Our 2010 EALRGA Christmas lunch attracted thirty-one people, a record attendance! As in past years, the large gathering included current and retired East Asian librarians from the National Library of Australia and the Australian National University Library. We were joined for this occasion by a number of Southeast Asian librarians, “professional neighbours” so to speak, who share similar interests and challenges as East Asian specialists, not to mention office space, at our two institutions.
As always, our end-of-year gathering was a wonderful occasion, full of good cheer and chatter. The lunch was held at a Vietnamese restaurant in Canberra’s Chinatown. The food was tasty, the wine plentiful and the conversations warm and lively. Instead of dessert, everyone was presented with a small parcel of assorted chocolates, painstakingly prepared by Susan Prentice. Renata Osborne rounded off the lunch with a vote of thanks to all EALRGA supporters and contributors, and to the EALRGA Committee Members, in particular Bick-har Yeung whose dedicated work as editor has produced some impressive editions of the EALRGA Newsletter.
The EALRGA Christmas Lunch has become one of the few occasions in the year for librarians from Canberra’s two major Asian resources libraries to meet informally, exchange news and views, and discuss matters other than library work. It is also a time for retired friends and colleagues to catch up with each other and for new staff to meet and form lasting associations with their counterparts “from across the lake”. Unfortunately, two hours over lunchtime is never long enough to achieve all this, and we usually part company saying that we should not wait till next Christmas to hold another such get-together. Perhaps we will do so in 2011.
Apart from the delights of socialising with like-minded people, the large showing at the lunch also highlighted the continuing strength of East Asian librarianship in Canberra. In recent years, East Asian studies in Canberra have been significantly bolstered by the establishment of two bodies, the China Institute (http://chinainstitute.anu.edu.au/), an umbrella structure set up to coordinate all ANU’s China-related academic activities, and the Australian Centre on China in the World / 中华全球研究中心 (http://ciw.anu.edu.au/). The latter is a newly endowed research institution within ANU and its formation was announced in April 2010 by the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd during his delivery of the 70th George E Morrison Lecture (transcript and audio of the address available at http://news.anu.edu.au/?p=2099). These developments, among others in Japanese and Korean studies, will mean an increased demand for quality East Asian research resources in Australia. It is essential therefore that there is sufficient talent and interest in East Asian librarianship to satisfy this need. The large attendance at the Christmas lunch is an encouraging sign for the future.
From Canberra, a Happy and Rewarding New Year to everyone!
Photo 1. Clockwise from bottom left: Xiaozhen Huang, Renata Osborne, Wan Wong, Andrew Gosling, Yumiko Clifton, Sumiko Kanazawa, Tieke Atikah, Anya Dettman, Amy Chan, Ji-yeon Cho, Fonny Kyle, Jung-ok Park, Ching-oh Sun, Irina Chou and Maihua Qi.
Photo 2. Clockwise from bottom left: Hua-jun Ni, Shirley Johns, Li Li, Susan McDougall (obscured), CP Tang, Richard Chan, Enid Gibson, Susan Prentice, Toshio Takagi (partially obscured), Hongli Jia and Xiaozhen Huang.
Photo 3. Foreground from left: Richard Chan, Enid Gibson, Susan Prentice and Toshio Takagi. At rear on far right (between Susan and Toshio) is Rebecca Wong
Sincere apologies to Darrell Dorrington, Di Ouyang, Jie Chen, Li Yi and Weina Ji who attended the lunch but are not in these photographs. Apologies also to Susan McDougall who is in Photo 2 but unfortunately is not visible.