Thursday, February 19, 2009
The closest I've been to a library in the last 10 years is either watching ghostbuster's on DVD or walking past it on my way to lunch each Friday! Seriously, I haven't been inside a library since my kids were in school and we had to have those awful 'meetings' with the teacher or 'briefings' on the Japanese exchange trip whilst crammed into a school library where the librarian literally hung around to make sure the parents weren't defacing her valuable charges (books not kids) and swathed in posters with lame bi-lines "Books are Good", or "Reading is Knowledge".
Although something I wrote and contributed to for over 15 years is actually 'in' a library. Quite a posh library too. True . .I kid you not. The National Library in Canberra has since 1975 collected every journal, periodical public and corporate in their archives. If it has an ISBN number, it's locked away in their vaults for the useless and commercial. I was stunned one day to receive an email (very progressive considering it was 1987 and PC's were in fact barely new and all were made by Amstrad or Macintosh without the familiar little apple logo.) requesting that I forward a copy of our 32 page mag to the National Library to be held in posterity for people who might forget the fine art of Direct Selling.
The librarian, or one of them from the National Library wanted copies of our Amagram . . http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/283704 innovative name I know but I worked in an in-house design studio for the American direct selling company that sounded like American Way only abbreviated. We produced a monthly in-house magazine for the plethora of "I want to show you a fantastic opportunity" distributors. Filled with editorial interviews of gregariously evangelical people dying to sell you soap that was biodegradable or vitamins that would have you looking like Arnie Swarzenegger on a good day and cosmetics that would have the most erstwhile of terry towelling tracksuited housewives poncing to the mailbox looking more like Denise Richards after half an hour with a make-up artist.
Yep, my humble ramblings, interviews and witty bi-lines are preserved forever in the National Library, month after month. Some editions outpublishing and out-circulating Australian Vogue or the Women's Weekly (which is weird because it's actually monthly - the butt of many jokes). Then there was the time when I ordered 24,000 extra copies due to a typographical error - they probably ended up wrapping fish at the local fishmonders.
There were no Megan Gales or Elle McPhersons donning their pages although we did have Jimmy Packer's first squeeze Jodie someone bursting out of a swimsuit once during a photo shoot. And Clare featured as a baby in a fabric softener ad and Adam as a six year old spruiking vitamins on a basketball court in an oversised Sydney Kings uniform. Don't get me wrong, this was a classy in-house. Great designers and art directors, well-known fashion photographers, no expense spared in propogating the fantastic products that could change your lot in life and guarantee you wealth beyond your wildest dreams.
They were the good days. Nice studio, state of the art equipment, a great bunch of people and Gypsy Kings singing Bombalao on Friday's after lunch. Sadly, none of us were permitted to have our names imprinted on the contents page so all contributors, no matter how creative or stifled are recognised within it's hallowed pages. Ah well . . humility is my friend . . but I would have liked a teensy credit somewhere down near the copyright statement or the disclaimer.
I will go to a library . . one day . . I believe you can borrow books for up to three weeks for no charge and if you choose to stay 'in' the library to read, you can get a cappucino in the coffee shop and shoosh noisy school children who giggle over D H Lawrence and the phrase in Lady Chatterly's Lover where 'She felt the bud-like reticence of his penis'. Used to get a giggle out of that one! My Amagram is probably parked somewhere between Mills and Boon and the Nutrimetics Catalogue.