Queensland Library Foundation Major Donors Reception
Our Foundation President Mr Max Walters and Board Directors; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure for Kaye and me to join you for tonight’s reception in recognition of major donors to the Queensland Library Foundation.
Just last week Kaye and I held a luncheon at Government House to recognise the beneficial work of Queensland’s librarians, including our newly appointed State Librarian.
I am not sure, Professor Sussex, what the correct collective noun for librarians actually is? A hush? A volume, perhaps? I Tweeted a photo of the gathering suggesting it was a catalogue, but I will, if I may, defer to your considerable expertise…
Kaye and I are conspicuously aware of the important work our libraries and librarians do for the contentment of us all.
I learnt from a young age that considerable personal contentment could be derived from adhering to the librarian’s mantra of keeping quiet, Kaye and I having met in our early 20s when Kaye was librarian at the UQ School of Law – though I think the “silence please” signs are long gone!
Personal contentment aside, there is significant community contentment to be derived from libraries and librarians – and indeed professionals in the wider information services sphere.
This occurs through the meticulous cataloguing and preserving of our State’s rich and varied heritage and history, evidenced recently through the State Library’s acquisition of the Lord Lamington portrait which now hangs proudly at Fernberg.
And libraries remain very much crucibles of learning – indeed they foster a great love of learning, which you could say is as important as ever in what is being termed our ‘post-truth’ world: and we may depend on Professor Sussex for elucidation of what that means – if anything.
I am told there was another finalist for ‘Word of the Year’, one which I suggest emboldens our librarians more so than ‘post-truth’, and it is that wonderful Danish word, seemingly impossibly pronounced – given its spelling – hygge (pron. Hoo-ga).
Hygge is the “quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment of well-being”, and it is the quality I hope many of us will attain over the Christmas break, relaxed in a favourite comfy chair with an enthralling summer read!
And we do so in the uplifting knowledge that Queensland remains well served by its magnificent institutions, not least of which is our august State Library.
And we do so equally assured that the State Library’s success is underpinned by the Library Foundation and its many generous benefactors in whose honour we gather and whom Kaye and I in particular thank, on behalf of all Queenslanders, tonight.
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and fulfilling New Year. Thank you.