Author Archives: gillian

Australian librarians go above and beyond to promote children’s literacy!

As part of Library and Information Week each year, the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) hosts National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS). In 2020, over 1.25 million participants simultaneously read the same picture book in libraries, schools, pre-schools, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country. The success of this annual event has challenged the Australian LIS profession to come up with innovative ideas for future NSS events.

When thinking about the biggest thing that could happen for NSS, a suggestion was made to do it from space. There was already a science education program with stories read aloud by astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS), so the idea was really not too outlandish…

So when ALIA approached the Australian Space Agency and the Office of the Chief Scientist, they received a very positive response.  And the planning for NSS 2021 began and work commenced on sending a book into space.

Today, the selected picture book, with a single copy especially created to meet the precise physical requirements for space travel, lifted off from NASA’s flight facility at Wallops Island, Virginia, USA, heading for the ISS.

The book is entitled Give me some space! written and illustrated by Australian author Philip Bunting. It tells the story of Una, who dreams of a life in Space. She thinks that life on Earth is just so so-so. But how will she get there? And will she complete her mission to discover life in Space?


The story actually had to be fact-checked to ensure that the ideas were scientifically accurate.  As part of the project, there will also be a citizen science experiment where school children across Australia will record the temperature in their location. The data they collect will be combined with ISS data to map specific climate details of the vast continent.

NSS 2021 is scheduled for Wednesday 19 May 2021 at 11:00 AEST – which seems light-years away from now! However, do pop the event in your diary, so that you can all make the most of the opportunity to join millions of children around the world as they listen to an astronaut read their special story aloud to them.










Further resources

ALIA National Simultaneous Storytime
Scroll down the webpage to ‘Resources’ to find heaps of creative ideas to support the NSS activities

Story Time from Space

Philip Bunting: Give me some space!

NASA Antares rocket launch from Wallops Island, Virginia, USA

The worldwide reach of CPDWL

In these challenging times where we see many people in self-isolation across the globe, the value of meaningful connection has become increasingly important. The CPDWL Standing Committee (SC) is a great example of professional connection, with members sharing their deep interest in and commitment to the opportunities for ongoing learning and development for all LIS professionals. The CPDWL SC family encompasses the elected SC members, invited corresponding members and former SC members who continue to contribute to the work of the section as consultants.

In 2019, our goal was to extend the reach of the SC to ensure that we had representatives from all continents of the world. To highlight the success of this initiative, we have created a map which documents the current distribution of our members: North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australasia. We are spread across twenty different countries, we speak a multitude of languages, and we work in all sectors of the library profession: national and state libraries, public libraries, academic libraries, school libraries, cultural institutions, government agencies, professional associations and university faculties.








So, at a time when people may be feeling very alone and isolated, we are inspired by the rich diversity of this wonderful group of colleagues and friends who are connected, engaged and keen to build the capacity of LIS professionals, wherever they might be.

Stay in touch with CPDWL:
Facebook: IFLA CPDWL
Blog: IFLA CPDWL blog
Instagram: ifla_cpdwl

“I am planning to use what I have learned to develop a professional and a personal development program for myself”

Gretchen Higginbottom
Interlibrary Loan Librarian, California State University Fresno, USA








Photo shows Anne Kakkonen, Helsinki University Library at her Self-Assessment Workshop

Gretchen shares some of the highlights of the CPDWL Satellite Meeting in Zagreb.

The 2019 Satellite Meeting was off to a great start with welcome remarks, a reception, vendors, poster presentations and a library tour on the evening of August 20th. The reception provided a relaxed, yet vibrant venue to see a former co-worker, meet new colleagues; engage with conference organizers and speakers; and connect with several friends whom I met at the National Library of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur while attending the IFLA Management of Library Associations Section’s 2018 Satellite Meeting — “Advocacy in Action! Success for Library Advocacy Worldwide.”

The goal of working towards the development of smart societies was the focus of this satellite meeting and the presenters enlightened attendees with an abundance of information, best practices, innovative ideas and more. From Dr. Philip Schreur’s opening keynote address, “ From Smart Societies to Slow Libraries: Librarians as Promotors of Change,” I learned about the six characteristics a smart city must embrace to promote a “sustainable structure and better life” — smart governance, smart economy, smart mobility, smart environment, smart people and smart living. However, with all the advancements in technology, we still struggle to close the huge gap in the digital divide. We still have a lot of work to do to ensure access to information for all.

I attended the sessions focusing on academic libraries. These presentations covered a myriad of topics including open innovation, building competency in political advocacy, librarians’ roles as knowledge producers, evolving acquisitions, career information literacy, librarians promoting and driving change; and much more. I also participated in the “Self-Assessment Tool for Skills Management Workshop” led by Anne Kakkomen from Helsinki University, Finland. This workshop deemed useful and relevant in my current role as department/unit lead. I am planning to use what I have learned to develop a professional and a personal development program for myself. In addition, I am sharing this tool with my immediate staff and other colleagues at my library. It is imperative that we continue to work in alignment with the mission and goals of our respective universities to support faculty research and student success.

I would like to thank members of the IFLA Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning Section (CPDWL), the Croatian Library Association, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and many, many more who had a role in organizing the 2019 Satellite Meeting at the National and University Library, Zagreb, Croatia. I also want to thank CPDWL for accepting my poster proposal “Professional Development for Library Paraprofessionals: a Sustainable Model” for presentation and for selecting me as a recipient of one of the bursary awards to help fund travel to Zagreb. This was my first experience with CPDWL and my first time to Croatia.

I am a strong advocate for professional development and I appreciate the opportunity to continuously share ideas, learn from others and grow, both personally and professionally. I look forward to learning more about professional development initiatives that are accessible and inclusive for all.

For the love of PD, from Zagreb






Edward Junhao Lim’s report on the CPDWL Satellite Meeting in Zagreb has been published in the Singapore Library Bulletin.  Edward works as the Reference and Research Services Librarian with the NYU Shanghai Library and he is an active member of the CPDWL Standing Committee.

In his report, Edward focuses on the importance of professional development, the PD setup in Croatia and the value of IFLA Satellite Meetings. It’s great to see how the conference in Zagreb has continued to build vauable international connections between LIS professionals.

My first conference was an international conference!

Ebru Gönül Türk
Reference Librarian, Istanbul Bilgi University Library, Turkey

This was the first time I attended an IFLA CPDWL conference. I was excited to meet new people and see beautiful places. I first heard about IFLA from my professors when I was a student at university. They always told us about their experience at IFLA, which has always encouraged me to prepare and present an international project to IFLA meetings. Since then I know that it is a pioneering organization on libraries and information services. I can say that meeting with IFLA has been my dream since university.

After my graduation, I started to work in the library of Istanbul Bilgi University. I remember my library director Sami Çuhadar asked me one day, “Ebru, where do you see yourself in the next three years?” I said, “First of all, I want to be part of a project that can represent our library in Turkey then I want to move this project to the international arena.”

During my 9-months business life, I realized that there are lots of advantages of working in a university library. However, as you connect with many different users, you see that your users may have problems accessing information or using the library. By observing these problems and taking into account the relevant fields and needs of the new generation, we have developed a gamification project as Istanbul Bilgi University Library. We received very positive feedback from our users after this project. In the third year of my business life, one day I saw an e-mail from IFLA CPDWL and remembered that I had the chance to present this project at an international arena. After consulting my managers we decided to send our project to this meeting and our project was accepted as a poster presentation.

The conference lasted two days. There was a poster session on the first day and our project was accepted as a poster presentation thus, on the first day, I was very excited to meet new people, to see a new university library and present our poster. When you make a poster presentation, you have the chance to get in touch with almost all of the participants. The first day also had a very decent and warm environment to meet new people.









Ebru in discussions with Matilde Fontanin at the conference

The second day of the meeting started with Dr Philip Schreur’s presentation From Smart Societies to Slow Libraries: Promoters of Change! Which is was very enlightening. The day of the conference continued with numerous sessions including educational and inspiring presentations reflecting the experiences of experts in their respective fields.

After lunch, the conference continued with the presentation of Dr. Mario Hibert: Ecology of Smart Unstructuring: Silicon Regimes, Alternatives in Commons, and Unparallel Librarian. This presentation was especially interesting for me. As a librarian, it allowed me to gain a different perspective on different topics and terminologies.

I was so pleased with the IFLA CPDWL Satellite Meeting experience because it was not only the first time I have attend a conference, but also it was the first time I attend an international conference outside of Turkey. I also had the opportunity to meet with IFLA CPDWL members, we had a great conversation about how these meetings, which have been a goal for me since my university days, are planned and how the members work. It was also a great experience for me to listen to participants’ experience who have previously attended these conferences.

As a young librarian, the conference is an excellent experience for me. I had the chance to see and listen to library applications on different topics around the world. I would like to thank the IFLA CPDWL committee for their support as a librarian trying to gain experience. I hope that one day I can be a part of this epic team and I can support them as much as they supported me. I will share the experience which I gain in this program throughout meetings, panels and other professional activities in my country.

Finally, as a recipient of IFLA CPDWL Satellite Meeting bursary I would like to express my deep appreciation to the conference committee and IFLA CPDWL members for giving me this opportunity and support to attend the meeting. Moreover, I want to thank our Library Director Sami Çuhadar for giving me this unique opportunity to attend the conference. I would also like to thank Reference & Public Relations Team Manager Abdullah Turan and Library Acquisitions Team Manager Vildan Orancı for their support for the poster that we prepared and presented together at the conference.

An opportunity to learn about different areas of librarianship from different perspectives

Moon Kim, Acquisitions Librarian with Ohio State University, shares her experiences of the IFLA CPDWL Satellite Meeting 2019

Photo: Moon Kim speaking in the Academic Libraries track at the conference, with Ray Pun

The 2019 IFLA Satellite Meeting for Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning (CPDWL) kicked off on August 20th at the National and University Library, Zagreb, Croatia. Under the theme of “Librarians and information professionals as (pro)motors of change,” a group of international colleagues met to exchange ideas and best practices as we paced through the posters to the tune of local music that permeated the room full of Glagolitic script in the main entryway. The tour of the Library revealed it to be the oldest in Croatia and the Library itself has changed its site and name over the years, continuously transforming itself to the needs and demands of its constituents. Holding one of the most prominent collections in Croatia, the Library proved to be a formidable host to topics ranging from professional development to linked data.

The second day of the conference consisted of the panels and presentations. Although it was not possible to attend all the excellent sessions on professional development, CPDWL had a number of sessions on how the various library professional groups approached mentoring and professional development. The importance of mentoring volunteers, students and interns in its numerous forms (e.g., formal, informal, peer mentoring) was emphasized in Croatian libraries, the Italian libraries association determined the usefulness of MOOCs as an effective and low-cost training tool, and a SWOT analysis was used to assess the current state of a Slovenian center’s learning activities. All of these sessions highlighted the value of continued development and learning for librarians and information professionals.

In addition to the professional development talks, the meeting in Zagreb was an opportunity to learn about different areas of librarianship from different perspectives. Coming from another continent with different laws and regulations, the topic regarding data protection and regulation was timely. Libraries have always been champions of patron’s data protection and the sentiment is heavily enacted in Europe, though implemented differently than in the United States. The linked data discussions on BIBFRAME and RDA furthered the conversations on the role of librarians in not only stewarding data but transforming its structures to have meaningful impact on how our users experience information.

Even for a technical services librarian based on the collections side in the US, the programming at CPDWL hit every note in offering a wide variety of professional development panels and discussions geared toward engagement with the profession. It was wonderful to not only hear about the outreach efforts in LIS mentoring for individuals in various stages of their careers, but also about the data compliance protocols in Europe and the global efforts in shaping information infrastructures. The CPDWL meeting equipped me with the knowledge to expand my professional development opportunities and connected me with colleagues doing amazing work at the international level. Zagreb as a city was also a wonderful host for the delegation of international librarians to develop our own skills and to participate in the growth and development of our profession.

The CPDWL Satellite Meeting is described as “in a country of movies, an event out of series”

Noé Nessel, Librarian, Buenos Aires, Argentina









Noé Nessel being interviewed by Jasenka Pleško at the Satellite Meeting

For me, participating in the Satellite Meeting was a miracle. From the end of the world to IFLA without stops. A privilege to have the possibility of landing in a meeting of international excellence. An opportunity to strengthen global professional citizenship. A short and intense experience. Ideal for personal and work development. During both days, empowered protagonists for the activation of informational collective intelligence were enhanced. A genuine meeting of intellectual impact for the stimulation of professional neuroplasticity.

Having obtained the bursary has allowed me a passport between North and South Worlds. A unique opportunity to participate in rich intercontinental information exchange scenarios. Conferences where a global vision of the digital age is perceived. An admirable program to generate coworking spaces in relation to academic cognition for future information ecosystems. A Federation that adds and integrates emerging actors for the adequate digital transformation of intelligent societies.

In Zagreb, the human creativity of librarians was enhanced. We sought to sum the value of the information centers. The public policies of the Ministry of Culture counts kilometers to our previous knowledge. And in turn, the teachings and intellectual productions of the five continents increase miles of learning. What allowed to start a postmodern high-cultural path. It was an enrichment of heterogeneous theoretical and artistic worlds; where design objects and traditional emotive music from the host country were included. In my case, I have generated contact; for example, with colleagues from India, Hong Kong, Turkey and Italy. Guaranteed exchanges in an amazing architectural headquarters. Also, it allowed me to know the land of my great grandmother.

Intellectual capital has been embodied in posters, sessions and keynotes. In which human bridges were established for the realization of future projects. A boost for library socialization facilitating education and permanent updating. The forceful take off will exalt the curriculum vitae of the bursary recipients to obtain prestigious jobs; through the support of Croatian public funds for the enrichment of specialists in the strategic information sector. Democratic fields of knowledge for interactive knowledge managers.

It is appreciated:
* The inclusion of a Latin and millennial information librarian
* The academic training of my alma mater, IFTS 13 in Buenos Aires
* And, personally, my thanks to CPDWL and the National Committee of Croatia.

 “In a country of movies, an event out of series.”