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What I learned from Aurora is to take the broad view – to engage with the bigger questions about the culture and direction of my organisation and let that trickle down to my day-to-day decision making. - Michael Carney, 2016 Auroran


Michael entered the world of libraries, as a lot of people do, because he loves literature and the sense of the community that libraries provide. He began his studies at UTS in 2010, completing a Graduate Diploma of Information Management. Whilst studying, he started working at ABC as a Collection Services Officer, administering the ABC’s film and video collection. This role included managing requests for archival material and accessioning newly acquired material to be ready for broadcast. In 2011 Michael began working at the State Library NSW in a graduate position of Librarian. The role offered a fantastic opportunity to rotate through the various departments of the Library for 6 month intervals. This included working in cataloguing and acquisition, in reference and working with archival materials in the Original Materials Branch. The rotation program proved extremely worthwhile for Michael in gaining an organisation-wide view of the Library and how the different branches interrelated. After completing the rotation program, in 2013 Michael moved into a Specialist Librarian role working with manuscript and pictorial collections. This included the archival arrangement and description of collection material and working on the Special Collections Desk in the Mitchell Library.

In 2016, just a week before attending Aurora, Michael became Coordinator Projects and Policy at the State Library NSW. This job entails the administration of the Library’s extensive project register involving some of the organisation’s most important work including large acquisitions of the Fairfax Media Archive and the Red Cross Archive and the processing of important heritage collections such as the Max Dupain and Angus and Robertson archives. The policy aspect of the job oversees the renewal of existing policy and developing new Library policies from the ground-up. Examples of policies that Michael has developed include the State Library’s Sensitive Collections and Confidential Information Policy and Subpoena Policy. Over the span of his career Michael has been a certified professional member of the Australian Libraries and Information Association (ALIA) and presented several research papers at ALIA conferences including Opposite Sides of the Same Street (2012), Governors, Judges and Changing Libraries and Librarians Don’t Read On The Job (2014). In 2015, Michael partnered with ALIA to present a series of workshops on Wikipedia Editing for Library staff in each capital city around Australia.  

In 2016 he presented a paper at the Australian Society of Archivists’ Conference entitled Managing acquisitions of Heritage Collections in the State Library of NSW. Attending Aurora came at a fantastic point in Michael’s career as he was moving into an area which required him to deal with more complex situations and make important organisational decisions by weighing up relevant information. The course content of Aurora with its methodology for dealing with challenging situations, was directly applicable to the Michael’s new role where he liaises with other leaders in the organisation as well as external stakeholders. The networks Michael made during his 5 day study, he has maintained and prove invaluable for him to be able to check in with other professionals at a similar point in their career.

"What I learned from Aurora is to take the broad view – to engage with the bigger questions about the culture and direction of my organisation and let that trickle down to my day-to-day decision making". Michael Carney, 2016 Auroran