career development

An Alternative Flight Path – An (upcoming) Conference Presentation

I have a paper to write and present for a half-day conference happening in Brisbane next month – ALIA People Power. One of the themes is ‘out of the ordinary’ library roles. Well, mine is exactly that. I’ve been asked from time to time, mostly at networking events, what a librarian can do in aviation. I like talking about my job, so the conference is a perfect opportunity to share what I do in my role in aviation, in engineering and maintenance for an airline.

The Australian aviation industry’s governing body, the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA), impose a responsibility on airlines to effectively maintain and provide access to approved technical data (and publications) for continued airworthiness. The engineering technical library contributes to the airline’s compliance in holding an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC).

In my paper (and presentation), I will be introducing delegates to the unique information environment – regulations, information needs and operational requirements, and the type of content held in the library collection. I will discuss the importance of accuracy, currency and control of publications, as well as describe my role and outline library processes.

I aim to share an insight into an industry I’ve become addicted to. Aviation is an ever-changing and very exciting industry to be involved in. Every day I see airplanes take off and land. Airplanes are remarkable pieces of engineering. I have a much deeper appreciation for them, and the work that goes into designing and maintaining them, than ever before.

Library and information professionals should not shy away from these out of the ordinary roles, but be enthusiastic about broadening experiences and applying expertise beyond traditional library walls.

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