New State Library CEO hopes to create meaningful experience for all visitors

Brendan Rees

The State Library Victoria’s incoming CEO Paul Duldig says one of his top priorities will be transforming access to the library’s collection and services.

Mr Duldig, who will begin his new position on August 15, said he looked forward to making the library accessible for all “in a changing world”, adding “knowledge is the key to civil society, community, and human potential.”

“The State Library Victoria offers much value to people, for many aspects and stages of life and we want to continue to build awareness of these services – from learning to read and researching your family history to building a social enterprise,” he said. “We are one of the key institutions entrusted with collecting and preserving Victoria’s history for the entire community.”

Mr Duldig, who was privileged to join one of Australia’s finest institutions and the custodian of Victoria’s social history, said one of his aims would be to work on finding more ways to engage with people in the areas that were meaningful to them.

“Whether it be exploring their creative interests or their personal and family stories, sharing literature with their young families or helping people start a new business we want to connect with their specific needs,” he said. “We’ll work on ways of creating awareness about the breadth and depth of the collection and the many services we offer. We want the library to be a catalyst for curiosity and critical thinking.”

He said while books were a significant component of the library, he also hoped to showcase its collection of more than a million artworks, newspapers, photographs, maps, and ephemera, and to collect in both physical and digital formats.

 

“History is happening around us all the time and much is online, so we need to ensure we are capturing and sharing this information that meets the needs of everyone.”

 

Mr Duldig said part of the new strategic plan set by the board would be to create more opportunities for people to understand and use the collection. He gave an example of a new exhibition called Handmade Universe opening at the library on June 24. 

Handmade Universe links 68 collection items with newly-commissioned artworks that highlight universal themes of identity and place as well as demonstrate how creativity is a way of discovering.” •

In addition to his passion for books, Mr Duldig is an artist and had his work displayed at a Windsor gallery, which was inspired by the efforts to save the remaining fragments of the Victorian Volcanic Plains ecosystem.

 

Caption: State Library Victoria’s incoming CEO Paul Duldig.

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