GEM OF TIME RECIPIENT - JULIE MARTIN 2020
Julie had a long and distinguished career with the Library Board of Western Australia, from the time she joined in 1961 as an apprentice to Mollie Lukis. She worked in many sections in the State Library and qualified as a librarian four years later. Julie took up a position in Mental Health Services shortly afterwards but left in 1970 to raise her children. In 1976, Julie rejoined the State Library as part time Social Sciences librarian.
She then took charge of the Western Australian ephemera collection and undertook considerable re-organising and re-cataloguing of the collection as well as having a positive collecting policy. The grouping of ephemera into broad themes with detailed lists and appropriate cataloguing opened up the collection to greater use by researchers. This was also at the time the library began to embrace computers and establish the online catalogue that is in use today.
Julie then became the Battye Library’s pictorial collection librarian and her organisational and professional skills were used to grow and process the collection of photographs, postcards, and other illustrative material. The postcard collection was a particular focus for Julie and she led a small team of staff and volunteers who assisted in the processing of this collection and, indeed, the whole pictorial collection.
As well as her collection work, Julie was a part of the Battye library reference team, spending many hours on rostered public desk shifts, working on letter (and then email) enquiries, ‘subject enquiries’ from public libraries, and indexing local newspapers and periodical articles. Julie also became the ‘voice of the State Library’ when telephone callers were treated to a message recorded in her distinctive dulcet tones.
Retirement did not slow Julie down and among her activities is a growing involvement with the Western Australian Genealogical Society to which she makes a substantial contribution with talks, library work and other activities.
A life member of the Friends, Julie has made a substantial, if largely unsung, contribution to Western Australia’s documentary heritage and historical research through her professional career and private life. Researchers of 2020 and the future will continue to use the legacy of Julie’s work.
The Friends of Battye Library (Inc.) would like to show our appreciation of Julie’s dedication and generosity by listing her as a ‘Gem of Time’, an award that celebrates living treasures who have had a long-term and significant commitment to the Battye Library and the State Records Office. The list of Gems will last to acknowledge the contribution of outstanding men and women to the recording, collection, and preservation's of Western Australia’s history.