Observ8, North Ayrshire


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Melanie West, Audience Development Manager at North Ayrshire on offering young people the opportunity to comment in and shape services available to them

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Observ8, North Ayrshire

  1. 1. Observ8 Melanie West Audience Development Manager North Ayrshire Council Library and Information Service 01294 212716 [email_address]
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>Joint public library and education resource service </li></ul><ul><li>One Children’s and Young people’s librarian (j/s) </li></ul><ul><li>One Young people’s learning co-ordinator </li></ul><ul><li>Close links with CLDS </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why Oberv8? <ul><li>Provision for teenagers - “standard” </li></ul><ul><li>First look at the national Youth Information Framework for Scotland identified concerns: </li></ul><ul><li>A need to involve young people in the development of information, materials and services </li></ul><ul><li>A need to involve young people in the evaluation of our products and services </li></ul><ul><li>A need to link with other youth information providers </li></ul>
  4. 4. The beginning <ul><li>Services provided by Young Scot very successful in NA </li></ul><ul><li>Identification of a similar project run by Dumfries and Galloway – Inspector8. (Based on a peer inspection project run in Lambeth in 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Youth Strategy Executive Group designed a system to allow young people to influence and improve services across the authority. Gained a Bronze COSLA excellence award. </li></ul><ul><li>NAC YS identified a core group of 8 interested young people – Kilwinning Academy </li></ul>
  5. 5. Mission Statement <ul><li>Key points: </li></ul><ul><li>Go out and look at how libraries in NAC are run </li></ul><ul><li>Ask young people who use the service what they think and give them a chance to express their views </li></ul><ul><li>Ask staff who work in these services for their views </li></ul><ul><li>Give feedback to young people to assist them in making any relevant changes </li></ul><ul><li>Make positive suggestions for improvements </li></ul><ul><li>Look at equality and diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Look at why young people do not use the service </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Inspection <ul><li>Guidelines drawn up for before, during and after </li></ul><ul><li>Key points for inspection – location, environment, introductions, take notes, speak to any young people present, questionnaires, feedback, interviews with staff, video/photographs </li></ul><ul><li>Handy hints – set a good example, respect for all, punctuality, politeness, identification, travel information, materials needed </li></ul>
  7. 7. The checklist <ul><li>Signposting </li></ul><ul><li>Outside appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Staff </li></ul><ul><li>Décor </li></ul><ul><li>Notice Boards </li></ul><ul><li>Equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Cost implications </li></ul><ul><li>Toilet facilities </li></ul>
  8. 8. Site visit feedback <ul><li>Site Visit Report Form – the full story, with feedback, comments and evidence </li></ul><ul><li>The inspectors’ own form – self reflection and evaluation (the good bits, the hard bits, did we work together?) </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback form for service managers </li></ul>
  9. 9. Results <ul><li>Stevenston </li></ul><ul><li>Very modern </li></ul><ul><li>Shelves well labelled –books easy to find </li></ul><ul><li>Funky chairs in the children’s section </li></ul><ul><li>Information very easy to find </li></ul><ul><li>Toilets very clean and smelt VERY nice </li></ul><ul><li>Not enough choice for our age group </li></ul>
  10. 10. Results <ul><li>Kilwinning </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to find things </li></ul><ul><li>Chairs in the teen section are a good idea </li></ul><ul><li>Staff helpful, polite, nothing too much trouble </li></ul><ul><li>Easy access </li></ul><ul><li>Great choice of books for young people </li></ul><ul><li>Wide variety of books for all ages </li></ul><ul><li>Clean toilets </li></ul>
  11. 11. Further consultation <ul><li>Youth issues library questionnaire – iPod Touch and iTunes vouchers up for grabs. 86% return. </li></ul><ul><li>Summer consultation – carried out by Young Scot at every summer event involving teenagers. </li></ul><ul><li>Sample questions – Do you use your local library (if not, why not, what would make you use it?), friendliness of staff, What do you do when you’re there?, What would you like to be able to borrow, but can’t, What do you think of the décor, Standard of supervision, Describe your library in 3 words! </li></ul>
  12. 12. Some home truths! <ul><li>Do you use your local library? </li></ul><ul><li>52% yes </li></ul><ul><li>38% no </li></ul><ul><li>If not, why not? </li></ul><ul><li>19% it’s boring </li></ul><ul><li>7% it’s not cool </li></ul><ul><li>7% friends don’t go, so I don’t either </li></ul><ul><li>5% dated décor </li></ul><ul><li>2% I don’t know where it is </li></ul><ul><li>other comments – I can’t find my card, don’t see the need, no time, moaning old annoying seniors 45+ </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>What would make you use your library? </li></ul><ul><li>19% youth friendly opening hours </li></ul><ul><li>14% More DVDs, games, CDs, books to choose from </li></ul><ul><li>10% friendly and approachable staff </li></ul><ul><li>12% – other – free CDs, downloads, more information, chat, to have a game show but not on TV (?) </li></ul><ul><li>Where would you like to be able to access books and research tools? </li></ul><ul><li>28% local library </li></ul><ul><li>14% mobile library </li></ul><ul><li>26% school library </li></ul><ul><li>12% youth/community centre </li></ul><ul><li>12% supermarket </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Why do you use the service? </li></ul><ul><li>45% to borrow books </li></ul><ul><li>28% to study </li></ul><ul><li>16% to access PC/internet </li></ul><ul><li>16% to meet friends </li></ul><ul><li>14% to get information </li></ul><ul><li>10% other – games, Cindy the receptionist is tidy </li></ul><ul><li>Is there anything you’d like to borrow, but can’t? </li></ul><ul><li>Certain DVDs, certain games, guitar tab books, insurance, self respect. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>What do you think of the décor? </li></ul><ul><li>42% modern </li></ul><ul><li>23% could do with a lick of paint </li></ul><ul><li>16% dated </li></ul><ul><li>Other – very old, don’t care, if death had a face </li></ul><ul><li>Describe your library in 3 words: </li></ul><ul><li>Books books books, big brown boring ,cool funky fresh, comfortable modern friendly, knowledge is power </li></ul>
  16. 16. The middle – what did we learn? <ul><li>Time constraints of young people – timing of events is crucial, youth friendly opening hours </li></ul><ul><li>What are we doing? </li></ul><ul><li>More evening and weekend working, more consultation with key partners in the area, more use of MYC, social networking, group support </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Awareness raising – locations, requests, opening hours, internet use </li></ul><ul><li>What are we doing? </li></ul><ul><li>Teensp@ce on our website,working on video clips/sound bites, social networking, attendance at events (parents’ evenings, Big on the Beach, Highland games, Viking Festival), branded goodies, Young Scot (mag, website, info points, pod, bluetooth), join your local library campaigns </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Staff attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>What are we doing? </li></ul><ul><li>LIS has a new customer charter, Child Protection Training, NAC currently exploring ways of further incorporating young people’s needs into all relevant council training, branch staff involvement in promotional activities. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Other outcomes <ul><li>Themed events – Cathy Cassidy afternoon in the local arts centre, Fashion Show for Cancer Research in Stevenston Library (models, jazz band, rugby club) </li></ul><ul><li>Teenage volunteers – staff visit schools to recruit, support DoE, Dynamic Youth etc. 472 teenage volunteer hours June 09- April 2010. Ready made focus groups! </li></ul><ul><li>Study support – cosy corners, separate rooms, Past papers (all secondary school libraries, 14 branch libraries, current year ref only, past years can be borrowed, free downloads) </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Further development of outreach collections (mainly supermarkets and community centres) </li></ul><ul><li>Games consoles and associated equipment – Xbox360, Wii, PS3, DS </li></ul><ul><li>TALIS into secondary schools. ALL NAC schools run on ALICE – currently switching all secondaries onto TALIS to allow easier sharing of resources amongst schools, public libraries and ERS. </li></ul><ul><li>Fiction collections. School budgets in poor health – considerable input from public library funding to allow the borrowing of large collections of up to date fiction from LIS. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Easy, low cost, fixes <ul><li>Ask your school librarians for help – they have the captive audience </li></ul><ul><li>Make in house teen-friendly promotional materials/forms – get young people involved </li></ul><ul><li>Advertise local library opening hours/location/borrowing details in your school libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Make friends with key partners – YS are invaluable – information points in every secondary school. Health Board always looking for venues (make links with street nurses, community food workers, active schools etc) </li></ul>
  22. 22. No end! <ul><li>Current challenges for NAC – amalgamation of 5 depts into one (loss of expertise, strains on staff time), budget constraints, closure of facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Young people need to feel part of their community facilities – there’s an ongoing need to make sure that they’re actively and meaningfully involved in planning and decision making – they need to be treated (and learn to treat others) with respect. </li></ul><ul><li>Perhaps we don’t lend self-respect, but you can gain it for keeps at the library! </li></ul>