Banana Shire Libraries launch successful new programs

photo collage of people
Image: Guest artists at Banana Shire Writers & Illustrators Festival. Courtesy of Banana Shire Libraries

Over the past year, Banana Shire has received three State Library ‘Realising Our Potential Micro Grants’. Funding has supported new programs for diverse communities across the region, including purchase of new equipment and running of community events.

Read on for details of two new initiatives launched in Banana Shire Libraries.

Promoting Local Literary Talent

The Banana Shire Writers & Illustrators Festival and Giant Book Sale promoted local literary talent, fostered literacy skills and encouraged the community to revisit their local library. Several events took place as part of the Festival: on the Friday, local schools participated in workshops with authors and illustrators, followed by an adult’s only evening soiree; and additional workshops were held on the Saturday.

Local talent at the festival included, authors Christine Bongers, Therese Creed, Glee Sellin and authors/illustrators Debbie Graving, Sarah Hart and Hannah Seth. Local poet Trevor Shaw’s award-winning work, Dentures to the Rescue (Winner, 2017, Blackened Billy Verse Competition, Tamworth, NSW), was read, with much laughter from the audience. Google it!

Challenging Grey Matter

A Micro Grant also helped fund Biloela Library’s ‘Brain Training’ program. Run over a 10-week period, participants undertook timed activities such as crosswords, sudoku, drawing with the ‘other’ hand, and colouring in, exercising both sides of the brain to improve brain function and memory.

Participants thoroughly enjoyed the activities and the special graduation gifts – a certificate and a T-Shirt – that promoted the program and the library. The program was so well received it will be running at the Taroom Library from October, and potentially in the two other branches in 2020.

The project also received some positive media coverage in the Central Telegraph newspaper.

What participants said:
“Thank you for the opportunity to take part in the Brain Training exercises. I was nervous about joining the group to begin with but was soon put at ease with the friendliness of you – the organisers, and the participants. The exercises were diverse and interesting and not daunting, although it soon became obvious where my personal deficiencies (and strengths) were…” Lexie

“Thank you so much…I loved every single week and looked forward to what challenges awaited us weekly. It was informative, fun and helped us stretch our brain power. A bonus was the social aspect with a chat with a cuppa at the end of each session. I have already recommended this to other people and would love to participate in the program again…” Marilyn

Image: Participants of Banana Shire Libraries ‘Brain Training’ program

Alongside these projects, Banana Shire libraries received a Micro Grant to support the digitalisation of local records and historical images. Read more

The State Library of Queensland Realising Our Potential Micro Grants Program provides quick response funding to Councils to deliver short-term, time-limited projects through public libraries and IKCs across Queensland. The next round will open in February 2020.

Visit the Banana Shire Libraries website here.

About the author
Ruth Thompson is the Senior Library and Information Services Advisor for the Banana Shire Libraries.