Last week my colleague John Arfield, University Librarian at the University of Western Australia, sent us all a song written about the new UWA Science Library. "To my knowledge" he wrote, gloating, "it's the first song written about a new library building." And as the refrain goes "It sets your inner nerd free, Its the new science library."
On Sunday afternoon John Shipp, at the centenary celebration of the Fisher Library (the University of Sydney), produced not only a wonderful poem about the Fisher Library - Les Murray's Incunabular (1998) - but also the poet himself to read it. Surely the only poem about a university library written by Australia's greatest living poet? And with this memorable comment on the virtual library:
"Others may have my joys at home. Fine.
But I surfed the true paper."
My own library is certainly not jealous of these achievements. Youtube has everything one could wish for including, in the case of Swinburne, Library Pacman, possibly the only live Pacman re-enactment in a university library. It was put together by Swinburne games students. It only has these words: "They're more than games to us too."
The poem about the Fisher Library (an ode to Thomas Fisher) was complemented by the Vice-Chancellor, who described the pleasure of cutting the pages - and discovering the contents - of books which no-one had yet read. I wonder how many more thousands of volumes that no-one has ever read lie awaiting discovery in the University of Sydney library?