part of being a well round and grounded library person, i reckon, is getting out and seeing libraries beyond one’s normal understanding of what a library is and does. so in order to live according to my beliefs, earlier this year i signed up to the east timor library study tour that was organised by patti manolis geelong ceo. and now im in darwin – a one hr flight to Timor-Leste at some ungodly hour tomorrow morning – ready for an intrepid adventure.
patti our tour organiser has had a long relationship with libraries in east timor after winning the Margaret C Ramsay Scholarship by the State Library of Victoria in 2004. the organisation which she is an integral part of, library books for east timor, has been supporting the development of libraries in east timor for many years by way of fundraising events. the library study tour group will visit a range of libraries and ngos around the country, plus some time for rest and recreation as well.
part of what we will also be doing is delivering a ‘brown issue catalogue system’ to a library. being fairly new to libraryland, i asked the group ‘what is a browne issue system’ (and more importantly, shouldn’t they be using Spydus?). my comments brought a few glances of sympathy from some because I clearly wasn’t a real librarian…until most of them admitted that they didnt know know to use a browne issue system. or a reverse browne issue system for that matter. so would be busy reading the literature before they told the east timorise library staff how to use it.
(as for why not spydus? well the library in question has 40 books, most of which dont get returned as the borrowers have yet to come to grips with the concept of a loan. plus power is a luxury not a necessity in many of the regiosn we will be visiting.)
for more, which could be about browne issue systems, and whatever else happens on tour, consult the group blog http://timorlestelibrarystudytour2011.wordpress.com/. it’s a bit empty at present but we’re all planning to add something along the way.