New chap­ter be­gins for re­tir­ing li­brary di­rec­tor

Dubbo Photo News - - Opinion, Analysis, Features, Depth. - By YVETTE AUBUSSON-FO­LEY

LIKE a good book, what lies ahead for for­mer Macquarie Re­gional Li­brary di­rec­tor John Bayliss is a bit of a mys­tery, but will prob­a­bly in­clude some travel.

Re­tir­ing af­ter 15 years in his role, Mr Bayliss' ten­ure at the li­brary has seen flood­ing, ma­jor re­fur­bish­ments across the en­tire re­gional net­work of li­braries he’s man­aged, and the very bleak pre­dic­tion that, in the wake of the in­ter­net, books would die.

“We’ve been pre­sented with that sce­nario a lot,” he told

“Once com­put­ers came in, we changed what we were do­ing. The in­ter­net of course was go­ing to be end of it all when ebooks, eau­dio­books and emagazines came on the scene to change the way peo­ple would do their re­search and read­ing.

“What we’ve al­ways done how­ever is ask what we can do to make sure we’re us­ing this great tech­nol­ogy and sup­port­ing peo­ple in the com­mu­nity who wish to read a book that way, or find their in­for­ma­tion that way, so we’ve just em­braced it, it’s just part of it,” he said.

“If any­one wants to load up three or four books on their de­vice to take on an air­plane, we want to make sure we can pro­vide that, or if they want to grab a book to read in bed, we make sure we can do that too.

“That tac­tile thing with books is still very im­por­tant for peo­ple, but we’re mak­ing sure we’re not be­hind with what’s go­ing on.

“We have a whole range of fan­tas­tic data­bases on our web­site too, that peo­ple can go to on­line and know they’re go­ing to an author­ity.

There are ten li­brary ser­vice points which Mr Bayliss has over­seen dur­ing his time here.

“There’s two in Dubbo Re­gional Coun­cil; Dubbo and Welling­ton, then two in Nar­romine Shire at Nar­romine and Trangie, then out at War­rum­bun­gle Shire there’s Coon­abarabran, Coolah and Dune­doo, then Bara­dine, Men­dooran and Bin­n­away, with 32 staff across the re­gion.”

All the li­braries share a com­mon cat­a­logue. “So, for ex­am­ple, peo­ple in Welling­ton can bor­row a book from Bara­dine,” Mr Bayliss said.

Sig­nif­i­cantly he’s steered in re­fur­bish­ments across the re­gion.

“The re­fur­bish­ments for these li­braries is about pro­vid­ing spa­ces the com­mu­nity needs. Such as study spa­ces, quiet places to read, spa­ces for chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties, spa­ces for writ­ers' events, dis­plays and pre­sen­ta­tions, so just hav­ing that space has made a big dif­fer­ence in terms of the lay­out and the op­por­tu­ni­ties pro­vided.”

Li­braries have given Mr Bayliss a life­time of op­por­tu­nity from Re­gional Li­brary's for­mer Bayliss has re­tired af­ter 15 man­ag­ing the ten li­brary ser­vices this re­gion. DUBBO PHOTO NEWS.

his be­gin­nings in Lith­gow where a one-year re­lief po­si­tion lasted slightly longer – with no look­ing back.

“My mum and dad were in Lith­gow and I took that po­si­tion for the year, but that per­son didn’t come back and they of­fered me per­ma­nent work – and 21 years later I left.

“In that time, I did a whole lot of things with Lith­gow Coun­cil. I was their first tourism of­fi­cer, I did a lot around their his­tor­i­cal sites and in­dus­trial his­tory, so I was sec­onded out of the li­brary three days a week."

John is also an alumni from Charles Sturt Univer­sity Wagga Wagga where he did a post­grad­u­ate course in Li­brar­i­an­ship, his­tor­i­cal stud­ies and an in­tern­ship at the Pow­er­house Mu­seum.


Macquarie di­rec­tor John years in

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