Barbara Waha
Master of IT for Library and Information Science (LIS) student at QUT

Read Barbara's paper here:
Bio:
I am from Germany, I am 51 years old now and I started my Masters of IT for LIS at QUT in July 2010.
I finished my Bachelor degree at Humboldt University in Berlin in 1983. Then I have gained work experience in libraries for almost 5 years. I worked in an academic and a medical library as well as in an information centre of a big company in Germany. After 1989 I had to change my profession and I worked as a Financial Controller and Risk Manager in a bank in Germany for 18 years.
To come back into the LIS profession is a big challenge, but also a passion for me.


Presentation Title:
The power of LLL (life – long learning)


Abstract:
The purpose of the presentation is to report about a mature German Library and Information Science (LIS) student who returned to the University environment to pursue her Masters at QUT after 27 years. It describes the challenges of studying in a foreign country, in a second language and in a new online learning environment.
Lifelong learning is an essential part of being an Information Professional. It does not only increase professional skills and knowledge, but also enhances personal development and social inclusion. These benefits inspired this 50 year old student to leave her home and her family and start her Masters in Library Information Science (LIS) in 2010. One of the motivators for this was improving professional competitiveness as well as employability as an Information Professional.
This presentation is an exploration of the possibilities that returning to study as a mature age student offers, in terms of skill and knowledge development. It demonstrates the steps taken as part of this journey, as well as the support given by University, family and friends, with a focus on the importance of this support in LLL.
It is crucial to get (and stay) up to date with the current trends and issues in the library and information environment, in order to be able to provide an excellent client focused service. In particular, the fast pace of technology development and constantly changing client needs are a challenge. The illustration of the stages, the difficulties and the organisational and mental aspects of this journey aims to encourage other Information professionals to investigate opportunities to become active lifelong learners.