REAL PUBLIC LIBRARIAN

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Youth E-zine and other stuff on the "to do" list

Thanks to the generosity of the State Library of Queensland through its innovative new funding project "Queensland Stories" we are preparing to offer local youth aged 13-25 a chance to publish their words, poetry, digital art and photography in a Youth Library E-Zine. On offer too are free workshops for small groups (10-15) to learn skills in these areas, plus website design and editorial skills. Scary at first when faced with the enormity of the task - but then presenters are booked, press releases and flyers come together and excitement builds.

Other great projects coming up in the next twelve months include a reprise of the "Armchair Traveller" series; a workshop on "Altered Book Art" (after all, we have plenty of raw materials in the form of our weeded stock!); and an art appreciation course for adults. Our pilot book group will be expanding to two offerings - "The Classics" (doesn't everyone resolve to read/reread the classics one day when they retire?), and "Contemporary Australian." AND for those who can't physically come to the library, a "virtual" book group based on a dedicated blog (now that I know how easy that is to do!). And an idea we "stole" from another library, with a great acronym - "GOAL" - Grade Ones At the Library - the goal for us is to increase circulation at our second branch library by establishing a relationship with all the grade ones from the local school. Every class will be invited to visit the library, and library staff will visit the school from time to time too. Hopefully we will reach the families/siblings this way as well.

As if we weren't already bursting with ideas aplenty, we are all looking forward to some staff training being offered by Libraries Alive! - a three day course on reader advisory - sure to load us up with some more fantastic ideas.

A bit of a scary task on my list is developing the detailed brief for the new main branch library. We will be tendering for the most innovative/exciting consultants to help us develop a unique paradigm for our library service.

Our Youth Library is still being decorated - incredibly funky, I must post pictures when it's done - but a shortage of trades people is severely holding us up (our community is still in the grip of the "sea change" building boom). Most of the furniture (including comfy funky chairs in black and orange) and library fittings (not a single metal shelf - all specially commisioned "slatwall" gondolas in black and silver reflective with perspex face-out only shelving) and the various game consoles/huge plasma TV are in storage until the interior is finished. WE HAVE A NAME - 118 young people submitted suggestions for our "space" and a team of young people decided on the final one - it is BRILLIANT and you would not be able to guess it in a million years - but not officially sanctioned yet so must keep hush hush (also until we buy the domain name so nobody else steals it!)

All in all, a year to look forward to...

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