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state library of queensland

“SLQ is good for my wellbeing”: Dr Vaughan’s story

By Administrator | 30 May 2016

We’re continuing our series of blog posts featuring stories from some of our regular visitors to State Library of Queensland. Meet Doctor Michael Vaughan:

“I’m Doctor Michael Vaughan, I’m qualified in history and political science, born and raised in Brisbane. My high school was Hendra State High School on the north side, and my first use of the old library, when the building was over the river in William St., was to consult a book there that would help me in preparing for high school debates. When I was a university tutor teaching politics at The University of Queensland, I used to pop in here for occasional research preparation for my tutorials, even though I used mostly the university library. Now I’m retired and well, that’s not open to me anymore, so I come to SLQ whenever I want to do research or when my home computer isn’t working. I research political matters, but I also write poetry. Some poets I suppose will take a strict view saying that I’m cheating by using the computer to find rhyming words and synonyms, I call it creative writing!

Dr Michael Vaughan at SLQ. Image by SLQ staff.

Dr Michael Vaughan at SLQ. Image by SLQ staff.

Here in South Bank I’ve been coming for well over five years, at least three or four times a week for the facilities, which are very good. The other main reason I come is to watch films from the library film collection, which I enjoy very much. I became aware of the library film collection two to three years ago, and it was explained to me by one of the librarians. So what I do now is I go to my home computer, look for films for a particular time period and write down the films that interest me, and then I check the list against the library film collection. So, for example, today I watched The Apartment with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, and I only discovered that that film was part of State Library's collection last night! I take a broad view, I start with films in the 1940s and I go up to the 2000s. I cover a wide span, but I find that films in the library collection generally tend to be in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

SLQ is good for my wellbeing. As I said, I’m retired, it gives me something to occupy my mind and it’s a pleasant place to come. Usually the viewing room is available, so I can sit in comfort and privacy, and the machine works very well. The building location is perfect, is right by the edge of the river with wonderful views and I like to visit the cultural precinct and have a coffee at the GOMA bistro while I wait for the films to be brought down from the repository. To be frank, I seldom use any of the books in the library now, and electronic books are a complete mystery to me, but I’m sure if the occasion will arise in the future the librarians will be able to explain it to me.”

We’d love to hear your SLQ story about how and why you use our spaces, services and collections. Leave us a comment or contact us

As told to Fed Pani, Visitor Experience


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