As you may know down this way we’re celebrating 150 years of library service in 2009. This has prompted quite a bit of dusting off of various treasures (some of them aren’t even staff), digitising of old photographs and generally poking around to see what bits of our history we’ve had stashed away yea, these many years.
This week my colleague Marion, knowing that I am involved with LIANZA Conference 2009, brought my attention to an old scrapbook of newspaper clippings entitled “Newspaper cuttings on libraries”. Some of the cuttings mentioned library conferences of yesteryear. So I thought a few of you might be interested in what was going on at conference seventy years ago. The excerpts below are from an article in page 95 of the scrapbook underneath “1939” handwritten in blue ink.
Annual Conference of N.Z. Association
DOMINION SPECIAL SERVICE
Palmerston N., February 14
Meeting in Palmerston North for the first time since the organization was founded the annual conference of the New Zealand Library Association was opened this afternoon with a council meeting. The most important gathering of librarians in the course of the year, the conference has brought together 80 and 90 delegates from all parts of the Dominion. Mr T. D. H. Hall, Clerk of the House of Representatives, who is president of the library association will preside at each general meeting, all of which are being held in St, Andrews Hall.
The scope of the programme is extremely broad, and it is expected that a great deal of interesting and valuable information will be derived from the various addresses. The problem of book selection, a discussion on the micro-film, the trend of library-extension work, and a forum in which “Mr Citizen chats with library men,” are features of note…
…The opportunity was taken by many of the delegates to inspect the municipal library. On Friday morning facilities will be provided to enable the visitors to enjoy the attractions of the city and district…
Some things have certainly changed, like the name of the organization and the number of people attending but I think the spirit of sharing information has remained constant and maybe microfilm’s no longer at the forefront of everyone’s minds but we still use it. I am intrigued, however, by what “Mr Citizen” might have said to those “library men”. Possibly he might have asked where the women were, who can know?