Loving our Libraries: Part 2

In the last blog, we met with St Peters librarian, Jan Lewis, to find out how the Langer Library has managed to stay relevant despite emerging technologies. By doing so, it became evident that the adaptability of the library was one of the key reasons as to why St Peters students have such a strong academic reputation, leading to our College being one of Queensland’s leading independent schools.

This blog will continue on that vein. By highlighting the key events that the Langer Library hosts throughout the year, it will show just how the library has managed to engage a new generation of technologically savvy teenagers.

Step 1: Educational Entertainment

The Langer Library hosts numerous events throughout the school year. These include:

  • Junior High Literature events
  • Author visits
  • Interschool Readers Cup competitions
  • Australian Children’s Book Week events
  • Publishers displays

Some of these events, like the Interschool Readers Cup and Australian Children’s Book Week, are run across the St Peters campus, extending to incorporate the Woodrow (Upper Primary) Library and the Roehrs (Lower Primary) Library. The Australian Children’s Book Week, is a massive calendar event for all of three St Peters libraries. This year, it incorporated Indigenous Literacy Foundation fundraisers and lasted an entire month!

Step 2: Involve the Students

One thing that the Langer Library and the Woodrow Library did incredibly well this year was to involve the students in choosing what material they could access. At Publishers Day (in the Langer Library) and the Book Week High Tea (in Woodrow Library) there were displays of new titles from book shops. Students were invited in to select books for the school to purchase. These books, once processed, were then available on the shelfs and the students could borrow them out to read!

Step 3: Have Enthusiastic Staff

The staff in the Langer Library are definite drivers behind ensuring that their domain stays relevant. They do this by:

  • Providing services and programmes
  • Applying specialised knowledge to problems
  • Promoting access to a variety of information and resources, including eBooks, the internet and electronic databases
  • Encouraging Information Literacy development
  • Enhancing research skills throughout the curriculum

The last of these points is done by incorporating Dimensions of Learning. Jan says that, by promoting and revising Langer Library webpages, assignment pathfinders and Firefly items, library staff are able to provide quality resources to both staff and students. Of late, they have recorded a substantial increase in the number of classes researching in the library, and in the number of book loans. In the last two years, the main library webpages have received over 35,000 hits; assignment pathfinders have been accessed 14,000 times in the past year; and they’ve recorded approximately 14,000 items being loaned out per 16-week period.

Jan says that one of the biggest challenges the Langer Library faces is the changes in technology but, when looking at those statistics, it seems they’re well and truly keeping up!