Five children reading a comic book together
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

If you think you know your local library — shhhhh-ing librarians, overdue fines and dusty shelves, perhaps? — think again. Over the last decade, Australia’s public libraries have been undergoing a quiet transformation from dowdy book havens to dynamic cultural hubs.

Walk into a public library on any given day…


Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

In 2019, the Public Libraries Victoria (PLV) Shared Leadership Program produced a report called Who do we think we are? Understanding diversity in the Victorian public library workforce (pdf), which aimed to evaluate the current state of diversity in the Victorian public library workforce.

Among its key findings was that…


Image by LUM3N

WFH = so many Microsoft Teams meetings, so little time.

And then onto Zoom once work clocks off — for fitness, book clubs, Sunday lunches and Tiger King discussions. Houseparty also getting a run.

Grateful that Niantic Labs continue to adjust their Pokemon Go gameplay to enable play from home.


This week marks the first full week of working from home for me. The work side has been productive, if a bit chaotic as we try to transition a large library service to working from home and delivering customer service and programs digitally.

The transition to full time home time…


Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🇬🇧 on Unsplash

In January of this year, Yarra Plenty Regional Library (YPRL) introduced a new Marketing Strategy with a bold vision: to tell the story of the library through its people.

The strategy has two main goals: to take a digital-first approach to communications, and to empower all staff to be involved…


I was drawn to work in public libraries in part because of their ideals of access, inclusivity and learning for all. In a world that is increasingly corporatised, the library is free, it’s safe, and — you’ll often hear — it’s for everyone.

So it may seem radical to question…


The culture industry is changing.

Content is everywhere. Culture is everywhere. The old distinctions between audience and artist — consumer and creator — have disappeared.

Today I’m going to share three new strategies that cultural leaders — be they organisations or individuals — need to understand to succeed in the…


Last year was my first year working for a public library, and it has been quite a shift from the world of writer’s festivals that I inhabited inhabited for nearly a decade before deciding I needed a change.

As an admirer of libraries but never having worked in one, 2018…


In the literary world, we regularly talk about writers, publishing, events and festivals, bookselling, critics and criticism, and the media when we discuss our industry. But where does the reader fit in?

A core focus of my work as Director of Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) has been bringing readers to…


Travel and books, books and travel

In November 2010 I landed in Sharjah — a place I had not known existed until two months earlier — and several hours later I was sitting in a grand reception hall watching its International Book Fair being opened by one Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed al Qassimi. The room…

lisa dempster

adventurous bookworm

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