September’s Marvellous, Electrical newsletter tells the story of Jay, who found himself running the sole pub in a country town of twenty thousand during a year of renovations.
“We look to Los Angeles
For the language we use
London is dead, London is dead…”
I never really listened to a lot of Morrissey, thinking about it. I mean, I had a bit of a Smiths phase at university and I put ‘Last of the International Playboys‘ on the mixtape for a stag do once — that’s about it.
Then Ziba Zehdar-Gazdecki, a cool librarian from Los Angeles, shared photos from a book event on social media.
Mozlandia? I had to find out more.
Today I’m joined by Amy Walduck, Queensland State Manager for the Australian library association ALIA.
Amy’s a government research librarian, musician, social media maven, and culture professional extraordinaire. She’s also creator of the @QLDLibraries Twitter account celebrating library achievements across Australia’s Sunshine State.
Amy was my partner in crime on various initiatives at the State Library of Queensland, including baking cakes for occupational therapists at Griffith University. She’s a natural networker, enthusiastic, innovative, and determined: great qualities in an ever-changing sector like Libraryland.
Pinned to the top of Amy’s Twitter timeline for most of 2017 has been this statement:
I started our chat by asking Amy: Why did you make this your 2017 life goal? Read more
We’re revisiting two previous instalments of Marvellous, Electrical in a new form this month.
My partner Marta Cabral reads “The Dough“, about Brisbane’s baker of Portuguese pastries, in a bilingual version here:
Portuguese speakers can also enjoy Marta reading “Foolaru”, my Australia Day piece from 2017, here:
Marvellous, Electrical is a two-year project in the form of an email newsletter from across Queensland, Australia and beyond.
My University of Southern Queensland colleague Kate Davis and I have won the tender to review the strategic vision for public libraries in Queensland, Australia.
We’ll be drafting a successor to the existing VISION 2017 document after a season of consultation, workshops, surveys, and interviews with library staff, managers, and key stakeholders from across the state.
I’ll be back in Canberra on 28th September to give the opening keynote of the music librarians’ conference, IAML Australia 2017.
“Sing Me A Library” will explore managing knowledge through sound, and outline some future directions for music-led information science.
Coming hot on the heels of my trip to New Zealand, you can expect something a little lively and a little bit different – raising the stakes from last year’s journey into TV themes, cultural history, and heavy metal.
Librarians old and new joined forces to explore their work with communities in new, messy, and productive ways.
Going beyond the vogue for design thinking, the safe, fictional space of “Library Island” allowed us to engage with knotty questions of office politics, limited resources, managerial edicts, and library users who are sometimes airbrushed out of “future visions” – such as homeless people or those whose behaviour might be challenging to staff. Read more
Vicki spoke with me about libraries as creative spaces supporting business and community projects as well as the arts and education. She also shared her own journey from a small-town library to executive leadership and strategic development roles in universities and local government.
“The power of libraries is in their responsiveness. Our community can ask to see anything in the collection; and we strive to encourage serendipity. If you think of a local public library and the way a community feels comfortable to walk through the doors and ask for our help, our services, it’s very different to how the public treat a museum or a gallery. At the State Library level, that means responding to the curiosity in people – and even encouraging them to be more curious!”
I joined forces with Donna Hancox, Director of Research Quality in Creative Industries at Queensland University of Technology, to talk about the impact of digital technology on rural and regional Australia.
You can read “Everyday Stories and Creativity: Regional Queensland and Transformative Technology” over at The Writing Platform.
“The world comes together every four years to compete in the soccer World Cup and the Olympics, but there are very few global events that celebrate the cultural as spectacle. We could argue for the Nobel Prize in Literature, but their budget for wind machines and holograms is notably lacklustre.”
Eurovision scholar Jess Carniel talks wind machines, geopolitics, and European identity while we get to the bottom of Brisbane’s moonshine industry in the latest instalment of Marvellous, Electrical.