Saturday, 24 October 2015

Partnerships with Public Librarians

At the end of July the Future of Libraries Summit was held in Wellington, and I scrolled through their Twitter feed a few days later.  One tweet that caught my attention was by @SarahLibrarina, a librarian in Dunedin, and it mentioned a job swap.  It got me thinking about our public library and whether it would be possible to spend some time with my local public librarians to talk together and share knowledge (but not actually swap jobs).  

I already have a good relationship with the Children's and Teen's librarians at Hamilton City Libraries. We run their summer reading programme from our library over the holidays and I had the pleasure of having them come in and teach some of our students, and myself, stop motion animation.

I emailed Su and told her about the summit and asked whether I would be able to talk to some of the staff to learn more about what they do, and then share a bit about what I do.  She agreed and eventually we found a time and day that suited, the morning of the last Tuesday of Term 3.

First up was a chat with Simone, one of the Collections Librarians, about what was popular in junior fiction. I shared our statistics and I got to see their top titles and authors - Geronimo Stilton took out top honours in both our libraries!  

Simone and I also talked about Hamilton City Libraries' Kit Collection.  I've been exploring this idea for a while for our own library, inspired by a couple of blogs about circulating maker kits.  I was able to find out more about whether they were popular (yes, very) and whether they had problems with kits getting damaged (not really).  She gave me the names of some local suppliers for items like sewing machines and telescopes.

Then I spoke to Su and Aaron, two of the Children's and Teen's librarians.  We had a great discussion about ideas for Maori Language week, Star Wars Reads day, display ideas, competitions, Twitter, blogs,

Minion rubbish bins, and


There is a lot of common ground between school and public libraries and I feel that we can learn a lot from sharing with each other.  We often move in different circles and we need to make an effort to reach out and break down those barriers (Twitter is great for this).  A big thanks to Simone, Su and Aaron for making the time to talk with me.

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