Queensland Library Foundation End of Year Function
Justice Bradley; Chairperson of the Library Board of Queensland, Professor Andrew Griffiths; Queensland Library Foundation Council President, Ms Helen Brodie; fellow Board members; State Librarian, Ms Vicki McDonald; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I at once acknowledge the Traditional Owners and First Nations peoples of the lands on which we are gathered, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
Kaye and I are delighted to join you, as we celebrate another remarkable year in the life of Queensland Library Foundation which so richly animates our beloved State Library.
As I enjoy the architectural brilliance of this building, I recollect the library’s old home in William Street.
Amongst the State Library’s impressive digital collection is a photograph of the Library’s main reading room taken in 1975.
In the image, patrons work diligently at round tables, while a hefty card catalogue looms in the foreground. The aesthetic is functional and austere. There is not a computer in sight.
While we all have nostalgic memories of this grand Library of the past, the transformation from the pre-digital library, to the one we take great pride in today – here in the heart of the Cultural Centre – has been monumental.
The impact on our State has been equally significant.
Where once the Library was devoted predominantly to curating books and collections, it has become so much more. With these changes, a wonderful vitality and sense of inclusion has developed.
The State Library of Queensland is now a meeting place, an entertainment venue, a community hub; it is a place where experimentation is encouraged, ‘welcome’ is said in many languages, and where our unique heritage and cultural treasures are brought to life through exhibitions, and events.
This extraordinary metamorphosis is the result of hard work and passion; both by dedicated librarians and staff, and, we principally recognise tonight, through the generous contributions of library lovers – the donors, supporters and corporate sponsors of the Queensland Library Foundation.
As the collection grows, and the demand for the library services continues to rise in communities far from Brisbane, I know that all of you here this evening, will do everything you can to ensure the State Library’s continued success. Consistent with the Library’s State-wide reach, this will occur across our State.
Your financial support has helped the State Library realise its vision of “inspiring possibilities through knowledge, stories and creativity”.
Initiatives such as digitising precious films, preserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, and encouraging our State’s most inquisitive thinkers through fellowships and awards, are examples of the impact your benevolence is having.
As Patron, and on behalf of all Queenslanders, I thank Queensland Library Foundation Council members and each of you here for helping the State Library to implement its programs.
I also commend the wonderful State Library itself – the Board, executive and staff – for preserving our State’s rich stories, while forging new paths to enlighten our future.