Increased membership and engagement are common library goals, and at Moreton Bay Regional Council libraries we hope that a renewed focus on community engagement will help us achieve this, as well as deliver on some of our other priorities which include increasing access to our collections and attracting new and diverse audiences.
Across our ten branches and mobile service we have taken a multi-pronged approach to extending our reach and are utilising a deeply local approach.
To date we have:
- Developed a Community Engagement Framework which outlines why and how to engage the community and utilises the SLQ WELCOME Toolkit.
- Established a New Members Working Group which has collated ideas from across all branches and identified barriers and opportunities to increase library membership – these recommendations are now being considered and will be implemented incrementally.
- Developed a pop-up library proforma which provides a simple process for all GL&M staff to do pop up libraries at events, workshops and exhibitions; and provides advise on how to curate a collection for the event and join up new members.
- Refreshed our advocacy brochure: 10 Reasons to Join your Local Library which provides a succinct tool on the benefits of library membership and is a useful resource when developing new relationships in the community.
- Provided all staff with Community Engagement professional development based at their Branch and focusing on their own local area. Each Branch Plan now commits the teams to engage with a minimum of three new community groups a year … however some branches have committed to meet with a new community group every fortnight – so impressive!
- And finally, MBRC has just employed me in a new role – Libraries Programs and Engagement Leader – exciting times ahead…
About the author
Deb Miles is the recently appointed Programs and Engagement Leader at Moreton Bay Regional Council. Prior to this role she worked across Council’s Galleries, Libraries & Museums developing strategic documents including their Galleries, Libraries & Museum Plan, and Program and Community Engagement Frameworks. Before joining Moreton Bay Regional Council, Deb held a number of roles at State Library of Queensland.