Reflections on attendance at the YPLG meeting in February

Kerry Davis attended the Young Peoples Libraries Group meeting for the first time in February 2018. Kerry, the new Young People’s Services Librarian with the Mackay Regional Council, says that it was a perfect way to meet and network with her public library colleagues from around the state.

YPLG meeting February 2018

Attendees enjoy the YPLG meeting at State Library of Queensland, February 2018

Attending the YPLG meeting for the first time by Kerry Davis – Mackay Regional Council

What a fabulous day! I enjoyed every moment of the experience, and here are a few of the highlights for me:

Meeting my Young Peoples Services public library colleagues from around Queensland, in addition to the lovely ladies from State Library, was a great way to put the “faces to the names”. I feel more comfortable to post and share to our professional networks now that I have met some of the people involved. I was appointed to my position late last year, so this was a very valuable opportunity to network with my fellow professionals that work in this area.

The round-table sharing of each other’s highlights and challenges from the last few months. It was fascinating to hear about the different approaches to the Summer Reading Club promotion, and the challenges around embracing more elements of STEM/STEAM within programs being offered. This discussion also highlighted the differences between the various areas around Queensland (and within regions), and how we as YP professionals need to maintain community networks in order to truly know and understand the needs of the particular communities that we serve.

It was wonderful to hear all about the Summer Reading Club from the perspective of the State Library through Natasha Ratajczek’s presentation. Her compilation of photos from libraries around the state was inspirational and educational. Seeing how the different libraries interpreted the theme “Game On” certainly gave me ideas about how my team will embrace this year’s program!

Learning about Toowoomba’s F5F collaboration with Bunnings has inspired me to reach out to businesses in my local region, in order to explore the potential for community partnerships here. It was great to learn that a large, nation-wide business would be amenable to developing an ongoing collaboration with a local council library, which has had the added benefit of introducing early literacy principles and a love of reading to an audience who may never visit their local library.

I was very excited to listen to Karen Gawen’s experiences of implementing the Story Seat project at the Sunshine Coast. It has proven to be a very successful program, and has brought together many different stakeholders in order for it to be completed. I look forward to hearing more news about the project through our professional networks and at future meetings.

It was inspiring to learn about the different responses to robotics and technology from a public library perspective. Even though we all seem to have embraced robotics in a programming context, it was interesting to hear how my colleagues have pushed the envelope with technology and have used it in creative and exciting ways to engage with young people.

The tour of The Corner with Stella Read was a particular highlight of my visit. It was lovely to see an area where children could explore their creativity and imagination around a loose theme. I was very inspired to explore how I could implement some of the same concepts of wonder and discovery in my own professional practice and at our Council’s library branches.

Kerry Davis, Young People’s Librarian, Mackay Regional Council