For those unfamiliar with Gough Whitlam and his short-lived reformist Labor Party government, 2023 is a milestone. Labor, under Whitlam’s leadership, came to power close to 50 years ago in early December 1972 after 23 years in opposition, and controversially dismissed in November of 1975. In its short tenure this government was to change the face of Australia forever by implementing a raft of seismic reforms.… Continue reading “E.G. Whitlam’s vision for Australia’s public libraries”
A/Prof Mary Carroll, School of Information and Communication Studies, Charles Sturt University.
This blog post is really a continuation of a previous post from December 2021 which discussed research into the establishment of early colonial library collections in Australia. This research looks at three elements of public libraries—their collection—their systems and– their space and decoration. This post will look explain why we should consider the public library as imagined and realised through its space and decoration.
Thirteenth—The intended Library. May every Inhabitant of Colony unite in promoting the general diffusion of useful Knowledge! (Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (1813). ‘A toast’, 30 January. p.2).
The notion of the Public library is one we often assume is understood in the same way internationally. In contemporary literature the notion of the public library is characterised as being a third or community space providing a positive place for communities to come together and to freely access information and resources and address disadvantage. … Continue reading “A reflection on the origins of Australian public libraries”