After a small semester break, I am back into it for the down hill run.....
At the end of last semester, I had the pleasure and privilege to visit some of the library and information services in Brisbane.
There were some highlights and some lowlights, but over all, I was blown away by what is available in our community, for our community, and how a lot of this information is not 'out there'.
When I first began studying Teacher Librarianship, I very quickly understood that one of the most influencing roles the teacher librarian has is being the advocate for the library and all the services it offers. ADVOCATE! ADVOCATE! I am not sure whether funding or staffing or a combination of both has prevented some of these organisations from really putting their information out to the general public.
The State Library of Queensland is an amazing place. There is truly something for everyone. The State Archives were unbelievably interesting and impressive. The facilities at Brisbane Boys Grammar were state of the art.
What I learned was that it doesn't really matter how hi-tech your library is, how many cataloguing programs you have, how many e-books, i-pads, i-pods or self-serve borrowing machines you have, it is what you do with all of these things and how you bring the community into the library that makes all the difference. If library users don't know how to use the databases or don't know that the databases are there to be used, they are of no use at all. If the library is replacing print books with e-book versions, but library users aren't borrowing, it is a waste of money.
Library spaces should be designed with the user in mind, making library spaces conducive to reading, learning, researching, listening and getting involved.
I admire the ladies in the Brisbane Square BCC Library. They are not only catering to the general borrowing needs of average readers, they cater to their particular clientele that can range from Legal Counsel to someone who lives on the street. The library is designed for older patrons, patrons with kids, corporate workers and the disabled to name a few. They offer services for older patrons, patrons with kids, corporate workers and the disabled. They hold events to suit the local clientele, to get them into the library to participate in positive community experiences. The library truly can become the hub of the community.
Tomorrow, I am back into some Prac activities where encouraging teenage boys to borrow books and read them is priority 1. I am ready.