This is short blog post is for the AusGLAMBlog theme of passion. This is part of my upcoming talk at Future GLAM: Convergence & collaboration in the cultural heritage sector
I am a librarian and archivist but that is not my current role and before I get into the main part of my discussion, I want to talk quickly about the blurring lines of GLAM because I think it’s interesting to hear about as emerging professionals. When I tell people who know me as a librarian that I now work at the Australian Museum they often assume I work in the Museum’s library or archive. This assumption is usually based very strict ideas what a librarian is and rigid ideas that differentiate galleries from museums from archives from libraries. And there are of course differences, but they are more similarities between these memory and cultural institutions. During my time working at the State Library and my time completing my library studies undergrad, I gained experience in organising information, predominantly First Nations knowledges and histories, project management and providing access and interpretation to information. While I now work with object based cultural heritage rather than paper based cultural heritage such as books or records, my experience and skills aren’t tied to mediums of stories and knowledge. They are transferable. At the museum, I still organise and preserve information it is just in different mediums than at the library and I still provide access to information whether it be through access for First Nations community members to cultural heritage objects or getting the public to engage with First Nations histories or knowledges with events or programs. In other words, many of the skills I have obtained work across the GLAM sector, not just for silos within it.
But, the main reason I believe I can work across GLAM is because of my passion and goals. Here is a vision statement I wrote for myself three years ago when I still work as a Librarian
I have never had a plan of what role I will have in or what institution I will work in to guide me or anything similar, I have been guided by these ambitions in this vision statement and this has directed me to what I do, which has made alternating between galleries, libraries, archives and museums easier because where I work was not the point, the point for me is to ensure First Nations agency over the history and culture collected, conveyed and preserved in memory institutions and not to ensure First Nations people control the narrative that surrounds them.