TelSIG 2016 Takeaways

I enjoyed this year’s TelSIG forum so much I wanted to share some of the learnings and takeaways.  The Tertiary Education Librarian’s Special Interest Group is a biannual forum or hui held this year at the University of Canterbury, Ōtautahi Christchurch, 4-5 July.  All the speakers were very inspiring, and the kaupapa was about celebrating how everyone is leading change at their institution – enabling learning, teaching and research success.  Given it coincided with the start of Māori Language Week which is themed this year as ākina te reo – “behind you all the way” which is about using te reo Māori to support people, to inspire and to cheer on I realised the programme committee had done their research.
So it was awesome to kick off with Lynne Harata Te Aika  – the General Manager Te Tamatua -Culture and Identity  for  Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu who spoke about her role within the anchor projects  in Christchurch– cluster schools,  consulting on Maori translations for many projects and the cultural mapping project that has been a focus over the past 6 years.  This is of great personal interest to me tracing where iwi went about their lives, their business, decades and centuries ago.
The next keynote focused on promoting keeping the Maori language alive and the huge amount of effort that has been put into this by staying inspired and using the language as a catalyst for change and empowerment – Hana O’Regan – General Manager of Oranga/Wellbeing for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.
On the next day, DK – the Activation Manager at BizDojo entertained us about embracing change and taking the time to reflect on chasing innovation – “the slow hunch”.  A very humorous presentation on a relevant topic in my opinion.  Check out his website here.
Next up were the organisers of Heroes Mingle, who Andy Fenton often cites.  They focused on invigorating people to be motivated to grow through different mediums that are free e.g., online training and publishing “Weve” – an online newsletter that I recommend you review and subscribe to.  Sally Pewhairangi and Megan Ingle – collaborators who are initiating professional development through these mediums.
We purposely designed our trade stand to be ‘unattended’ because I was keen to attend as many sessions as possible.  The common theme for me was that collaboration was required to succeed – speakers were passionate and articulate about that, as well as the challenges each institution faced in order to move forward (as a sector).
The content of the respective streams was so relevant to the sector and my interests (and in turn those I collaborate with for whom I could take notes and onshare) that I had trouble deciding which sessions to attend.  One of the biggest laughs (for those who don’t know me I’m not known to have a small giggle by any means!) was when I was asked whether I was going to pack up the trade stand at the end of the final day – everyone else was gone!  Thanks, LIANZA-legend Joanna Matthew for guiding me!!!
I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with colleagues NZMS have existing relationships with as well as meeting new people in the sector.  Andy Fenton’s name came up regularly, and I was regularly entertained as to how the delegates all met him… mentoring, collaboration and advice, not to mention meeting on the dance floor at LIANZA conferences (he has a few catch-up coffee dates to organise in the future by the way). This is why I love what NZMS do – we are friends as well as colleagues to many – the best type of relationship I believe and very pertinent to the profession.
I am excited at the prospect of doing it all again in 2018 and thoroughly recommend getting involved in the event!
NZMS were proud to be a gold sponsor, and  the event was well organised by the fantastic committee consisting of: Theresa Buller, Lorna Smith, Claire Brocklehurst, Deborah Fitchett, Romy Forrer, Glen Walker supported by Joanna Matthew.  Creating change and shaping success celebrates the innovative nature of the tertiary library profession and did challenge us to actively drive and energise our visions for the future.  Congratulations to the Committee: you, the speakers, and the participants, absolutely nailed it, and I got a lot out of it, thank you!
Leigh Rout
Southern Regional Manager