18 October, 2009

in melbourne for the SPUN conference

SPUN conference photos taken at CQ Melbourne on Queen Street by Caroline Ramsden (caro6302) :

These State Library of Victoria images taken from cnr Swanston Street and LaTrobe, and inside the Dome.

I've fallen in love with Melbourne.
I started the week with an enjoyable day at our own QPLA/PLA conference (check out #qpla09 on twitter) in Townsville, then while everyone else was listening to Noel Pearson, Helen Hooper, Susan Coker, etc, and showing guests around our libraries, I flew to Melbourne for the SPUN conference where I was fortunate to meet dozens of librarians who work with Spydus every day.

My days were full with the conference, but in late afternoons and on Saturday I took the opportunity to explore the city. Next time I'll stay longer and explore St Kilda, Luna Park, etc. So I found the City Library in Flinders Lane, a vibrant packed-full-of-people library in a very busy precinct. They have the Living Library concept, and loads more - just go there! I participated in the iMap project of course, 'cause I love public art projects.

I was told there was a subscription library in Collins Street, so, not ever having visited one - I had to of course. Melbourne's Athenaeum, very nearly 170 years old and still attracting subscribers/readers. I loved the theatrical atmosphere and the gentlemanly leather armchairs. I was told they may still had a card catalogue, but I saw computers in operation, and current fiction titles.

And I visited the State Library of Victoria - very impressive architecture, especially the LaTrobe Dome Reading Room (based on the British Museum Reading Room I'd suppose?). I got to see a few exhibitions: The Independent Type: Books and Writing in Victoria (including the laptop on which Peter Carey wrote The True History of the Kelly Gang) and Ned Kelly's armour in The Changing Face of Victoria. His death mask was also on display so I didn't need to pay for a tour at Old Melbourne Gaol 'cause it was all at the library (and I hate old jail tours - have visited both Fremantle and Port Arthur). RMIT students were playing soccer in the grounds bordered by the old gaol - I just find the atmosphere melancholic. I've visited most of the state libraries now except Darwin and Adelaide and STILL love Brisbane's SLQ the most. The vibrancy, the 21st century atmosphere... but hey, SLV was packed. Being Saturday I missed meeting Mike or Lilli at the Centre for Youth Literature. My bad.

Also checked out FedSquare - a most happening place! Flinders Street Station - 100 years old and the busiest suburban railway station in the southern hemisphere, Aki Sushi, laneways just bursting with life, and I went on a tram for the first time ever!! Counterclockwise from LaTrobe Street, past DFO (no time), Parliament House and then SLV.

Conference news - much Spydus work, meeting lots of fascinating librarians especially all Queenslanders from Atherton to Lockyer Valley and Civica staff who have previously just been voices on the phone (although I met Nikki in TSV), postive information on RDA - goodbye AACRII (don't like some terms like 'expression of the work', but overall - positive), Talking Tech - an amazing green solution, LibraryThing for Libraries from Thorpe-Bowker, service pods in UK libraries, and more.

Should have taken my laptop to the conference to tweet (and catch up on work emails) 'cause the hotel internet connection was not so hot, but I kinda enjoyed the downtime. I tweeted from Brisbane airport on return journey just 'cause why not? but I didn't have much time between flights.

And on return, a note from BFF Kerry who will be moving to Melbourne in January! So I will return. Beautiful city. Note for next time - buy a black coat.

And thanks Townsville CC and my managers for sending me. I know some librarians aren't allowed conferences interstate or at all, so yet another big tick for TCC. I have so much Spydus work to go on with on my return.

You will be inundated with Spydus requests on your return, and you will welcome them.

1 comment:

comrade harps said...

Funny, I was there too. The city street based season creep things in October and into November were written whilst overlooking Little Colins Street from the balcony during breaks being refusing to network.