I solemnly swear that I am up to no good: The need for collaborators and co-conspirators in heritage collections [slides]

ALIA Library

Stephan, Kyla

Asia-Pacific Library and Information Conference 2018, 30 July - 2 August 2018 Gold Coast: Roar Leap Dare
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) supports the paper which describes how establishing and maintaining positive relationships, working collaboratively and taking risks, often with people outside of the library sector or the region, is central to the ability of the City of Gold Coast Libraries Local Studies Collection on the Gold Coast to successfully contribute to the broader aims of others and to achieve its own goals of raising awareness of, and engagement with, the collection and local stories.
The role of City of Gold Coast Libraries Local Studies Collection, located in Southport, is to collect, preserve and share material relating to the history, culture, development and environment of the Gold Coast. The modern Gold Coast is a place of recreation and reinvention where change can be a constant companion. As a popular tourist destination since the late 1800s, many of the more contemporary stories of the region are spread not only across time and format, but also across Australia. With local history material dispersed across multiple collections, knowledge of the local heritage landscape on the Gold Coast is critical in not only responding to customer requests for information but also in developing programs and avoiding duplication when building collections. Recognising and working with the diverse skills and resources of collaborators, including acknowledging the different constraints within which individuals operate, has resulted in a number of positive outcomes for the Gold Coast community including: pop-up museums and art exhibitions within the library, heritage trails, special events outside of the library, new partnerships with local residents and organisations, support for emerging researchers, additional publications relating to the Gold Coast and greater opportunities to experiment with technology.
Rather than act as a passive contributor to projects by quietly supplying research support and images, the Local Studies Collection has increasingly taken a more engaged approach by working directly with others to share opportunities, identify risks and offer solutions to challenges. This has resulted in stronger outcomes overall and a greater awareness in the local galleries, libraries, museums and records (GLAMR) sector and broader community of the collections and role of the Local Studies Library Collection. This paper addresses the conference’s theme of ‘Dare’. While a professional working in the GLAMR sector is unlikely to ‘solemnly swear that I am up to no good’, the reality is that risk taking and co-conspirators are essential ingredients for success. At the very least, they provide ample opportunities to learn from mistakes.

Deakin, ACT: Australian Library and Information Association
City of Gold Coast