Keynote Speakers

Virginia-3resizeVirginia Wilson

Centre for Evidence Based Librarianship & Information Practice
University of Saskatchewan, Canada


Poking and Prying with a Purpose: The Librarian Practitioner-Researcher and Evidence Based Library and Information Practice

“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” Zora Neale Hurston

Engaging in research is an important activity for practicing librarians. It is a vital part of evidence based library and information practice, it enables librarians to reflect upon their work in structured ways, and it provides the means to move practice forward. A librarian who is a practitioner-researcher is not someone on the outside looking in, but someone on the inside looking around. It’s a librarian reflecting on and being curious about practice, and wanting to know more about practice in order to improve. Virginia’s keynote address will draw on her recent qualitative research which took her across Canada and to the United Kingdom to talk to self-identified librarian practitioner-researchers about what it is they are doing and why. Themes have emerged that are common to librarians in both countries who are attempting to bridge the gap between research and practice in their work. Are practitioner-researchers “real” researchers? Where do we fit in the larger scheme of librarianship? What enables practitioner-researchers to flourish? Librarian practitioner-researchers are in a distinctive position to closely examine and test issues of a practice nature from a unique perspective. As well, this presentation will look at the creation of the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP) at the University of Saskatchewan. Designed to support librarians as researchers and to promote evidence based library and information practice, C-EBLIP is a stimulating intellectual space that fosters research and scholarship combined with practical, practice-based initiatives.

Virginia Wilson is the Director of the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP) at the University Library, University of Saskatchewan (U of S), Canada. C-EBLIP supports University of Saskatchewan librarians as researchers, promotes evidence based library and information practice, and provides avenues for all librarians who conduct research to communicate, collaborate, and share. Virginia’s MLIS is from the University of Alberta and she has an MA in English from the University of Toronto. Her library travels have included positions in the public library and in a special library within an academic institution, and at present as an academic librarian. She was one of the inaugural co-convenors for the Canadian Library Association’s Evidence Based Librarianship Interest Group and created a toolkit on evidence based library and information practice for public libraries. She has written evidence summaries for the journal Evidence Based Library and Information Practice and currently writes the EBL 101 column for that journal which presently focuses on research methods. Virginia chaired the planning committee for the 7th International Evidence Based Library and Information Practice conference which was held in 2013 at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research interests include evidence based library and information practice, librarians as researchers, and the changing face of scholarly communication. Virginia has established a program of research focusing broadly on evidence based library and information practice and conducts research as a faculty member at the U of S. As a working librarian who also conducts research, Virginia strongly believes that practicing librarians should be involved in conducting and using research to inform their own practice.

Sponsored by QUT Library




Family Portrait PhotographyNeil Carrington


ACT For Kids



Creating and Sustaining a High Performance Team Culture: Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast?

Creating a ‘High Performance Culture’ in your library or information agency means knowing the difference between being a leader and being a manager. It is about focusing on the relationships you build with your staff and the performance culture you create within your organisation. This session is designed for leaders who want to generate a clear understanding of their current performance culture, the performance culture they would prefer, and how to powerfully move from one to the other. The session will be highly interactive, and will model a range of innovative processes, which can be used to enhance performance and build resilience. How are you shaping the thinking in your organisation through focusing on the ‘Mental Models’ you and your team hold?

Dr Neil Carrington was the Harvard Club of Australia Fellow for 2012/2013. He was awarded this prestigious scholarship to attend the CEO program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business. Dr Carrington is currently the CEO of a national charity ‘ACT For Kids,’ an organisation dedicated to supporting abused and neglected children. He most recently was the Foundation National Director of the Leadership Centre for the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Dr Carrington was the Foundation Director of Learning and Organizational Development for Mater Health Services in Brisbane Australia (a group of seven hospitals). This role was responsible for all organisational and professional development, education, and training for over 6000 medical, nursing, allied health and executive staff. He established the Mater Education Centre that was the national benchmark in the provision of professional development to healthcare staff and their national Leadership Assessment Centre was widely acclaimed both nationally and internationally. He has delivered the keynote address at both the state and national library conferences and co-edited the special edition of the ‘The Australian Library Journal’ focused on Leadership in 2011.

Dr Carrington spent over 3 years as Queensland University of Technology’s university wide Director of Teaching and has held academic and leadership positions at a number of universities including, University of New England and the University of Western Sydney. He was the Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee for the Australian Technology Network of Universities. His featured presentation in the business strand of the ‘World Conference on Thinking’ in Malaysia sold out. He was invited to work with the New Zealand Elite Coaching Academy and the coach of the All Blacks commented Neil’s leadership workshop was the best he had ever attended. He has presented at over 500 conferences throughout Australia and in the UK, Middle East, USA, NZ and across Asia. Dr Carrington currently serves on the Board of Business South Bank and his PhD into perceptions of intelligence was judged one of the largest and most rigorous studies of its type ever undertaken in Australia. All Dr Carrington’s speaking fees go directly to the ‘Abused Children’s Trust’ and to date he has donated over one million dollars to this worthy cause.

Sponsored by University of Southern Queensland






Kim TariKim Tairi

University Librarian

Swinburne University of Technology, Australia



Closing the gap: research practitioners and role conflict

To lose the appetite for meaning we call thinking and cease to ask unanswerable questions [would be to] lose not only the ability to produce those thought-things that we call works of art but also the capacity to ask all the answerable questions upon which every civilization is founded
(Arendt 1978).

Even if research is part of your job, one of the trickiest things to do is be an active researcher and a practitioner. Embedding research into your work life with the competing pressures of a professional role is often a juggling act. A passion for enquiry, the need to contribute and to create new knowledge is at the heart of every practitioner researcher. With the move into to senior management I know this struggle well. It occurred to me that I am not alone and that others are also dealing with what Wilson (2013) calls – role conflict.

This keynote will share the stories of five practitioners all with a great capacity for asking both unanswerable and answerable questions. During 2015, I interviewed three educators, a creator of immersive play experiences and a Pro-Vice Chancellor in a busy city university. Through their stories we explore: how practitioner researchers find time for research; what support structures are required to continue to be an active researcher; how they collaborate and share their research and finally how they deal with role conflict and the impetus to produce quality research. Like you, I want to know what conditions make it possible for these people to be evidence-based practitioners and how they close the gap. It is my hope that by sharing their stories you will hear something to inspire and encourage you to keep looking for answers.

Kim Tairi is University Librarian at Swinburne University of Technology and the current President of VALA Libraries, Technology, Future Inc. She is a passionate advocate for libraries and information professionals. A life-long learner, avid tweeter, educator and a librarian, she has been working in the tertiary sector for over 20 years. A member of the Horizon Project Expert Panel she is interested in the impact of technology on education and libraries. Kim’s motto in both her personal and professional life is: be creative, take risks, have fun and do what you love.

 Sponsored by The State Library of Queensland

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