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Living Libraries

Living Libraries



Presentation by Gosford Library at Library Innovations, SLNSW, 28 November 2008

Presentation by Gosford Library at Library Innovations, SLNSW, 28 November 2008



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    Living Libraries Living Libraries Presentation Transcript

    • GOSFORD LIVING LIBRARY Commenced in 2007
    • Introduction
      • Heather Davis, Barbara Dawson and Alan Flores make up the Gosford City Library, Living Library Liaison Team.
      • Gosford City Library’s Living Library was one of the first in Australia.
    • How it started
      • A library customer approached me about setting up a Living Library
      • I was wary of tree hugging, whale loving, alternative life stylers taking over my library, nevertheless I agreed to ask Council to provide premises and staff and some funds if a steering committee of volunteers would set it up
    • The Living Library Steering Committee
      • Included a psychologist, a sociologist and a teacher
      • Organised two training nights which were well attended
      • Designed and produced a T shirt and organised a party for the first session.
      • Vetted all the potential books
    • Most potential Books were ideal but:
      • Some had a personal agenda and wanted to preach it to others
      • Some just want to hear the sound of their own voice
      • Some wanted to talk to the masses not the individual
    • Obtaining books
      • We advertised on library notice boards
      • The steering committee was interviewed on local radio and we gave press releases to the local papers.
      • The report to council also resulted in a press release and inquiries from potential books.
    • Catalogue
      • Stolen generation; Infertility; Adoption; Dentist; raising a disabled child; Eco peace activist; mental health; Pinochet regime; Feminist; Home schooling; Allergy intolerance; Single parent; Gambling addiction; Forgotten Australians; Mid life crisis.
    • We started with 13 books and 34 titles
      • Four months after I was first approached the Living Library was operational.
      • We did not bother to take bookings.
      • The first three sessions were on a Saturday afternoon and went well.
      • It was a great success
    • Security
      • Readers limited to 45 minutes to ensure sessions do not get out of hand
      • Several trained library staff for security.
      • Library staff intervene if pre arranged signal given by book
      • Books real names not given
    • Some Readers want..
      • Not just to listen, but
      • Answers to questions
      • A printed book to support what they were hearing
      • Wanted advice
      • Wanted to argue a point
    • Benefits
      • Lots of publicity for the library at little cost.
      • $6,000 over twelve months
      • Catering $500
      • Extra staff time $3,000
      • Room rental $1,000
      • Printing $500
      • T shirts, posters $1,000
    • Mistakes
      • We relied on the steering committee to manage all the details about the books.
      • When books did not turn up to a session we could not contact the lost books
      • We should have made readers reserve a book
    • Outside of the box
      • A Tafe college organised for a class to come and speak to a select group of books. Some wanted to be books to improve their English
      • We intend to visit some high schools for select books to talk to a class on a theme e.g. The Vietnam Conflict
      • The Probus club are interested in coming to us as an outing.
    • Next Steps
      • Library staff will become more involved in logistics and management. E.g. publicity, back up books, reminder calls.
      • Each reading day will be an event
      • Days will be themed
      • More attention given to books, do not take them for granted.
    • Conclusion
      • Living Library is a great experimental medium.
      • The Library will get more involved with the volunteers, most likely take a leading role.
      • Will develop more theme nights with living books and multi media.
      • There will be more outreach and it will be developed more as a tool to develop community
      • The Gosford Living Library has a great future.