Information Day 2017

Thirty staff from the Library and Learning Commons and Clinical School Library campuses convened to the Sunway campus on Saturday 21 January 2017 for the Library’s Information Day.

Mirroring its sister’s Information Day at Monash University Australia Library, this annual event provides staff with an interactive forum to foster collaboration between libraries and colleagues, discuss challenges and opportunities associated with the library changing roles.

The theme for Information Day 2017, “Empowering staff and Enhancing Services: Our stories”, focused on professional development with several staff showcasing their projects with colleagues within the Library, or sharing about their journey of learning, both individual and collaborative. The upbeat team spirit, the quality of the presentations, and the creativity on display in terms of content and delivery, captivated the audience throughout the day.

The 2017 edition of Information Day brought distinguished guest speaker Dr. Vicki Williamson, Dean, University Library at the University of Saskatchewan (2006-2016). Her keynote “A conversation about engaging with change” revolved around three pillars – change, engagement and leadership “from where we stand” –to build individual and organizational capacity.

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Dr. Williamson commended the level of engagement with change and readiness to take risk which she saw evidence in both the overview of the “Library’s 2016 achievements and 2017 strategic directions” by Library Director, Isabelle Eula, and through LLC staff’s contributions to the Information Day. “Something quite powerful and special is happening at the Library and Learning Commons”, said Williamson as she observed that the Library had embarked on a deliberate and systemic plan for change.

In the afternoon, setting the tone for her address, Williamson commented that changes in librarianship had shaped her entire career and that in view of the rapid transformations affecting academia, change would continue to happen at a relentless pace. Acknowledging that [libraries] “are all facing similar challenges, and that we have to manage the changes and their rigors in our own unique contexts”, she invited LLC participants to use Information Day as an opportunity to regroup, reflect and think about how their own contribution fits into LLC’s strategies.

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Sharing highlights about her own successful journey through leadership, at the helm of large research libraries in Australia and Canada, Williamson emphasised the critical importance to develop internal capacity about planning for change and to grow together in order “to push ourselves and our organisations at the top”. In a powerful call for leadership “where we stand”, Williamson contended that opportunities for leadership exist wherever one sits in the organisation, and challenged all participants to identify areas where they could contribute and to work together to manage change.

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Following Information Day 2017, Dr. Williamson met with members of the Senior Team to further discuss strategies to increase staff engagement with change, and foster innovation and creativity. The speakers’ presentations will be made available shortly.

Isabelle Eula, Director Library and Learning Commons