#officehours: “Notes from a Small Island”

topofthelake

My new column is up at Library Journal and it’s all about the incredible community of LIS folks in new Zealand:

http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/12/opinion/michael-stephens/notes-from-some-small-islands-office-hours/

Something struck me about this conference, in addition to my interactions with the library folk I met as we traveled down the North Island, stopping in Wellington for a talk I gave at Victoria University and on to the South Island. At a combination #hyperlibMOOC and library folk tweet up held at Pomeroy’s Pub in Christchurch, I finally asked the assembled group, “Why does the LIS community here feel so cohesive and tight-knit? Is it the isolation?” Between the pub chat and the question I threw out to Kiwis in my Twitter network, the ideas flowed:

“Tight-knit for sure, but many local authorities in NZ are becoming smaller, and there are fewer employing authorities, so librarians are working in larger organizations and tend to meet one another more often,” said Brendon Moir, system analyst for the digital library web team at Christchurch City Libraries. “The local and national partnerships between libraries have become really important, and this will only increase.”

Here’s a shot of the epic conference dinner:

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More photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsphotos/sets/72157638183133045/

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