One of the terrific benefits of being part of the IFLA community has been the connections I have made. Several years ago I reached out to Aarhus Public Libraries in Denmark about Next Library and indicated I was really keen for the State Library of Queensland to be involved. Next Library has an international reputation for innovation and simply being different! I was keen to be part of such a dynamic movement.
In 2019, I was thrilled when it was announced that State Library of Queensland would bring Next Library to Australia in 2020. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, our plans to bring together forward-thinking library professionals, innovators and decision-makers from all over the world in October 2020 did not eventuate.
As part of our planning for Next Library Brisbane, I had the privilege to attend Next Library 2019 in Aarhus, Denmark. Our goal was to enjoy the Next Library experience, to learn and to make connections. Naturally, we also wanted to create some excitement and intrigue about visiting Australia.
I would like to share with you some images from the State Library of Queensland booth at Aarhus in 2019. Australia is a unique continent—particularly in comparison to that of our European and Nordic colleagues, so our aim was for delegates to experience Queensland—through taste, smell and sound!
Despite COVID-19, it is fantastic that the Next Library spirit has been revived! As you would have seen on social media, the Voices of Next Library, delivered 12–16 April 2021, provided a new opportunity for global participation. The next global event will be Next Library Online on 3 June 2021, and Brisbane will be part of the excitement. Stay tuned and I will share with you our plans to participate in this global phenomenon.