E.G. Whitlam’s vision for Australia’s public libraries

MARY CARROLL

Campaign for federal funding for public libraries after the publication of the Horton report: Horton hatches the egg, Tharunka (Kensington, NSW : 1953 – 2010), Monday 17 October 1977, page 4

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”

An initial exploration of the history of Australian libraries and collections as forces of social control and whiteness: A presentation for the 2022 American Library History Round Table research seminar

By Holly Randell-Moon, Mary Carroll and Louise Curham

At 5 AM Thursday the 16th of June Australian Eastern Standard Time (3 PM EDT Wednesday 15th June) Mary Carroll, Louise Curham (School of Information and Communication Studies) and Holly Randell-Moon (School of Indigenous Australian Studies) presented an online paper to an international audience as part of the American Library History Round Table (LHRT) research seminar. The paper, Whiteness and goodness: an initial exploration of the history of Australian libraries and collections as forces of social control, was a great example of the strength a collaborative interdisciplinary approach can bring to library and information studies and historical research.… Continue reading “An initial exploration of the history of Australian libraries and collections as forces of social control and whiteness: A presentation for the 2022 American Library History Round Table research seminar”

Australian public libraries by design

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.

Why is space and decoration important?… Continue reading “Australian public libraries by design”

A reflection on the origins of Australian public libraries

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”

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