building, Circulating Library, Mortlock Chamber, Symon Library and the Spence Wing. Then the Library’s Manager of Future Services, Andrew Piper, brought the group to the basement to see some of the unique collection items in storage.

Images above (L to R): ALIA REM with State Library of South Australia & Public Library Services staff – in floral to celebrate springtime; Emily Wilson (ALIA REM), Kylie Hill (ALIA Mentee), Claire Paull (ALIA Mentee), Michelle Szymanski (TAFE NSW), Judith Atkinson (TAFE NSW), Ursule de leeuw (ALIA Mentee) and Jo-Ann Bathurst (TAFE NSW) in the Mortlock Chamber 


Today I met with the Convenors of ALIA’s Regional Groups – these Groups are a hive of activity with plenty being organised over the next few months – some examples below, with more to be announced soon.

Nominations for the The Queensland Library Achiever of the Year Award and the South Australian Library & Information Awards (SALIAs) are due before the end of September. Don't wait until the last minute to nominate a colleague for their achievements in community engagement and outreach, mentorship, collaboration or sustainable practice. And if you’re in SA, you can also register for the SALIAs Presentation Ceremony – come along to applaud the winner, and network over wine and nibbles. 

The ALIA Victoria Group are hosting an event looking at the topic of Subject Headings and some of the practical, theoretical, and historical issues about their use in libraries. As well as this #CritLib discussion, there will be ALIA presentations, networking and refreshments – book your place now – I’ll see you there.

A new Regional Group is forming – the ALIA NSW Group! This cross-sectoral, state-based group aims to be representative of ALIA members in NSW and is currently seeking members. Tickets are on sale for the ALIA NSW End of Year Celebration – this will be at the State Library of NSW Library Bar and will be an opportunity to plan for 2024 – whilst enjoying views of the harbour and the Sydney skyline. It’ll be my first visit to NSW since beginning as the Regional Engagement Manager, and I look forward to connecting with Sydney based ALIA Members.


Emily Wilson 
Regional Engagement Manager