State Library of South Australia

Director's Cut

Date: 6 March 2014

Sharks, ships, erstwhile sons sent to the other side of the world, hiking boots and glorious dioramas - what on earth could they possibly have in common? Almost the only place they could be in all at once is a library and this month they do indeed all come together in this issue you are reading now. If anything could prove the extraordinary diversity of what we collect and care for, this is it.

Mortlock Library
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That diversity is not just in subject matter or period of time represented but in the medium in which the collected information is embedded. Films, photographs, hand written journals (often barely legible), three dimensional objects, artworks, electronic material in a bewildering variety of formats, ephemera (such a beautiful word - say it out loud) and yes, books - still lots and lots of books. All of these have been welcomed into our collections and I am sure that you will enjoy reading about the few highlights that we have picked out for your edification.

I am particularly delighted that material from three very different South Australians, working in very different fields and all offering valuable insights into our world on land, sea and in the creative imagination respectively have been added to our collections recently. Rodney Fox, Stephen Bowers and the late Warren Bonython have made indelible marks upon the life of our State and I am so glad that we will be able to preserve their kindly donated material for the benefit of future generations.

Access to our collections of course is just as important to us as the collecting in the first place and the preservation and care of those items entrusted to us. How people explore, use and reuse our material has changed dramatically as we strive to digitise more and more, and our library buildings, spaces and services need to change to reflect this. We have taken the opportunity given by the Adelaide City Council lending library vacating its space off our ground floor foyer to install a lounge and activity area to be known as Your Hub @ the State Library. It is being installed as I write this and will be opened to the community later this month. This facility will continue to develop and evolve to meet customer needs.

Finally I wish to congratulate the Adelaide City Council on the opening of their splendid new library in Rundle Place. Their move to their splendid new premises has enabled us to redesign part of our ground floor, so it has been a win all round.

Back to e-xtra 2014 - Autumn stories

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