Informit’s key takeaways from the 2023 NSWPLA Switch Conference

We wanted to share Informit’s key insights and reflections from the NSWPLA Switch Conference in Sydney last week. Our team, consisting of Laki Sideris, Head of Product, Jessica Darnell, Product Manager, Amit Pattnaik, Head of Sales, and Jodie Fitz, Business Development Manager, had some great discussions with delegates about combating misinformation and disinformation, and the crucial role that libraries play in supporting active citizens and lifelong learners in society. 

Our team’s key takeaways from SWITCH were: 

1.Libraries can make a key difference to local, diverse communities

Amit introduced Kate Ferguson from Yarra Plenty Regional Library, who shared insights on the ‘Talking Together’ project. This Libraries for Health and Wellbeing Innovation Grant initiative is making a meaningful impact by engaging the Somali Australian population in Banyule, Melbourne. The packed house spoke volumes about the importance of creative, community-driven initiatives. 

2. The fight against misinformation is a global challenge

Laki attended a presentation on The IFLA-UNESCO Public Library Manifesto 2022 – IFLA, which outlines: “UNESCO’s belief in the public library as a living force for education, culture and information, and as an essential agent for the fostering of peace and welfare through the minds of all people.”

Libraries are on the front lines of creating information-literate societies, so the issue of misinformation and the importance of democracy are key ones for the sector, now more than ever. 

3. Australian-focused content is vital for Australian public libraries

Jessica ran live demos of our new product, Informit Explore, while Jodie chatted to librarians about how it’s the first major Australian database designed specifically for public libraries. With a focus on Australian content, Explore also includes the largest collection of First Nations publications, all in the one place. What we learnt was this: public library collections should reflect Australian society, and the important issues shaping our national identity. We are proud to say that Explore does just that, so it was a privilege to unveil this new product at SWITCH. 

The Informit team left the conference inspired by the work that’s taking place in the public library space and the role that libraries are taking in shaping informed and empowered communities. 

We look forward to continuing to connect with the delegates we met, in 2024 and beyond. 

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