Speaker Profile(s): Brenna Cook & Rebecca Whitehead


Meet another two ALIA Access speakers – Brenna Cook and Rebecca Whitehead from the Barr Smith Library, University of Adelaide.

Brenna Cook and Rebecca Whitehead

Brenna Cook and Rebecca Whitehead

1. Can you please give us a taste of what you will be speaking about at the conference?
Well, let’s face it: there aren’t a lot of people working as librarians under the age of 40 or so. This is good! Those of us who find ourselves younger than this have a fantastic resource that we can access whenever we need to: our colleagues. We’ll be talking about what we’ve learned from older colleagues and what every younger or newer librarian MUST learn from them.

As new librarians we will be talking about the valuable lessons we have learnt from our baby boomer colleagues and how this has helped us survive our first year and a bit in the academic library world. 

2. In your field of work, what is inspiring, exciting or challenging you at the moment?
The academic library I work in is undergoing an enormous renovation that, when completed, will have the library as a vital part of a brand new student hub. Until then, there are all sorts of space and noise issues to deal with. But, quite honestly, it keeps things interesting.

It seems there are always lots of things exciting happening in Libraries. As Brenna mentioned our Library is currently in renovation mode and it will be very exciting to see how the Library evolves over the next year or so. I am also currently working in cataloguing so the small things like finding the perfect LCSH excite me at the moment! 

3. If you will be visiting Brisbane for the first time, what are you looking forward to the most? If you are a local or know Brisbane well, please share your favourite thing to do or place to visit in Brisbane.
Museums! I like museums (particularly their gift shops…), and as I’m currently studying for a Masters in Cultural Heritage (museum stuff) I have a fantastic excuse reason to visit them regularly. I’m really looking forward to visiting GOMA.

This will be my second time in Brisbane and I am looking forward to the sunshine. Unfortunately I can’t say that I am looking forward to standing up in front of a large group of people and speaking, but I am looking forward to telling my friends and family that I did it!

4. What is the best experience you have ever had at a library conference?
NLS4 was my first library conference and I really enjoyed it. It was so inspiring to be with a HUGE group of people who really love libraries.

I was a very new Librarian when I attended NLS4 and it was a fantastic experience. I think the highlight for me was being inspired by hearing other new grad’s speak and sharing these experiences with my colleagues on my return home.

2 Responses to “Speaker Profile(s): Brenna Cook & Rebecca Whitehead”

  1. One thing « Rien d'important Says:

    […] link: I really enjoyed this article on the ALIA Access Blog. Nice to see the future of our libraries are in safe hands. Share this […]

  2. Jennifer Says:

    Speaking as one of the baby boomers (although I only just qualify for this group, I was born in the same year as Spanish film actor Victoria Abril…) , we are proud and happy to have the University of Adelaide library represented by such lovely librarians. I know that they will be talking about “the valuable lessons we have learnt from our baby boomer colleagues” but, as a mentor, I have learnt just as much from Rebecca and Brenna as they have from me. Their enthusiasm, new ideas and fresh perspectives have contributed a lot to our profession.

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