Sarah-Jane spends three days at State Library of Queensland

On a recent visit to Brisbane, Sarah-Jane Morris from Goondiwindi Regional Council Library Service met with State Library of Queensland staff to learn more about Rural Libraries Queensland (RLQ) and managing her library.

Sarah-Jane is newly employed in public libraries but has 5 years’ experience in the educational library sector. Sarah-Jane is passionate in creatively connecting the community to literacy and moving libraries further onto the 21st century.

While she was here we asked her some questions about her life and libraries.

Sarah-Jane from Goondiwindi Library outside the Lifestyle Exhibition on her visit to State Library of Queensland.

Sarah-Jane from Goondiwindi Library outside the Lifestyle Exhibition on her visit to State Library of Queensland.

How was your visit to State Library? 

I thoroughly enjoyed it! Especially networking and seeing the variety of services available first hand.

How did you become a part of Libraries?

Libraries have always been a part of my life.  At school, they were a place of refuge from bullies and a place of different worlds that left me in a state of wonderment. The many words in the pages of the books I borrowed fed my curious mind. I disliked school and so I decided to leave to get a trade as a florist. Later, I volunteered at the school library for 3-6hours a day and loved every minute of it! When the position became available at Goondiwindi I couldn’t wait to apply and join my sister in Goondiwindi.

Can you share a memorable story from your time in libraries?

Recently, a grandmother came in with her two young grandsons and two boys she was looking after. The boys kept bringing her book after book and she kept reading to them and interacting. They then decided that they would move onto the “big books” (junior readers). They kept pulling off all the books from the shelves and the grandmother started apologising for the mess. I stopped her and said that I couldn’t care less about the mess and that I have never in my life seen children so engaged with literature! They ended up borrowing an array of items including a “big book” on zombie slugs. This is what libraries are about, getting the world of literature into the hands of others and having fun doing it!

What do you like most about Libraries?

The free resources available! Great for the wallet and building literacy!

What do you think libraries need to do next?

Libraries are always changing. We need to adapt and be flexible enough to the modern day lifestyles people are living. It is very much a service based organism, with technology quickly advancing and more of a self-help approach to service e.g. reservations online.

I believe libraries need to embrace technology and manage it as a tool but not do away with face to face service.

If you had unlimited resources what would be the number one thing you do next?

I would do my best to collaborate with our Indigenous leaders in our community to see how we could assist and help them in literacy, learning and how they could use our services. I would also get nursery rhymes and traditional songs recorded and translated into their languages, especially, for First 5 Forever.

If you are in Brisbane and wish to meet with colleagues and tour State Library please contact lgc@slq.qld.gov.au

About the author:

Sarah-Jane Morris is fulltime Librarian at Goondiwindi Regional Council. Sarah-Jane is only newly employed in public libraries but has 5 years experience in the Educational library sector. Sarah-Jane is passionate in creatively connecting the community to literacy and moving libraries further onto the 21st century.