I need to get this out of the way early.
There are many things that have driven me towards this project. There is one thing I have tried to ignore but it does influence my thinking in this area.
I come from a family of librarians. I grew up with books stamped ‘Discard’. I walked a parade in Lismore as a bookworm, dressed in brown tights and a leotard, for the Richmond Tweed Regional Library cause. About ten years ago I started a Masters that was recognised by ALIA. Finally! I would become a real librarian!
I lasted three subjects. (One of which was cataloging, so that alone may explain my early exit).
I realised that:
a) I was not a librarian
b) that didn’t mean I could eradicate libraries from my life.
My grandmother remembered phone numbers by Dewey. She was a school librarian until her 70s. Her sister was also a librarian. My aunt speaks fondly of her ‘conversion’ to cataloging through her teacher Jack Nelson. He, apparently, made cataloging funny. She was top of the class. And in her words, she was “marked for life”. Her younger sister worked until recently as the librarian at the Mullumbimby library, her real passion is in children’s librarianship. My mother worked briefly at Fisher, has since worked as a medical librarian and now is librarian at a University.
I don’t like to talk about things being in your blood, because I don’t actually believe that, but I guess what might be more accurate is, like my aunt and her cataloging, you can be marked by something.
If that’s the case then I have a big eff off ‘Due by’ stamp on my forehead.