After attending a workshop at the ACT Writers Centre on Saturday, run by the lovely Kristen Alexander, I found myself toying with the idea of investigating writing on a particular subject. I very quickly discovered that the interwebs held little information on my subject – I know – shock horror, and so I made time to go to the National Library to see if I could find something else.
Ten years ago when I used to go for Uni, the National Library was a very serious place with a central table of computers that gave access to the information of the collection. You wrote down what you wanted from the information it gave you, took it to the front desk and then waited for your number to appear on the digital display. That was some Hi-Tech stuff for 2005.
Now there are banks of computers, banks and banks. There are comfy armchairs and free exhibitions. And to get access to the collection, it was necessary only to fill in a form on one of the computers, and show ID to the desk lady who then gives you a National Library library card. Color me happy! I was as happy as if I’d been finding my biggest bargain in the op-shop! And it was exactly the same feeling I had as a small child getting my own library card 107 years ago!
To get books from the collection, you find it on the NLA online index and type in your library card number and surname, and after a bit of time, walk up to the desk and ask if it’s there yet….if they’re not there yet you could go to the bookshop for a browse (dangerous) get a snack (also dangerous) or go to one of the free exhibitions (awesome)! I loved it all so much, I want to live there! My two hours was so blissfully spent that I dragged my feet when it was time to leave…and the worst thing was that paid parking was too bloody expensive! Poor students…and me!
I showed my husband my you-beaut new Library Card and told him this story. He shook his head at me and said “You’re such a book nerd!”
Are you a book nerd? I am.