A network for new and aspiring library professionals
In this interview we speak to Sally Turbitt and Amy Walduck, co-founders of the Library podcast Turbitt & Walduck. The interview discusses advice for new professionals, how podcasts can help career development and the duos proudest achievements.
Can you tell us a bit about your background? How did you first become involved in the library and information profession?
Sally – my background is in administration, project management and community services and I have worked in for multinationals, small business and the not for profit sector. I returned to study in 2009 at TAFE and then In 2010 I commenced a degree in health science, but quickly realised how much I enjoyed accessing and navigating the library databases and sourcing information for essays! After speaking with the School of Information Studies at Charles Stuart University, I switched degrees and graduated from the Bachelor of Information Studies in 2014.
Since then I have held roles in a medical library, public library and research information management and communication and now work for the Australian Library and Information Association as the NSW State Manager.
Amy – In a previous life I was a music teacher, and as a Conservatorium trained musician, I believe that spontaneously bursting into song and dance is perfectly acceptable, anywhere, anytime. My training and studies in music often led me to exploring archives and library collections for unusual music and after many years of teaching and playing professionally, I began looking for a new challenge. Libraries didn’t seem like an obvious fit to some, but I found the challenge of research, curating information and advocating for library services and library staff to be a perfect fit for me. My Graduate Diploma in Information Studies has led me to work in academic, special and public libraries and I’m now working in my own business Pineapple GLAM, providing career support, social media training and networking and online presence for entrepreneurs and libraries.
My interests lie in entrepreneurship, innovation, social media, professional empowerment and advocacy. I love learning new things and sharing things with others.
Tell us about your podcast, who is it aimed at and what is its purpose?
The Library Podcast is an Australian podcast focused on sharing the stories and work of library people. So far we have had guests from Australia, New Zealand and the United States who work in public, special and academic libraries and museums. We’ve talked about cataloguing, augmented and virtual reality, resilience, dyslexia, indigenous communities, gaming in libraries and answered questions from our listeners.
The podcast is aimed at library and information professionals as well as students who want to know about our profession and the work we do. We do have non-library workers who listen, they enjoy hearing about the work we do – pretty cool!
What prompted you to create the podcast?
Every time we attended an event or conference, we would say to each other “did you hear this person speak” or “did you meet *insert name*?”. This got us thinking about how to create a platform for library people to share their work and knowledge and Turbitt & Duck was born in October 2017. Neither of us had any experience in podcasting but we both have lots of enthusiasm, tech skills and are always ready to learn new things!
What are your proudest achievements connected to the podcast?
We recently hit the 10,000 downloads mark which, for a niche topic in podcast world is something we are very proud of. Receiving feedback from listeners on what they learnt from our guests or how they have felt encouraged to learn more or make a change is also fantastic. And we love seeing our guests receive praise and thanks for the work that they do – we should all do this more!
We are proud to provide a place to for all our guests to share their thoughts, fears and challenges and believe it’s important we address all of the issues of librarianship, not just the fun, happy parts of our work. Our most downloaded episode to date was on critical librarianship and cataloguing, it was a really thought provoking discussion which obviously struck a chord with the library community.
What do you hope to achieve in the future/what are your plans for the future?
Our plan is to continue interviewing and finding new people to speak to and we are exploring live podcast recordings at the moment. We will keep engaging with the Turbitt & Duck community – we love their enthusiasm and willingness to push boundaries and speak up.
How has the podcast helped with your professional development?
Research, editing, producing and promoting episodes gives us both plenty of hours to enter into the professional development scheme we both participate in! Plus, Turbitt & Duck has been an opportunity to expand our networks (to find interviewees) and explore ways to connect with the industry in Australia and abroad. Interviewing library people and listening to their experiences has also given us opportunities to identify areas in our own professional work that need improvement and attention – it’s not just our listeners that learn and pick up ideas from our guests!
What advice would you give to a new professionals?
Many of our guests are new professionals who have all found ways to think and work differently, create change and challenge the “this is how we’ve always done it” mentality. Some have blos and speak about their experiences, some are heavily involved in library and information research and some are busy working in their libraries, introducing new ways of working and providing meaningful programs. There’s space for new ideas and change, you just need to be bold and find opportunities that work for you.
Lastly, can you recommend any other networks/groups/sites that might be of interest to new professionals?
Connect with the library community on Twitter – there are so many people sharing their work and lots of challenging conversations as well. We enjoy the discussions on #AusLibChat and #CritLib and always follow library conferences and symposiums for up to date discussions and a wide range of views.