One of the objectives of Queensland Seniors Week is to celebrate the many contributions older people make in their communities. As a number of State Library’s large volunteer community are older Queenslanders we thought it only fitting that we celebrate some of our fantastic volunteers; Christine, Wendy and Rhoda.
Christine: I was born in Brisbane and the first time I came to the library was a long time ago. I used to go to the old one in William St., and then to the old one here in South Bank. After some years in New Zealand I came to see what was happening at the library and someone said “Why don’t you take a tour with a volunteer?” And so I did, and I decided to be a volunteer! That was 22 years ago.
Wendy: I’m from Brisbane too, Brisbane born and bred! I too remember going to the original building in William St. as a student, a long time ago. I was a librarian in my early career in Adelaide, and when I retired I wanted to go back to work in a library for a few days a week. So I wanted to apply for a part-time job but I started as a volunteer and I never got around to actually applying for a position! I’ve been volunteering for about 10 years now.
Rhoda: I came to the Library when I retired 6 years ago and I applied to do any volunteer work. I initially got an offer to look after the exhibitions and then 16 months ago the opportunity came to do the indexing and I find it really interesting, much more hands on!
Together they explain: We’re indexing the correspondence to the Colonial Secretary of the NSW and that’s before Queensland became a separate state. Specifically letters related to the Moreton Bay district really. We started from 1824 and we are up to 1857-ish. And what we are really doing is to make them accessible to other people. And we get to learn a lot as well!
Wendy: It’s very interesting and I enjoy it, it does keep my brain active, because it also involves research. Plus the social aspect as well, it is really good for me.
Rhoda: I think it’s worthwhile. The language and wording was different at the time and I find it very interesting and absorbing. Time goes very quickly!
Christine: I’m doing something that’s interesting to me and that it’s useful to others, and particularly when the internet came available I wanted to look after my brain cells! I really look forward to coming here, as this is a beautiful building and such a lovely place to work.
As told to State Library Staff
Visitor and Information Services