Meet the ALLA (WA) Committee 2017-2018: Alice Hewitt

With a new Committee working hard, we thought it was time to share a little bit about who the Committee is behind the scenes. Over the next few weeks each committee member will answer a few questions so you can get to know them better. Don't forget you can meet them in real life at our events

Alice Hewitt, ALLA (WA) Secretary 2017-2018 
Alice Hewitt, on set.

Who is a hero who has inspired you in your career? Oh this one is always hard, my career has been a bit varied so far and at the moment I'm doing some very interesting Project Coordinator stuff that even includes video production! (Who saw that coming when I became a Librarian?). 
I'm moving back into law libraries in the new year, and part of that decision was inspired by all the great law librarians in WA (and even those I've met all over Australia and across the globe!). 
I guess I'm easily inspired as every day I'm inspired by something to try something new, make a plan, learn something and sometimes even forget something! 

What is the proudest moment in your professional life? I've been proud of the variety. I'm not a one trick pony! 
I've been pretty proud of successfully receiving Public Purposes Trust grants to purchase specialist law texts. I've also been proud of successfully introducing De-Stress Fest to the students of ECU (the day the kittens arrived was brilliant!). I've been proud of my recent project - which although a challenge - has seen me coordinate a cross team group of experts to deliver an awesome (I'm biased) online module for students. I've been proud of going to the ACBD/CALL Conference and representing ALLA Ltd at the AGM there.. I've been proud of revamping LibGuides and watching the usage rates soar. I'm proud of every student who I have helped complete their assignment, their PhD, prepare for a moot, and even just figure out referencing so they no longer need to stress over that! 
Aside from showing the world that being a Librarian is far more varied than what most people believes, I think this shows I take pride in my work, particularly new challenges. But mostly, I take pride because I enjoy it. (So students and graduate librarians, embrace every opportunity!)

Career advice – what’s your top tip? Repeating myself here, but embrace the opportunities. Don't be afraid of new. And most definitely, don't be afraid of failing - you can learn an awful lot from that!

What’s your favourite legal research tool? The one I've never stopped using, even when not working in a law library is Legify - makes authoritative legislation so quick to locate! Another I love is JustCite - particular its ability to link through to the full text on another law database. 

If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be? Next year is a new job for me, so that will be my project. Learning the ropes, and maybe even tying a few in knots to make them easier to handle. 

Library cliché: What is your favourite book? (Or one of your favourite books?) It's not a recent book as I don't really read many books these days (not enough brain power when I get home or is it just and addiction to Netflix?). The book that always comes to mind when I'm asked this is something I read way back when I was in High School : The Raging Quiet - Sheryl Jordan

If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would it be? A Cephlapod. Those guys know things, I mean, who else can rewrite their own genes?  Also, I'm currently allergic to the little buggers and think it would be an entertaining twist. I'll just make sure not to turn into the kind that gets eaten for dinner though - maybe this one.

Why did you join the ALLA (WA) Committee? Feels so long ago now when I joined. Back then I joined because I was a new grad, just starting out in law libraries. It's been a great way to learn, network and develop connections within the industry. I encourage everyone, even if you're not a new grad, to think about joining - so much to know and associations (and the volunteers) are how the library industry moves forward. 


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