The 21st Biennial Conference and Exhibition, VALA2022, was held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia from 14 – 16 June 2022.
The following papers were presented at VALA2022. See also the VALA2022 Onsite Program and Online Program. Papers will be available to access individually for each session.
The full set of conference proceedings from VALA2022 is available as a single pdf download. This registered publication contains all 42 concurrent sessions (26 Onsite Concurrent Sessions and 16 Online Concurrent Sessions), and is a simple, one-click resource for academics, students and the wider VALA network. (Click HERE or on the image to the right to view and download.)
Despite wide use, studies of link resolvers over the past fifteen years found that OpenURL link resolvers can fail up to 30% of the time and do not meet user expectations. For researchers, the negative consequences of link resolvers mean wasted time, incomplete or delayed access to information, and a general dissatisfaction with library services; for libraries, it means a constant stream of technical support and other issues requiring ongoing staff attention. This presentation discusses how new technologies using artificial intelligence avoid many of the problems of traditional link resolvers and better meet user expectations.
Kendall Bartsch is the Co-founder and CEO of the library technology company Third Iron. Kendall’s career working with libraries spans more than twenty years, starting at Cambridge Scientific Abstracts in the late 1990s.
Despite the concept of Linked Data being over ten years old, it has yet to make a practical impact in the library world. Libraries prize standards and best practices, but there is no clear leader in the field and many Linked Data implementations appear experimental or isolated. Nonetheless, stakeholders in Sweden, Norway, the United States of America, and Australia are working to integrate Linked Data into the open-source library management system Koha. There are many challenges, but developers are collaborating globally to overcome them.
This paper will explain the issues inherent in our current digital collections, created and curated from a Eurocentric perspective. We will introduce our pilot program to decolonise digital collections, using multiple strategies including: 1) connecting and engaging with Communities, 2) rethinking language and descriptive metadata around collections, 3) exploring the application of Traditional Knowledge Labels, 4) respectfully building up content from Indigenous perspectives. The primary objective of decolonising our collections is to make resources more culturally appropriate, findable and accessible for First Nations people. This enables a reclaiming of culture and ownership of knowledge essential to cultural identity, and contributing to cultural and spiritual healing, well-being, and self-determination.
Kua Swan is a proud Gomeroi (Moree) & the Wiradjuri (Cowra) man, but was born on Anaiwan land (Armidale). Kua lives and works on Awabakal country. Kua has been fortunate to experience Language from an extensive number of Aboriginal Language groups from across Australia and has been able to identify words from his travels. Kua began his journey at the University of Newcastle working within the Wollotuka Institute as a Project Officer with a focus on the Indigenous Language program, which has since given him an in depth understanding and appreciation of Language history. Kua’s work has allowed him to research into Language with the help from collections, which led him to the university library.
Paige Wright is the Special Collections Librarian at the University of Newcastle Library, where she has worked for eight years. She coordinates the Living Histories repository and is an advocate for equity and diversity within collections. Her topics of interest include rare books, promoting special collections, community engagement, digital humanities, Wikipedia and digital collections. Paige currently volunteers on the committees for ALIA Rare Books and Wikimedia Australia. Twitter: @WrightPaige.
The University of Adelaide Library has transformed the traditional library tour to a gamified, self-guided tour. Users work either independently or collaboratively, participating actively in their quest for information and discovery of library services and spaces. This paper sets out the transformation and the transition of library staff, outlines the rationale behind the change, the implementation process and highlights some considerations and benefits in moving to the new self-service model.
Samantha Narcis is the Senior Manager, Client Services at the University of Adelaide Library and has been in this role since June 2018. After more than 15 years of working in various Human Resources (HR) roles both overseas in Dubai and in Adelaide, Sam took a leap of faith going from providing HR advice to business leaders, to providing strong and positive operational leadership in a different industry- the world of Academic Libraries. Sam believes her love of reading and books might have helped with the transition just a bit! Sam currently leads the Library’s Client Services team in delivering key front-line services to Library users and facilitating access to the Library as a safe and welcoming space spanning across 3 campuses. Her portfolio includes a diverse set of responsibilities carried out by the front-line Service Delivery team, “Ask Library”, the Metadata Project team and the Collections and Facilities team. Sam is a firm advocate for a One Library ethos and with her team strives to put the user experience at the forefront of everything they do (within the University of Adelaide Library).
Jaime Royals is currently the Senior Manager, Collections & Access Services at the University of Adelaide. Jaime has worked in several roles at the University Library including as a Liaison Librarian and as the Manager of Learning and Teaching Innovation. She has a keen interest in developing and innovating library services in collaboration with stakeholders, in line with best practice and with an evidence-based approach. She is also partial to terrible dad jokes!
In this paper, authors from both CAVAL and Skilltype summarise threats to professional development that preceded the COVID-19 pandemic and how the sudden shift to a fully online environment exacerbated them. Two categories of challenges emerged: technological and economic. While the economic constraints were mostly out of each organisation’s control, the authors investigated the role technology could play in helping libraries and library staff gain access to the expertise they need at the right time. The authors will share how the pandemic provided a lens into what libraries and library workers should expect as the new normal this decade.
Tony Zanders is an award-winning software entrepreneur and library technology executive. He currently serves as the founder and CEO of Skilltype — a software platform for information professionals and their teams to analyze, develop, and share expertise. He also serves as the inaugural entrepreneur in residence at the Boston University Libraries. In this role, Zanders provides executive counsel to the University Librarian during the academic strategic planning process while designing and implementing new approaches to recruitment, retention, and training that produce elite performance for the University and its Libraries. Zanders is the first EIR in the Libraries’ history. Zanders has a proven track record of helping research libraries develop innovative solutions to leverage technology within the research workflow. Zanders bought libraries from Camelback Ventures, where he served as Entrepreneur In Residence, working with black and brown founders on company strategy. Before Camelback, Zanders was Vice President of Global Customer Development at EBSCO, where he advised libraries on software integrations across more than 30 countries. While at EBSCO, Zanders played an instrumental role in the company’s participation in the FOLIO community consulting over a dozen of the community’s early partners on service models. Zanders also has served as Director of Customer Development at Ex Libris, a ProQuest company. While there, he was the liaison to the Ex Libris Users of North America (ELUNA) and was responsible for community engagement with the Ex Libris Alma development partners and early adopter community.
Sara Davidsson’s current role as Member Services Coordinator at CAVAL Ltd., gives her the opportunity to advocate within areas that are close to her heart. Professional development for staff, the importance of learning, education and literacy in the academic and wider community, as well as facilitating a welcoming environment for new industry professionals are some examples of what drives Sara. After a couple of career changes, Sara believes that she has found her true match in the library and information industry. She is currently serving as Secretary on the ALIA Community of Resource Description (ACORD) Advisory Committee. This provides a chance for her to continue to nerd out on all things resource description, as this is where she kick-started her library career. Previous studies and volunteer roles also highlight Sara’s interest in languages, history, the environment and animal welfare.
The University of Adelaide Library is committed to creating and fostering a diverse and culturally safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous students and staff. It has purposefully delved deeply and authentically to understand and articulate what it means to position the Library as a place of cultural safety and this becomes most impactful when it becomes a truly shared responsibility. This paper shares the iterative approach taken to engage in a considered and respectful way as we commenced our exploration of what cultural safety might look like in our context.
In 2020, James Cook University Library Special Collections undertook an extremely ambitious project, which included the digitisation of 50 treasures from our collections and the production of a professional exhibition. We describe the various components of the project, their complexity and the problems encountered as we dealt with the ramifications of the pandemic. We detail how we responded to the challenges, changed our ways of working and found the unexpected benefits of working in extraordinary times.
Bronwyn McBurnie’s role is to plan, manage, preserve, and conserve unique and rare materials of cultural and historical significance to north Qld and the tropics. She is very proactive and successful in working with donors, volunteers, state and local community organisations, professional associations and independent, local and JCU researchers to raise the visibility and profile of special collections in support of JCU’s research, tropical focus and community engagement. She collaborates with other Library and Information Services (LIS) staff to deliver and facilitate learning, teaching, and research by focusing on the use of special collections. She provides specialist consultation services to JCU researchers and students, external researchers and organisations, and the public. In her rare spare time Bronwyn is an established artist who recently exhibited her work as part of a Group Exhibition, Mudpickers, at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts in Townsville.
Library and information services are well positioned to become high-performing, productive learning organisations, building on their commitment to innovation and continuous service improvement. Innovating to overcome barriers to services and meet community expectations is crucial in the current pandemic environment. GLAM sector organisations require individuals and teams who can develop new skills quickly and flexibly adapt work practices. Beyond the pandemic, creating a working environment that encourages real transformative professional development at work will foster a generation of information professionals who are curious, confident, connected and collaborative.
Clare Thorpe is an award-winning library leader, evidence-based research-practitioner, and board director. She has worked in academic and state libraries since 2001. Clare is the Director, Library Services at Southern Cross University and currently serves as a Director of the Australian Library and Information Association Board.