President's letter - December 2011

Dear Members,

Only 3 sleeps until Christmas – can you believe it?!!
The month of December seems to have disappeared into some sort of vortex... surely it hasn’t been 3 weeks since the ALLA Christmas Party?! Like all of you, December has been a busy month for me – starting with a trip to KL for the IALL 2011 Conference: The Dynamics of Malaysian Law in the Global World. Librarians from all over the world attended, with some familiar Aussie faces – Robin Gardner, Natalie Weiland, scholarship winner Debbie Bennett, IALL President Petal Kinder and ex-pat Ruth Bird. The papers were amazing and covered a broad range of topics – including Islamic banking principles, maritime law, human rights, legal education and research in Malaysia, and a fabulous panel presentation on access to free legal resources in Malaysia, Singapore, India, Australia and the Philippines.
And just like that... 2011 draws to an end. In a year that has flown by, we have eaten breakfast together, lunched together and drank together at a number of fantastic events that have seen attendance double and even triple on past years. We have welcomed new committee members, and farewelled some long-term committee members. We have seen many job changes through the year, we have farewelled some familiar faces and we have welcomed new law library professionals.
And – most importantly – we have supported each other throughout the year. Loans, information requests and assistance with research are just some of the ways ALLA members support each other locally and nationally. But there is another vital way in which we support each other – and that is emotionally. Being a new information professional in law or working in a single person library can be extremely daunting and, at times, very lonely. Even professionals in larger libraries face new and unfamiliar challenges and can benefit from the experience and knowledge of their peers from other libraries. And let’s face it – no matter how long you have been in the profession, some days you just need a friendly ear and a reassuring smile from a colleague who understands. ALLA(WA) is much more than a professional body – we are a community, with relationships built on respect and life-long friendships. As we move toward a national body in 2012, it is important to look upon the move as expanding our community – and not the loss of our identity as a State group.
As 2012 looms in the not-too-distant future, we can already see a bigger and better year ahead. From the Icebreaker to the Christmas party, and many more in-between, the CPD Committee is already planning a series of exciting and interesting events for next year – including papers, tours and yummy treats.  Keep an eye on the blog for more information!
On behalf of the Committee, I would like to wish all of our members and their families a safe holiday season, a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

That’s all for now folks - blog you later!
Kirsty McPhee
ALLA(WA) President 2011/2012


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