This month, LTSA caught up with ex-student Kaili Parker-Price to chat all things Library Education.
Hi Kaili, thanks for taking the time to share with our readers your recent experience studying at LTSA. Let’s get started, tell us a little about you.
My name is Kaili Parker-Price. I started my professional life as a cadet journalist at 18 and have worked on/off in the print media industry ever since.
I joined Gympie Regional Libraries about 15 years ago as an Assistant Librarian for the one-(wo)man branch at Imbil. It did not require qualifications and the part-time work suited my stay-at-home life. It was perfect as I have two small children who could walk to the library after school. I also covered the odd shift at the central Gympie Library.
As a result of my work there, I decided to gain a formal library qualification in the hopes of obtaining a full-time role.
In the meantime, a full-time job was offered to me in student services & admin at the Gympie Campus at the University of the Sunshine Coast, which is my current employer.
You recently studied with LTSA, can you tell us what education program you completed?
I studied for and achieved the Diploma of Library and Information Services as a distance student.
Congratulations on such an achievement, could you tell us about your study habits and if you found LTSA to be a flexible study option?
My study habits certainly improved as I got further into the course. At the start I found I would do the readings and take a quick look at the assessments. This would only lead to having a small freak-out and walking away from the content for a few weeks. I didn’t go to university after high school as I had landed a cadetship straight from year 12, so this level of study was very new to me.
However, I found I inevitably thrived on being exposed to industry skills and knowledge. Because at the end of the day I had more than 12 years of practical knowledge at my disposal. I was able to draw on this when needed and it certainly filled in a lot of the background information about why Librarians do the things we do.
Once I understood how the assessment process worked and committed myself to some firm deadlines, I found it much easier. Organisation is a big key to distance learning.
Helen Ladewig and rest of the LTSA staff were so very approachable and supportive. The learnings are highly relevant to many topics in the news today – copyright, OHS, digitisation, preservation – which gave me a deeper understanding of everyday life as well as my job.
What about your studies did you enjoy the most?
Returning to Learning was amazing. I had always been a good student but I had really stopped learning. The stimulation and realisation that lifelong learning can bring to you is amazing.
The specific library courses were the best. I have always been heavily involved in community groups in a regional country area and the opportunities for learning really interests me. The digitisation of our world, importance of record keeping and preservation and lifelong learning are issues which cut across most sectors. I have been able to use new-found skills in my current role at the university.
What would you say was the biggest lesson from your program?
To never stop learning. I also realised how important information and informed living is to our community. I’m particularly interested in the gap between people who understand and use technology and devices and those who are being marginalised by the technologies. For example the under-educated, poorly resourced people with little access to technology.
How did completing your studies change your life?
My research skills have improved my own access to information and the diploma has confirmed my love of libraries and their role as a gateway to information. I have always been an avid reader but this is so much more than that!