Thursday, July 20, 2006

City of churches

Last week I attended the 21st annual conference of Australian and New Zealand Theological Library Association (ANZTLA), held at St. Mark's College, University of Adelaide. The conference theme was "keyed in or locked out." Like it or not, libraries are no longer repositories of musty old books and other artificacts that no one is interested in looking at. Those who work in them must adapt to a brave new world in which print and electronic resources coexist, and be equally comfortable providing their patrons with access to both of them.

The keynote speaker this year was Flinders University theologian Dr Norman Habel. One of his passions is environmental theology. The basic thrust of this is that because nature is part of God's creation, we can honour Him by being good stewards of our planet and its resources. To Habel, this is not pantheism, nor is it worshipping the creation rather than the Creator. He sees it as obedience to a Biblical mandate.

Another speaker was the prolific childrens' author, Christobel Mattingly. I knew of her work, but had no idea that she was a Christian until now. She believes that her talent for writing is a gift from God, and she reminded us all to discover our own gifts, if we hadn't already, and not waste them. It was good to be reminded of this.

Each year the conference organisers invite a delegate from each state to give a brief presentation about their workplace and related issues. I gave a brief overview of Kingsley College and the preliminary work I've done in planning for its new library when our campus eventually relocates.

Among other highlights on the conference program was a professional issues session on ergonomics. Heeding the advice given might reduce the frequency my physiotherapy appointments. Adelaide is a beautiful city, and I look forward to eventually returning some time for a proper holiday. I commend the South Australian chapter of ANZTLA in organising a successful and stimulating conference.


dobbo said...

Glad you had a good time representing Kingsley and mixing with the Library crew. See you back at work on Monday

Ross said...

Thanks Peter. Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging.

Glen O'Brien said...

Sounds like a great conference Ross. Welcome back.