Brian Plummer

After more than 42 years of providing library support to the Riverina Community, Brian Plummer is calling it a day.

The Support and eServices Coordinator commences 15 months of long service leave on August 3 and then will officially retire in January 2022, after 42 years working at Riverina Regional Library. He said he will miss the library patrons and helping the community but plans to stay in the Riverina region.

Brian grew up on a farm in Moombooldool, a small village community in the central north part of the Riverina, located 1.5 hours from Wagga Wagga City.

He went to University in Wagga where he completed his library qualifications in 1977. He was the very first graduate of the Information Studies program at today’s Charles Sturt University.

“After University, I got a job working at the Wagga Wagga City Library. The very same year Riverina Regional Library was formed,” Brian said.

The Riverina Regional Library (RRL) is the largest regional library service in NSW, providing library services to approximately 137,845 residents of 10 local government areas including the City of Wagga Wagga. The library consists of 19 library branches and a mobile library spread over an area of 47,830 sq km which is around 70% of the total area of Tasmania.

At Riverina Regional Library since 1978, Brian has held numerous positions at RRL.

Image supplied: Brian Plummer & Helen Graetz, first computer system in 1988

“I started as a cataloguer and wrote catalogue cards out by hand. Our circulation records were all on cards too,” Brian said.

Brian also has extensive experiences as a reference librarian. He was the library manager of Wagga Wagga City Library for many years. He decided then to take on a more technical role as the Support and eService Coordinator for the 20 library branches.

“I am very fortunate that I had the chance to work for a very progressive library. Our director Robert Knight is very forward-thinking, and his innovative ideas will continue to give RRL a point of difference,” Brian said.

RRL was the very first LIBERO Windows site in 1996 and has been a test site ever since. The library has grown with the product and has seen the product grow.

Brian also said that one of the great aspects of LIBERO is their User Group. LIBERO’s User Group offers clients the opportunity to share ideas for products and features as well as provide feedback which potentially can influence the direction and quality of a new product or feature.

“All LIBERO Users feel like they have some ownership of the product. LIBERO’s User Group is like a big family, and I have formed wonderful friendships across the state,” Brian said.

One of the main changes during his 42 years in the library industry has been the transfer from a large server that was almost the size of a single room to a fully cloud-based system.

“I was very fortunate to be able to work in the library during this time. We embrace change, and we always anticipate and accept change and benefit from it. Cloud technology has dramatically reduced the amount of work for us. Every time there was a new version, we had to travel to our 20 branches and perform upgrades. We travelled about 400 km a day from branch to branch, from dawn to sunset, to upgrade the branches. We don’t have to do that now as everything happens automatically,” Brian said.

The most enjoyable part of the job for Brian was the people he has worked with over the years. Brian said there are many things he will miss, especially providing services to the community.

As a result of Covid-19, Brian has no firm plans but hopes to spend more time with his two daughters in Melbourne and his son in Sydney as well as travel abroad when time permits. He also considers volunteering or part-time work, but in a different area, most likely outdoors.

He still believes the library is and always will be a wonderful place for people of all ages.

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