Patricia Murphy

EVOLVING: Value of library technicians in Queensland government libraries


In early 2012 library technicians were well represented in Government and special libraries in Queensland. Then a round of voluntary early retirements (VER), a change of government and another even larger round of voluntary redundancies (VR) swept through the Queensland Government taking approx 12000 full time positions. Library staff were identified as ‘non-frontline staff’ and soon found themselves at the very front of the line of the redundancy list. By the end of 2012 all Queensland Government libraries were changed beings; some libraries closed and nearly half the library staff were made redundant.

This paper will survey Queensland Government library managers and look at staffing data before and after the redundancies of 2012. It will identify the changes which occurred in business models, services, tasks and responsibilities of remaining staff which influenced the staffing structures we see today.

Specific examples of the Forensic and Scientific Services library will be highlighted, including the changes in the role of our Library Technician and the value she has brought to the organisation and to the business unit.


As a library technician Trish has worked at Education Queensland (AccessEd), TAFE and Queensland Police Services (QPS). From the systems librarian position at QPS, Trish moved to a similar role at Forensic and Scientific Services (FSS), gained her Masters of Information Management and has become the defacto FSS library manager.





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