Do something and do it together

At the recent ALIA New Librarians’ Symposium 8, keynote speakers Clare McKenzie, Kate Byrne and Alyson Dalby from International Librarians Network wowed delegates with their simple yet empowering message to DIY their library career. Do something, and do it together.

Finding the right person or people to ‘do something’ with is challenging and I am so lucky to have found Sally Turbitt out there in library land. We didn’t study together, we don’t work together, we don’t even live in the same state, yet we are able to ‘do something’ together over and over again.

After a few tentative months working together as co-convenors for NLS8 we started to realise that we had similar ideas and ways of working. As we quickly gained each others respect and trust through a good working relationship we soon realised that we could be completely honest with each other and the world would not fall apart. This lead to a strong personal friendship and the opportunity to work together on other projects to develop as professionals.

We spoke at the ALIA Sydney Collabor8 Unconference 2016 (thanks Rob Thomson!), presented a poster at ALIA Information Online 2017 and wrote an article for ALIA INCITE magazine, July/August 2017. Our next appearance will be at LIANZA 2017 in Christchurch, New Zealand on Wednesday 27 September 2017 and this is what we will be talking about:

Open Sesame! OR how to embrace challenges, cultivate opportunities, be visible and say no

GLAMR industries are competitive and in a perpetual state of evolution and change, so how can you ensure you progress your career now and in the future? Even the most talented of us cannot predict a long-term career path or guarantee lifelong employment. When you seek your next opportunity, are you certain you will rise to the top of the pool?

Every one of us needs to embrace continuous strategic thinking and apply that to our own careers as much as the organisations we work for. Continuous strategic thinking for your career can be summed up as thus: be open to challenges, be open to cultivating opportunities, be open to being visible, and be open to saying no.

Sally and Amy have built their careers on the motto: Don’t make life plans. Embrace opportunity. (And also “if in doubt bring cake). Join them as they share their ideas on how to embrace opportunity, how to think about your career strategically and how they came to their next challenge which will be launched at LIANZA 2017.

See you at LIANZA 2017!

Do somethingtogether-2


  1. Very inspiring! I am like that at work – always making the most of every opportunity that comes my way and even though some things are challenging and I’m nervous I just put my hand up and give it a go and usually surprise myself 😀 Now look – I’m PA to the manager of Libraries! Woo hoo! Onward and upward!


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