Meet the ALLA (WA) Committee 2017-2018: David McDowell

With a new Committee working hard, we thought it was time to share a little bit about who the Committee is behind the scenes. Over the next few weeks each committee member will answer a few questions so you can get to know them better. Don't forget you can meet them in real life at our events

David McDowell, ALLA (WA) Committee Member 2017-2018

David McDowell
Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Who is a hero who has inspired you in your career?
My family always encouraged me with my career choices despite them not always being the most lucrative or having the best job prospects. I worked a few different jobs before settling on a career working in libraries. I can't identify one person alone who influenced that decision but the people I have worked with along the way have made me feel that this was the direction I was meant to take. 

What is the proudest moment in your professional life?
Does staying consistently employed in the library field count? I guess the same can be said about a lot of industries but starting out in the library field these days can be pretty rough. I was very fortunate to get paid work from my university practicum which provided me with the experience to get other library jobs. Therefore I'm proud that my skills and attitude towards work have provided me with a variety of opportunities in the field.
    
Career advice – what’s your top tip?
Allow your career to takes unexpected twists and turns that could never have imagined when you first started. When I started working in libraries I only wanted to be a public library librarian. I enjoyed my time doing that immensely but I have been challenged by taking up opportunities in academic and law libraries. I have developed a whole range of research skills that I wouldn't have been capable of a few years ago. 

What’s your favourite legal research tool?
CaseBase & the abbreviation guide was a lifesaver when I was first starting at Jackson McDonald and didn't know the acronyms for law reports. While I wouldn't recommend people using it as their only legal research tool - it is user friendly.   

If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?
I like learning new skills and updating old ones. I haven't be required to do any computer coding since my university days so a project that involved me picking that up again would be good.  

Library cliché: What is your favourite book? (Or one of your favourite books?)
Tomorrow, when the war began by John Marsden. This was the compulsory high school read that encouraged teenage boy me to read the rest of the series for pleasure.   

If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would it be?
An elephant. I used to love watching Babar as a kid. 

Why did you join the ALLA (WA) Committee?
It's great to get to know the people that make up our law library community better and to work on events or projects that benefit us all. 

Talks

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