Library tours provide a wealth of ideas

Participants at the recent Rural Libraries Queensland (RLQ) and Small Libraries Workshop, took the option of an extra day to visit Marsden and Springfield public libraries.

Marsden Library is a branch of Logan City Council Libraries. We chose Marsden to see the Sensory Storytime lab and their other successful children’s services. We were met by Regional Librarian Aggie Partridge who explained that Sensory Storytime provides early literacy experiences for children on the Autism Spectrum, have developmental delays, sensory processing and/or other conditions.

Workshop participants enjoying the Sensory Storytime at Marsden Library
Workshop participants enjoying the Sensory Storytime at Marsden Library

Staff use preschool-level stories and sensory resources in a 30 – 45 minute session with sensory materials, movement, routine for a small group to create a more welcoming environment. Children and their families are then invited to engage in unstructured playtime with the items on display. For more details contact Marsden Library.

We then attended Marsden’s story time which is followed by playtime when an enormous number of toys and games were brought out just for the session and then put away, making a special, very exciting and well-attended event!

Children enjoying playtime and Beginner Reader shelving at Marsden

Beginner Readers are shelved in small clear tubs and labels provide simple face-out browsing for customers and easy shelving for staff. A great way to promote your own Beginner Reader collection.

Great seating, YA canvas sign and styled shelving at Springfield Library.

Springfield Library is the latest addition to Ipswich Libraries. The library is spread across several floors and is a renovated rather than a purpose-built facility. The final product is a triumph with exceptional attention to detail.

Library Services Manager Sylvia Swalling and Library Operations Manager Cheryl Pye took participants on a tour of the building. We were truly inspired by the many thoughtful ways to engage and delight library visitors. Participants found lots of innovations and ideas to take away and use in their own library.

Some outstanding features include recessed shelving, leaving clear floor space for activities and events, great seating, the Ipswich Library trademark Market Place, canvas artworks to highlight collections like YA, and electronic screens rather than the posters promoting programs and events.

Library Lockers,
Promotions screen and Market Place at Springfield Library

The great innovation was the Library Lockers in the basement carpark where patrons can collect their reserves from the library 24/7 simply by using their library card and selecting the lockers as the pick-up point!

Visitors relaxing in the tree, Collection canvas make the STEAM collection easy to find, and Children’s area

For more information about any of the ideas and innovations at the libraries visited please contact the Marsden or Springfield Library or