Karen Postle and Chris Pulford, from Wandoan Library, might see themselves as just doing their job, but ask anyone in the Wandoan community and they’ll tell you that they are one of the lynch-pins of the local community. Servicing a population of just over 500 people, Wandoan Library is one of nine branches in the Western Downs library network and its most westerly branch.
Western Downs Libraries decided to further embed its deeply local service model by expanding lifestyle and learning programs for the public via tailored content for each branch and Karen was quick to act. Karen, being the well-connected and community-minded power-house that she is, swung into action and assembled a barbed-wire art workshop at her branch (where else would you find every attendee with spare barbed-wire just laying around).
Afterwards, a letter from one of the attendees brought into sharp focus the far-reaching benefits of something as simple as an art workshop. Tania from Wandoan wrote:
“Living and working on our cattle property with my family I don’t get many opportunities to … learn new crafts … and meet other country women…. Women’s wellness is a priority for rural communities. This sort of day is time out for us, for fun, for learning and creating and achieving – this gives us a sense of pride Going home with something you have made is amazing. “
A letter from another attendee was a reminder to our libraries that we should never underestimate our place in the public realm as a hub of community activity, aspiration, support and resilience. It’s part of everything we do – even the stuff we might just consider ‘business as usual’.
“The organisers of this workshop do an amazing job and really lift the spirits of country women in this challenging time of drought. Our community is grateful to Karen and the people … who provide the funding to make this affordable for attendees. The laughter, smiles and new friendships made is a wonderful thing to experience.
About the author
Karen Postle is a Library Officer at Wandoan Library, part of the Western Downs Libraries network.