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A LIFE Amongst Books

Women in Business—No. 2

If you are seeking knowledge of some subject, no matter what it is or who you are or why you want the informa- tion. Miss N. B. Kibble, principal re- search officer of Sydney Public Library, is at your service.

HER main job, since the department

came into being in 1919, has been to make fortunes for other people, and although she never expects to make a fortune this way herself, she loves the


Business men and women come to her with all sorts of inquiries, mostly about manufacturing processes. Many of them have gone away and have started profit- able businesses through their research at the library under Miss Kibble's guid-


Everybody is treated alike at this fountain of knowledge. For instance, an out-of-work man learnt from the re- search department how to re-blacken the names on brass plates. Now he is earning a fair living. Another studied boot polish art and set up as a manu-


On the same page of Miss Kibble's notebook we see that a manufacturer studied the treatment of feathers for bedding, so that he could introduce a

new line.

There are few things that Miss Kibble does not know something about. She has questions fired at her all day long, by letter, telephone, and by people who call to see her. It's all in the day's work.

Miss Kibble has not only helped many manufacturers to pioneer new processes in Australia, but she is something of a pioneer herself . . . and a very important

one to her sex.

MISS N. B. KIBBLE, principal research officer of Sydney Public


It was she who, 33 years ago, had the audacity to answer an advertisement for a librarian at the Sydney Public Library.

Not suspecting for one moment that N. B. Kibble was a girl, the authorities wrote asking her to present herself on a certain date to sit for an entrance examination. There was consternation among the examiners when a girl turned up. After long argument the head of the library decided that since the ad- vertisement had not stipulated that men only need apply (this being taken for granted) she should be allowed to sit. And she got the job. She was the first woman to work at the library.