A few things to note:

  • Please note that all tickets are extremely limited so get in quick! 
  • Early Bird tickets are on sale until May 31, or when sold out.
  • Take this opportunity to sign up for a VALA membership as this grants you a significant discount in tickets!
  • Sponsors and Exhibitors – We will be in contact regarding your allocation but if you require more tickets please buy through this portal.
  • Prices include Welcome and Farewell Events and Morning and Afternoon teas. 
  • Lunch will not be included

The third keynote of VALA2024 is…

Dr Melissa Silk!

Dr Melissa Silk is JMC Academy’s National Head of Design. With over thirty years of creative practice, Melissa collaborates with many thinkers and makers to design experiences that embed the Arts in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEAM).

Melissa is co-director of while also engaged in research contributing to learning ecologies spanning creative intelligence and innovation, transdisciplinary education, and designing for preferred futures. Melissa enjoys being part of a bold community of multipotentialities intent on developing and sharing unique learning experiences for everybody.

Dr Silk will be presenting a keynote titled: “Connected Curiosity” – a visual treat and overview of creative practice steeped in transdisciplinarity. It tracks the development of innovative tasks and activities related to embedding the Arts in STEM, delivered in institutional education and general community contexts. Enter the fusion acronym: STEAM.

We know that STEM represents science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and here, we are reminded that the arts include humanities, language, arts, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design and new media. However, beyond the acronym, STEAM is an experience. Connected Curiosity champions the notion of shifting ideas and perceptions of ‘learning’ into dynamic transformative experiences.

Transcending discipline boundaries, STEAM integrates seemingly disparate practices. Root Bernstein (2019) advocates innovation being the result of taking transdisciplinary leaps of imagination by training scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians in and of the arts. Such integration is hard work and tricky. Hence, a significant aspect presented here is the consideration of personal and individual transformation through connected experiences, in which the dynamic contribution of dialectical emotions is appreciated and valued.

The second keynote of VALA2024 is…

VALA is pleased to announce our second keynote: Ruth Tillman.

Ruth Kitchin Tillman works on discovery, the library catalogue, and linked data projects at Penn State University Libraries. Her current research focuses on library systems and the people who use and maintain them. She has written and presented on metadata encoding standards, library discovery, linked data, institutional repositories, and labour issues in libraries.

Ruth will be presenting: The Interdependent Library System: Revisiting Human Aspects of Library Automation

Once the star of the library technology circuit, the integrated library system (ILS) has long taken a back seat to emerging technologies—from the repositories of the late aughts to the AI of the mid-twenties. Yet the ILS is more than the origin of library automation; it still underlies the everyday work of a 21st century library.

In this presentation, Ruth considers the ILS as workspace and re-envision it as a system that is as fundamentally as human as it is technological. What can we learn by re-engaging with this apparently-monolithic and oft-monopolistic presence in our workplaces? She draws from the oral histories of Penn State’s homegrown ILS (1970s-1998) and her research into library systems maintenance and into the impacts of present-day ILS migration.


VALA is pleased to announce our first keynote for VALA2024.

Tara Brabazon is the Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor of Cultural Studies at Charles Darwin University, Professor of Cultural Studies at Flinders University, Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA), Member of the College of Distinguished Educators, and Director of the Popular Culture Collective. She has worked in ten universities in four countries and most of the states and territories of Australia.  Tara has held the leadership roles of Dean, Head of School, Head of Department, Head of Programme and Institutional Research Leader of national assessment exercises.

Tara is currently writing three books, on academic failure, the Claustropolitan University and Claustropop:  Popular culture at the end of the world.  She is a columnist for the Times Higher Education, produces audiobooks, and runs a successful and popular podcast programme (since 2008).  Tara has developed the genre of academic vlogs for higher degree students, through her weekly series.

She will be presenting on her latest work at VALA. “Trumped Literacies: A new model for information and knowledge in claustropolitan times”, which will explore how librarians, educators and information professionals manage the speed of mis/information while enabling debate, diversity and expertise?


VALA2024 has launched!

VALA Libraries Technology & the Future is pleased to announce the dates and location for the 2024 conference.

VALA 2024 Reiterated – Getting IT back to grass roots, will be held Tuesday 9th to Thursday 11th July 2024.

Major sponsor RMIT are providing the venue, located across the road from both the iconic State Library of Victoria and the Melbourne Central shopping precinct and Metro train station. VALA welcomes RMIT as our first sponsor and is excited about exploring the options for the conference in this unique facility.

Other sponsorship opportunities will be released shortly as the Conference Committee works towards making VALA 2024 ReITerated happen. There is always room for more help however, so if you are interested in joining the committee, please email

In the meantime, continue to watch this space for more VALA 2024 news.