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No 96 July 2012

Page history last edited by ghistory.volunteer@gmail.com 8 years, 4 months ago

                                             ALEXANDRINA LIBRARY SERVICES


                                                          news No 96

July 2012                                                                                                           by Helen Halm


In our last edition Bill gave our Library Manager a great send off, before planning a winter
migration himself. Safe travels Bill.

Seeing the “Three Librarians” again made me ponder the enormous changes in library facilities during their
lifetimes. My fading memories of the Goolwa Institute Library were crammed, cramped and sociable. Dora
Tuckwell and her band of volunteers ran the Library in Goolwa for many years, rotating stock of “boxed
books” from the State Lending Library which augmented those purchased by the Institute. Research
facilities would have been limited to reference books with little opportunity for quiet study. (See Dora’s
interview http://alexhistory.pbworks.com.)


Trish Alderman (Steele) was appointed Librarian of the first Public Library in 1988 and an outline
of her 12 years is available in the History Room. Trish pushed through the transition from card
catalogue and borrower records to computerised. Research facilities increased with microfiche
and later one public access computer (purchased by the Friends of Goolwa Library). There were
three computers providing one hour per week of internet access when she retired. Our collection
of local interest books expanded and a local interest clippings file was established. Important to the
History Room, Trish accepted the copies of Births, Deaths and Marriage Registers for our region
and many of the files Mr. Walter Pretty had amassed. The commissioning of Rob Linn to write “A
Land Abounding” prompted interviews with local people (Dora Tuckwell among them). These
have all formed the backbone of our resources – then all in desperate need of an accessible spacious


It is Jill (and the Council) we thank for the dedicated History Room – envied by many and emulated
by others. We thank her too (and the Friends) for the spacious table on which Mr. Pretty’s files
were sorted and on which the Registers can be spread. Thanks to her encouragement our dedicated
computer terminal has an expanding range of services (see wiki http://alexhistory.pbworks.com for
details). The wiki itself was given support, and our recordings have been digitised. Our
photocopier is now capable of digitising photos. Under Jill’s stewardship a Strathalbyn Library
separate from the school in which it previously operated has been established complete with History
Room, and gradually Strathalbyn detail is being added to the wiki. Thank you Jill for your support
and encouragement before, and over the 8 years of our existence.

Dawn reported earlier on “Just Add Water”, the theme of our year as the Regional Centre of
Culture, and the interesting happenings in Goolwa. They continue with much enjoyment, fun and
community participation. Workshops for drumming, stand up comedy, stobie pole painting and the
making of props have been conducted, and of relevance to the History Room they have included
ABC Open workshops http://abc.open.net.au and “Disaster Preparedness and Response”.


At the latter workshop we salvaged water-damaged documents, books and objects. We were
challenged to assess potential risks at the National Trust Museum, and to determine priorities for
salvage. Collections Australia has useful information on how to assess the significance of
collections. (I suspect we may modify this a little according to our appreciation of the donors and
the usefulness of the material to local people.) Also useful is “Be Prepared – guidelines for small
museums”. These can be found at http://www.collections.australia.net.


During “ It’s About Time”, South Australia’s History Festival “Telling our Stories” was the
subject of a workshop conducted by History SA and Country Arts. Those attending suggested
themes for the 10-12 digital stories to be prepared specific to the Alexandrina Council. This project
received funding to employ consultants and a photographer to capture the art and culture of the
Council area.


Consultants, June Edwards and Madeleine Regan
made the Goolwa History Room their first stop in exploring available information. They bore with
them the good news that Alexandrina Council, together with Rockhampton, would form the pilot
study to determine the value of broader applications of a Cultural Places initiative, see


Member of the Lawrence family are still finding valuable historical material amongst their late mother Val’s
collection. The latest acquisition is a set of photos from classes at Goolwa Primary School with all names
attached. We are conscious of how much time this takes. Thank you for your perseverance and generosity.


It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story – Native American saying (storyteller.net).



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for photos see pdf files 

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