From the Regional Engagement Manager: member visits, graphic novels and upcoming group events

My role as Regional Engagement manager involves travelling to connect with ALIA Members – so it was delightful to have ALIA members visit me this fortnight instead! James Baker from the ALIA Victoria and the ALIA Graphic Groups, and Lori Mansell of the ALIA West and ALIA WALT Groups, came to the State Library of South Australia (where I have office space) and chatted with me over coffee and a library tour.

James Baker was visiting because the organisers of the Graphic Horizons symposium, Papercuts Comics Festival, and Comics Arts Awards of Australia made the decision to hold all these events within a four-day period in Adelaide this September. I asked James to write a short summary of what he called “an amazingly inspiring (and also exhausting) experience”.

All of these events provided ample opportunities for libraries to think about how they engage with the format of comics and graphic novels. I came away from the academic symposium with a new set of concepts that I want to watch as they develop, including things like stories using augmented reality as an integral part of the narrative and what this will mean for lending models. The Papercuts Comics Festival gave me more immediate ideas for application to libraries, such as how to run comics workshops so they are as effective as possible. The main takeaway for libraries (as opposed to the experience as a fan of Australian comics) from the Comics Arts Awards of Australia ceremony is purchasing any winning books my library doesn't already have and updating the records for those we do - James Baker

Images left (L to R): Lori Mansell of the ALIA West and ALIA WALT Groups, and James Baker from the ALIA VIC and ALIA Graphic Groups, in the State Library of SA’s Mortlock Chamber


I’m glad there’s a long weekend coming up in Adelaide, as I need time to complete my ALIA CPD reflections. I tuned in for the Australia Reads VOLUME symposium last week for insightful conversation the issues affecting reading and engagement, and strategies for building a reading nation. This week I attended the GLAM Games: Gaps and Glimmers in the Visitor Experience talks on how games and immersive media have interesting challenges and opportunities for the GLAM sector. There are also many exciting Group run events approaching. Book your place in one of the following:

If there’s nothing listed here for your region – contact your local ALIA Group to see what they have planned, and how you might be involved. South Australian ALIA Members can even complete the 2023 ALIA SA Membership Survey to inform the direction of ALIA South Australia's activities and events in 2024. 

Finally - we have entered the final days to nominate for The Queensland Library Achiever of the Year Award and the South Australian Library & Information Awards (SALIAs). Nominate a colleague for their achievements in community engagement and outreach, mentorship, inspiring research, collaboration or sustainable practice right away without delay.


Emily Wilson 
Regional Engagement Manager