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Community & Business

14 June, 2023

Goombungee librarian says farewell after 27 years

Long time Goombungee librarian Allan Imhoff has announced that he will be leaving the Darling Downs to try “taking on new challenges”.

ABOVE: Goombungee librarian and local character Allan Imhoff with a commemorative mug.

The much-loved, larger-than-life figure in the Goombungee community said goodbye last week.

Allan said he was “overwhelmed” by the response from people after announcing his departure via a post on social media.

He has been an ever-present figure in the town, since taking over the Rosalie Mobile Library, as it was then, in 1996.

“My aim was to make libraries fun,” he said.

“Maybe it was a pre-conceived notion about libraries that I had as a kid.”

In 2005, he became the town’s first permanent librarian when the Rosalie Shire Council authorised the construction of the current library building.

Allan has been heavily involved in Jacaranda Festivals in Goombungee, since moving there in 1993.

His effect on the town was immediately apparent to those visiting the Goombungee Library last week.

While speaking with the Champion, he was approached by multiple customers coming into the library to give him a hug.

Allan’s charisma and big personality that have served him well over the years were  on display.

He says it’s a desire to help future-proof his work post-amalgamation that has kept him going for all these year, as well as a desire provide a fun space for children in town to inhabit.

“I have an outgoing personality, and I’ve been able to use that to the advantage of the community, he said.

Allan  says for him, the job at the library has always been about the people - young and old 

“I’ve been involved in most of the Jacaranda Festivals over the years,” he said.

“I’ve been the night-soil collector, handing out Mars Bars from a tin can, involved heavily in the decorating of the trees over the years.”

“I’ve been Santa’s elf, fairies, a ballerina, sheep.” 

Along the way, the job has also taught him some important lessons about life.

“Learn to laugh at yourself, so that way you don’t mind if other people laugh at you,” Allan said.

“We’re in relationship with people every day - our emotions can either be constructive or destructive.”

Allan grew up in Clifton, where his family has strong roots.

As a result, he says he’s always had a fascination for the cross-generational communities and close ties found on the Darling Downs. 

“Somebody in this family will be married to somebody in that family and there’s lots of those connections,” he said. 

As for his next move, he was tight-lipped, except to say that it would be away from the Darling Downs.

“I want to experience something different and take on some exciting new challenges,” he said.

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