Brilliant outreach idea (not mine!)

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As someone who has always thought that the library job I am least suited to is Youth Services (mind you the job i am second least suited to is Adult Services – go figure!) I have been reading , hearing, and being inspired, about a lot of YS programs lately.

My first love is still techie, gadget stuff but I am really getting interested in a whole lot of teen/tween programming ideas.

I found this article on collaboration between public libraries and schools which led me to this blog which had me (in my head) working out how we could incorporate some of these ideas into our YS programs. (By ‘we’ I mean the YS team)

I was so intrigued by the ‘battle of the books’ idea that I have contacted the author for more info (I think it along with book bingo could make a really interesting Adult Services series)

I think I want to run an ‘after school’ type program for adults say one morning a week (lego club, code club, themed booktalk, book bingo, intro to ebooks, intro to emags etc.)

Hmmmmmmmm this is turning from a blogpost to an idea.

To the batcave


Vaughan’s newest library is nothing like the ones you grew up in

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Another library design from the ‘how cool is this’ realm.

The Vaughan Civic Centre Resource Library has been designed to turn the image of libraries on it’s head.

According to Margie Singleton, CEO of Vaughan Public Libraries, “That was our guiding principle — to rethink what libraries were and to try to anticipate what they can become in the future.”

“We wanted it to be exceptionally welcoming — no shushing in this library,” said Singleton.


People can read quietly in these “telephone chairs,” which block out outside noise. (CBC)

I love these chairs (there are ‘similar’ chairs at the new Geelong Library) thy would so stop mr grumpy complaining about the noise.

So many good ideas here.

Adds City of Vaughan to the list of libraries to visit while in Canada.

BlogJune Day 2



what a great hashtag!

I also love the idea of reading champions in libraries  – i could envisage a series a drop in events around the theme of ‘meet our reading champion’. All ages; booktalks, lego club, code club, stitch, adult learners week.

And as for the murder mystery event – well what public librarian hasn’t wanted to ‘murder’ someone in the library?

Books on Prescription

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How cool is this?

A list of self-help books endorsed by health professionals and curated by Public Libraries – how useful could this be?

From the about section of the website:

Books on Prescription was first developed in Cardiff, Wales by Professor Neil Frude, a Clinical Psychologist.

A national scheme for England, Reading Well Books on Prescription, was launched in England in 2013 and is delivered by the Reading Agency. Our model is significantly based on the research and experience of this initiative modified for the Australian environment and we thank the Reading Agency for their support and assistance.

The NSW Books on Prescription project has been developed by NSW Public Libraries Association, Central West Zone in partnership with the University of Newcastle – Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health.

The initiative has been funded by a grant from the Library Council of New South Wales and is being administered by Central West Libraries on behalf of the Central West Zone. It is an Australian pilot.

In partnership with the Public Library Network, GPs and other health professionals prescribe books from a list of high quality, self help manuals selected by experienced mental health practitioners. The prescribed books will be available for loan from the 14 public library services (41 service points) across the region.

These books are also available for anyone to borrow from their local public library.

The aim of the project is to provide resources which deliver reliable information regarding mental illness, promote wellbeing and good mental health and help to build resilience.

Evaluation of the pilot will provide the opportunity to consider bibliotherapy as a state and potentially national health promotion strategy.


Elevated Study pods – want

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Liz McGettigan had a shot of these in her presentation at The Future is Now mini conference at SLV this morning. And I thought “wow! how cool would this be in the library for staff meetings”.


or just because…

Libraries and dyslexia

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A while ago a patron approached me asking if we had any books suitable for children with dyslexia to read. She told me about a publisher which specialised in dyslexia friendly childrens books  and luckily MPOW had some of them so she was able to go home happily with several books for her son to read.

I forgot all about this conversation until I read this article, written by a dyslexic library member at Edinburgh Libraries.

It got me thinking about what we could offer the author of this article if she moved to the area served by MPOW.

Bespoke – our program of booktalks.

Held in a slightly different format at each branch the attendee can listen to staff talk about good books they have read. Audience participation is up to the individual – it is a supportive and encouraging place for people to talk about reading.

We also have regular author talks where an author comes in and talks about his or her books.

But that is about it.

The articles links to this book  –Accessing books: A guide for dyslexic adults which I have downloaded onto my ereader as it looks extremely interesting and relevant.

I am now curious as to how many library members are dyslexic (and how I would find that out)

Wanders off to investigate dyslexia in adults in Australia.

The librarian is IN

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I would love to see us doing this sort of outreach at farmers markets, craft markets & community festivals (to name but a few opportunities).

We could do it as part of our ‘table’ at these events – and it well and truly addresses the oft asked question of ‘but what does it have to do with libraries; how does it link back to the library?”

I would volunteer to be  a part of it in a heartbeat.


A stitch in time

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I’d love to run something like this at mpow. (dream on Fi) Have a day or weekend of themed events. Adult, Teen, Junior, Info, HLS, so across all teams and all branches…

A Stitch in Time: A Day of Embroidery

Sat 6 Jun 2015, 11:00 – 17:00

Cornelia Parker at work on Magna Carta An Embroidery – Photograph by Joseph Turp

For more information


Library on a Chip

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This looks like an interesting project – the idea of a range of library services on a microchip (whilst channelling Bond, James Bond, at his superspy best) is intriguing and interesting.

I’m thinking similar usage type to the library boxen i have blogged about here and here.

From Fast Company:

This Library On A Chip Gives People Without Internet Access All The Information They Need

Also great for long subway rides!

micro chip lib

There may come a day when the whole world logs on effortlessly to the Internet, but it ain’t happened yet. Today, there are about 7.1 billion people on Earth and only about 3.1 billion have private access to porn and cat videos. The rest have to use some form of public connection, or they do without.

This digital divide creates a bifurcated world, where some people have the information and knowledge to get ahead, while others are left behind. But the solution isn’t necessarily to roll out more Internet. In fact, you can get a lot of information to people using more old-fashioned methods, like hard-drives and SD cards.


Library Boxen

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So a while ago I built a couple of library boxen. (It seemed like a good idea at the time).

I was pretty excited about what mpow could do with these –  there seemed to be so many uses.

But as time rolled on I couldn’t get mpow to be anywhere near as enthusiastic as me about them so they have been sitting in ‘the Mont Albert branch’ (the Pashmina room as some call it) gathering dust.

This seemed wrong and pointless so I fired them up and uploaded some bits n pieces to them so now if you are wandering past the Monty branch and check for wifi you can download an ebook from project Gutenberg, listen to some music from my friend’s kids country music band, or read a book review I’ve written.

Hopefully I will keep updating the content on the boxen (and keep them charged…)

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