Be the Facilitator You Were Born to Be

On 24 May 2019, North Burnett Regional Council (NBRC) library staff, Amanda Marchant, Simone King, Jan McCarrol and Tanaya Hagan attended the Libraries, Literacy and Littles Ones Workshop at State Library of Queensland. We came away from the day with information, ideas and inspiration overload; it was all amazing.

Children's books displayed upright on a table

The workshop helped boost our confidence in delivering more engaging First 5 Forever sessions to our community, we were able to network with staff from independent libraries and we learnt what it means to be a facilitator. Another big thing we learnt was how to deliver more meaningful parental messages. Parental messages don’t have to be big and filled with a lot of information and explanation; they can be short and sweet explanations on why we sang a song twice, for example, or why we have read the same book for two weeks in a row – because repetition is good for building children’s brains.

Another thing we took away from the workshop, was it is okay to branch out from the four walls of our libraries. One of our challenges has been a decline in Storytime participation in our libraries and how to attract new families to our programs. We learnt that bigger independent libraries have 30+ kids every week, and it was good to know that it is all right to reach out and connect with playgroups, kindergartens and family day care. This is something that we will endeavour to do within NBRC Libraries not only to increase participation but to share and encourage that the first five years of a child’s life are extremely important.

Although Megan and Natasha had come to Monto to deliver Libraries, Literacy and Little Ones on 15 May 2019, we were not able to attend ourselves due to having eight offices that needed to be covered. However, the four of us were able to catch up on the training in Brisbane.

White board with lots of writing on it

The professional development has resulted in consistent, improved Storytime sessions delivered throughout the North Burnett region. For more information, please contact North Burnett Regional Council’s Libraries Unit Leader on 1300 696 292 (1300 MY NBRC) or email admin@northburnett.qld.gov.au

About the author
Amanda Marchant, Simone King, Jan McCarrol and Tanaya Hagan are Administration Officers (Customer Service & Library) for the North Burnett Regional Council.