Thursday, November 14, 2013


For some people rock and movie stars are heroes. I tend to save my admiration for thinkers, explorers and movers and shakers from many fields. I have a particular bias towards people from my fields of endeavour: libraries, education and information technology.

Yesterday, at the ASCCA Conference in Sydney I noticed that one of my heroes was on the program. As I was watching the passing parade from my perch (where I was demonstrating the Flip-Pal) I saw a tall gentleman wander past, I thought I recognised him. A quick Google image search told me I was correct, one of my heroes was within cooee.

Our State Librarian, Dr Alex Byrne, actually came up to me and I introduced myself to him as a lover of the State Library. We had a general chat and I congratulated him on the Library's newest online resource, a collection of WW1 diaries that the library has digitised and made available online. Dr Byrne then proceeded to give me a personal tour of the site (on my tablet); his enthusiasm for this resource reminded me of a Dad showing off his newborn. He was so proud as he showed me the resource; what I learnt about was the collaborative dimension of the collection. Readers are invited to add value to the collection by "adding your original stories, photos or records."  How cool is that!

GeniAus and Dr Alex Byrne
And why is this affable chap my hero? He has taken a venerable but staid institution and is making a huge effort to move it into the 21st Century. I imagine that this has not been an easy task. I thank you, Dr Alex Byrne, for your efforts in making The State Library of NSW and its resources accessible not just to those who are easily able to visit Macquarie Street but for the many of us in the State and beyond for whom a physical journey is not always possible.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Nice pic. I work at UTS, Alex's old stomping ground. Very clever man.


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