GLAM Sector Conferences in Australia

Here are my thoughts on GLAM sector collaboration and conferences in Australia. Firstly, we should stop having so many library “conferences” every six months. There just isn’t enough interesting, new or relevant material to justify participation.

Maybe we should consider having one major library conference (run by either VALA or ALIA, or both) every second year and on the other years we get the whole GLAM sector together and ALIA, MA, ASA and anyone else (like CAUL, NSLA, etc.) cooperate to run the one Australian GLAM conference. I’ve said this for years and nobody listens. It would be a useful first step in learning from each other, collaborating and maybe even starting to have one united voice for the impact of culture in our society. Who knows, perhaps we could even make major progress on a digital strategy for the whole sector?


  1. Kathryn Greenhill

    Yup. One a year.

    And for both conferences keep the excellent peer-review process for written papers maintained by VALA for so many years, in conjunction with an Open Access journal that then publishes the peer-reviewed papers presented at both conferences. So much work goes into the peer review to get many papers to publication standard, and then they are left on the conference website, researchers often need a guaranteed peer-reviewed publication to get funding to present at conferences … and we need to seriously promote Open Access to our own disciplinary literature in this country.

    As for the other 50% of content at each event – we should go to town with workshops, hackathons, interpretive dance marathons, panels, cross-sector pollination incubators or whatever non-stuffy and productive and useful format would be most effective to get us actually talking and working together and bursting our silos and making a difference and ACTING on any other talk that happens at these events.

    (My 2c – your dream, and then my sub-dream which may or may not work for you 🙂 )

  2. anne beaumont

    Agree with Kathryn on both points. Peer-review (thanks to Andrew Treloar for originally insisting on this) is essential to sustain quality of papers and Open Access – we should put our values into practice.

  3. Pingback: “You can be a librarian or an archivist, but not both” | Cataloguing the Universe
  4. Pingback: “You can be a librarian or an archivist, but not both” – Cataloguing the Universe

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