Friday, December 16, 2005

Youth Library opens at last!

Here I am looking very tired (very tired) on the day of the grand opening of *YL, our new combined Youth Library/Youth Lounge. (Because this blog is unofficial I can only bring you private pictures - ie ones without other staff members and members of the public - when the more exciting public ones are uploaded I'll make a link. If you'd like to know more please feel free to email me). We opened the doors at 3 pm yesterday and a joyous "crowd" of around 50 young people surged into the new space. While we were initially worried about controlling numbers (this is after all only a "boutique" size area), the numbers were pretty much self regulating with people coming and going and about 50 people in the space at any one time creating a comfortable buzz. Numbers swelled with "oldies" for about half an hour at 5.30 while the Mayor and local invited dignitaries did the official opening, followed by free pizza and softdrinks. Everyone is very impressed with the funky decor, great furnishings, fantastic colour scheme. Free giveaways (hats, t-shirts, pens, bags) to get the "brand" out there worked like a charm. If I were allowed to show you pictures, a snapshot of the space would include: happy friendly teenagers and younger 20s sharing the Playstation and Xbox games with minimal intervention; congenial and self regulating usage of the Internet room; at one point a group of about 8 young people in the big comfy black and orange chairs absolutely absorbed in reading (graphic novels and magazines); girls in party costume looking great, chatting, flicking thru mags and glancing at the big Plasma screen showing continuous music channel (did I mention we have continuous surround sound!). Meanwhile the 2 library staff were furiously signing people up (I just hovered in the background to answer technical questions- I also chatted to a few kids and parents that I knew). By the time I left at 7 pm we had signed up 80 something new borrowers - I'm hoping to hear this morning that we cracked 100 by 9 pm closing time. Not bad for a small community - as a comparison in normal main branch trading we sign up about 100 people a month. Also a brisk trade in DVDs, music CDs and console games going out on loan. It will be interesting to extract the statistics. And we do it all again tonight and Saturday...

Hopefully I will get around to blogging further about reader advisory, I'm also planning a considered blog on book groups, and a much belated blog about my trip around New Zealand last year viewing cutting edge libraries there with John Stanley and Fiona Emberton...but at the moment I'm just so freakin' tired...


  • Congratulations! You look tired? Well, happy-tired, I think :)

    Looking forward to more updates on the youth library and the other projects you mentioned.

    By Blogger Ivan Chew, at 3:50 AM  

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