Went to dinner at a friends’ restaurant in St Kilda last night. It was in honour of the fact that I am no longer jobless, legless, or homeless. I invited all of the friends who had come to visit me when I was housebound and stuck in a wheelchair.
It would seem that it had been a year since this group had seen each other, and that was at another catch up dinner held at the same restaurant. That time had been to celebrate the fact that I had been safely repatriated back across the Tasman, no longer a roving academic working and living in earthquake prone Christchurch.
I’ve recently started working at a public library. Some people who know me casually have laughed heartily at the idea of me being a librarian. I’m not exactly what one associates with quiet, hard working, bookish types that are the stereotypical image of librarians. However, librarians have changed, just as libraries have. I was telling one of the attendees of last nights dinner how much I was enjoying the job. When I sign a new member up I slide their new library card across the desk with much reverence and pronounce “Look after this, it’s the key to the universe.” They usually have a bit of a laugh with me (or at me, I don’t care) and then they hop up and I take them for a tour of the facilities we have on offer.
They are often astonished (just as my friend was) that they are allowed to talk in the library and bring food in with them. We have a cafeteria in the foyer that is run by Yooralla, an organisation that supports people with disabilities. In the children’s area we have a PS3 and a Wii for the kids to play on. We have computers for internet access, a quiet pod for those who need silence while studying and reading and we support community languages including Arabic, Greek, Italian, Vietnamese, Croatian, Polish and Mandarin. We also have DVDs, Cd’s, audiobooks, and eBooks available for download from the library website. All for free. Yeah you read that right, FREE.
So life is pretty busy. I’m currently editing the first thirteen chapters of my novel and I started a Diploma of Library and Information Studies last week. As it’s only at Diploma level there are a lot of contact hours on campus… Which is possibly the most challenging aspect of the course so far. That and the book talk I have to give on a children’s or teen book. Not a book review, a book talk, to encourage children to read the title… Yeah, I think they think I will be able to dumb myself down so I can communicate with children. The last presentation I gave was at a film historians conference… This is going to be interesting. Just like being at the library ; )