Case study three: Roma Library, Maranoa Regional Library Service
Table of contents
Maranoa Regional Library Service has seven libraries serving a population of 20,921. The township of Roma, with an estimated population of 7,561 (ABS 2014), has the largest library. However, with a public area of just 295m2, it is still much smaller than the large suburban and city libraries. The Roma Library is co-located with the community arts facilities, which includes a series of art studios and a gallery. This co-location has assisted in the creation of a cohesive and collaborative relationship between the community arts and the library. The library actively supports the community art groups as they do the library.
Bunting and Tumble Book Stories
During September various school holiday activities were run by a local volunteer. These included a story time and art activity where children decorated calico triangles to depict their favourite stories. These were attached to a long cloth tape to make a bunting to decorate the children’s area. While a start time was advertised for this activity, it continued throughout the day whenever there were children in the library. A large group from a local holiday care club came with 10 children; and a further eight children participated at other times through the day. Researchers also observed a Tumble book stories session. Tumble book is a Web based platform that allows children to read ebooks, write reviews and play games. Tumble books were demonstrated to children and parents on the library’s computer tablets. The session also included a children’s colouring craft after they had read their story. This activity attracted parents with very young children.
To find out more about the Story Bunting Workshop, download the full report (PDF 1.1 MB).
Using the Framework for the Story Bunting Workshop
The Story Bunting Workshop contributed a benefit by:
- accessing resources - Providing access to craft materials (calico bunting triangles and coloured marker pens) and guidance from the organiser.
- idea building - Exposing children to new forms of craft and developing ideas for the content of their story bunting.
- civic engagement - Building trust in the library and local government by providing this activity.
- community development - Generating connections between children.
- cultural participation - Allowing children to engage in artistic practice and discuss the results.
- health and wellbeing - Encouraging emotional wellbeing and connection with children talking about their emotions and reactions to the stories they were depicting.
- educational attainment - Discussing the stories, stretching participants’ vocabulary and comprehension.
- economic Productivity - Supporting the local childcare centre as one of their holiday activities.
The Creative Writers Group
Every week, a lively discussion with laughter, posturing and tears takes place in the back of Roma Library or in the nearby Tin Smiths’ studio. The Creative Writers’ Group share their weekly writing challenges and support each other in developing their writing craft whether for profit or pleasure. The writing group draws in participants through the library but operates independently, organising their own meet-ups and activities. Having created a non judgemental environment to nurture new and developing writers, they hold workshops and other events with visiting speakers and writers to inspire and encourage each other.
The Creative Writers’ Group can claim several successes with writing competitions and published works but some of the unwritten successes include the healing power of expressing their stories of pain and heartache, and sharing culture and history with stories of local Indigenous mobs and tales of life in outback Australia. The group provides a safe and trusted space to support the health and wellbeing of the participants. They build community as they engage with new people and extend their social networks.
Using the Framework for the Creative Writers' group
The Creative Writers' Group contributed a benefit by:
- accessing resources - Sharing knowledge among participants and gaining access to invited speakers when possible.
- idea building - Sharing and critiquing participant-generated creative writing materials.
- civic engagement - Developing trust in the library and local council; and providing a forum to discuss local and international politics.
- community development - Developing strong connections within the group; and supporting those experiencing personal difficulties in the home.
- cultural participation - Developing and consuming creative writing is a central feature of this activity.
- health and wellbeing - Supporting emotional wellbeing through relaxation, providing activity outside the home and personal support.
- educational attainment - Providing opportunities for informal learning in the practice of creative writing.
- economic productivity - Enabling connections with the potential to sell stories and get published.
To find out more about Roma Library, download the full report (PDF 1.1 MB)