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  • Jenica Rogers Jenica Rogers Jenica Rogers sponsored by the State Library of Queensland
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  • NLS6 NLS6
Jan 242013

Let me give it to you straight, Brisbane in February is hot, sometimes really hot and possibly even hot and stormy. But the one constant is the heat. There are some who love nothing better than lying in the summer sun, and while I admire their sunbaking stamina (while hoping they are using SPF30) I prefer to seek out the cool. One of the finest places in Brisbane to keep cool is Southbank, a 10 minute walk from the NLS6 venue, where you can keep cool swimming, having a coffee or soaking up some culture. So at the risk of this post sounding like a Tourism Australia ad, here are some of the best things about Southbank in the summer.

It’s got a beach! Okay, so the beach is man made, but it is still a very nice public lagoon overlooking the Brisbane River. If you squint a little or maybe buy tinted sunnies to change the brown colour of the river to blue you could be in the Maldives. Perhaps. At the very least you will be at a lovely, free, sparkling blue lagoon with lots of shady picnic and BBQ spots surrounding it.

It’s got culture! Including a library(!) and not just any old library, but a truly magnificent one. SLQ is a great spot to keep cool, check out some amazing exhibitions or take advantage of free Wi-Fi. In fact, lining the Brisbane river you can find SLQ, the Queensland Museum, Queensland Art Gallery and GOMA. All right next to each other and all air-conditioned. Wandering in and out of museums, libraries and galleries is a great way to keep cool and see some of Queensland’s cultural heritage.

It’s got food! And drinks too. Southbank has a range of cafes, restaurants and pubs, as well as places to purchase mandatory holiday ice-creams. If you are looking for somewhere to grab a coffee or have a three-course meal then Southbank has you covered and you can spend from a little or a lot to do so.

It’s got movies! Nothing like a darkened cinema and a tub of popcorn when you really want to cool off. For those of us on a budget these cinemas are cheap as well, with ticket prices under $10.

It’s beautiful! It is a really, really pretty precinct to wander around especially in the evening when the mercury falls. There are lots of scenic running tracks if you are feeling energetic or you can just amble by the river and get a good look at the city.  Southbank is the kind of place where you can spend an hour, an evening or a whole day. In fact in the evenings following the official NLS6 program, Southbank is ideal and easy to get to by popping over the Goodwill Bridge and have a few coldies with those you’ll meet.

So in the spirit of the cheesy tourist speak that has littered this post I think during NLS6 when your fellow delegates tweet to find out “Where the bloody hell are you?”, the answer will be easy – Southbank.

For more information, check out the websites listed in the pocket guide developed by the Experience team. Check out ideas for things to do in and around Brisbane, where to find wi-fi and look for the closest pharmacy to your accommodation for those emergency band aids. Download your copy.

 January 24, 2013  Posted by at 10:30 am out and about, planning, your nls6 Tagged with: , , , , , ,  No Responses »
Nov 022012
Eagle St Pier, Brisbane


Relaxing at the end of a long day of conferencing with a few cold ones is a great way to connect and catch up with your professional peers.  More than anything, it’s these unofficial little gatherings that serve to foster a real sense of community and help build professional relationships.

Below are some of my favourite Brisbane drinking establishments.  I’ve classified them by cruelly stereotyping their clientele – please forgive my political incorrectness!  All are within walking distance of the symposium venue.


Belgian Beer Cafe

The Belgian Beer Cafe is one of my favourite centrally-located pubs. No doubt due to the relatively expensive (but awesome!) selection of beers, the crowd is generally older and professional (think “Soccer moms” and BMW drivers!). If you want to enjoy some quality beer without having to deal with hordes of drunken kids, the Belgian Beer Cafe is highly recommended.


Jade Buddha

Located on Eagle Street, overlooking the river, Jade Buddha is perhaps somewhat of a “yuppie” bar. I would say its main clientele are business students and recent grads; the type of people who drive a ten year old Camry, but will tell you they drive a Porsche. The Jade Buddha has a great cocktail lounge, reasonable prices, and one of the best views of the city I’m aware of.


The Brisbane German Club

If you’re willing to venture a bit further from the symposium venue, I definitely recommend the German Club. Located on Vulture Street, opposite the Gabba, it has a wide selection of German beers, and isn’t nearly as crowded as CBD locations. If you like your beer in giant steins and don’t care about all that trendy overpriced cocktail stuff, the German Club is the place for you.


The QUT Guild Bar

The QUT Guild Bar is located on campus, and is scheduled to move to a fancy new building this year. It’s your typical on-campus bar, mostly occupied by binge-drinking undergraduates. You’ll be hard pressed to find a cheaper jug of beer in Brisbane, and if you can put up with the drunk students (don’t worry, they’re mostly harmless), it’s a fine place for afternoon beer and chips.


Irish Murphy’s

Irish Murphy’s, located on George Street in the CBD, is your standard Irish pub. With a mostly working class clientele, Irish Murphy’s comes across as the polar opposite of the Jade Budda. It has that unpretentious charm typical of drinking establishments of its kind. If you like traditional Irish pubs, Irish Murphy’s would be my pick.


The Rumpus Room

The Rumpus Room is located in West End, a trendy, gentrified, hipsterfied suburb a few minutes’ walk from South Bank. Like all establishments in West End (the Haight-Ashbury of Brisbane), its main clientele are art student types and “hipsters”. The atmosphere is laid-back and friendly. They have a fair variety of cocktails and ciders at a reasonable price.


While they are by no means the only places to grab a beer in Brisbane, any of these fine establishments will make a fine Brisbane meeting place. Bonus points if you visit all of them!

 November 2, 2012  Posted by at 3:00 pm out and about, reviews Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Oct 192012

eBooks. It seems everyone has something to say about them. Why do eBooks matter to libraries?  Should librarians in fact be breaking up with eBooks? While talk of eBooks is surely going to be happening over coffees at NLS6, perhaps we will be crying over their terrible treatment of us after sinking a few beers, one thing is certain. No matter what the format, there are books that make us laugh, books that make us cry and books that inspire us to do something. So while there is no doubt talking about eBooks with your peers at NLS could help you understand this complex issue, right now let’s just talk books, in particular books about Brisbane.

When I first moved to Brisbane someone gave me a copy of He Died with a Falafel in His Hand, John Birmingham’s epic house-sharing novel, particularly appropriate as I was living in a grungy group house at the time. This hilarious book and the craziness it details was my first introduction to the wonderful land of Brisbane literature and since then I have become a huge fan of many authors that write about this city. It was Nick Earls stories about living in the inner city in novels like Zigzag Street and Bachelor Kisses that made me explore my neighbourhood, and Rebecca Sparrow’s The Girl Most Likely made a whole new set of Brisbane suburbs seem cool. For a completely different take on Brisbane I stepped back in time with David Malouf’s Johnno which gave me a new insight into Brisbane and its history.

Brisbane, Brisneyland, Brisvegas, however you want to refer to it there is a book out there that will capture your heart and let you unlock a little piece of the city. A book that will make you feel like you are living in the sub-tropical heat with frangipani blooming outside your window as you sip, well, you get the idea.

So before you come to NLS6 and dive into discussions about eBooks, books and every other kind of resource libraries have to offer (including the librarians!) take some time to find a book about Brisbane that inspires you to have a look around another part of the city before or after the symposium. If you need some inspiration take a look at this list of books about Brisbane. And when you get here take some time to do the Albert St Literary walk in the city, this is an easy walk from NLS6 HQ,  it lets you see what other famous authors think about Brisbane, and best of all it’s free!

If you have any recommendations about books that explore Brisbane, please add a comment below and I look forward to speaking with you at NLS6 after you have delved into Brisbane fiction on whichever platform you choose.

Disclaimer: While NLS6 is promising to be a hell of a good time we cannot promise that it will live up to the debauchery portrayed in books such as He Died with a Falafel in His Hand, after all information professionals are a staid and serious lot aren’t we??? 😉

 October 19, 2012  Posted by at 11:00 am out and about, planning Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »