State Library of Queensland Tour (Oct 2015)

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to participate in a behind the scenes tour of SLQ, organised by my lecturers.  I thought it was a pretty amazing place before, but now I am overawed by it. We started by going to the Edge, which is an innovative makerspace area. It aims to allow Queenslanders free access to develop their creative side. Equipment and space available ranges from a 3D printer to a recording studio. There are computers equipped with any creative software imaginable, a laser cutter and a biology lab where someone is cultivating vegan leather. That inspired me, I could cultivate my own animal friendly leather and then laser cut a unique handbag from it and I have heard comments from others that it doesn’t seem the sort of place to attract women and girls! Use of the area is free once the user has done induction sessions for a nominal fee. The guy who showed us round was super inspiring, obviously passionate about his job. We then went to the newly opened business centre, which is a hub where budding entrepreneurs can get advice and support about starting up businesses and running them. Yet again it was run by really keen staff, I was almost tempted to become a business owner, but I don’t think I have the right temperament. We then passed through the public areas, including a great and fun looking children’s area, before finishing up at the conservation area, where we met some great people who talked to us about how they preserve and repair rare and important items. The visit also included a trip into one of the stacks areas, which was vast and will only keep growing as it was filled with items that won’t be weeded due to their importance to Queensland’s history. I am so grateful to my lecturers and the staff at SLQ for enabling my fellow students and me to experience this.

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