Skip links and keyboard navigation

8. Specialist services

Information about the specialist services provided to Queensland public library staff by State Library - part of the Manual for Rural Libraries Queensland (RLQ) libraries.

8.1 Young people's services

8.1.1 Resources for library staff

The exchange collections for children and young people are picture books, junior fiction, junior non-fiction and young adult fiction (PIC, JF, JNF, and YAF) and are described in Section 4.1.  SLQ provides state wide consultancy and advice on library services for young people, along with grants and program ideas.

JS: Storytelling resources

Resources are available for loan to public libraries to supplement their own resources and storytelling programs.  The resources are also available to individual customers. These include:

  • Themed kits containing several books and activity based props, such as finger puppets, felt boards, puppets and soft toys. The contents of each kit may vary.
  • Big books or outsized picture books, suitable for showing to a group.

This collection has the call number prefix J*S. Storytelling resource kits can be found in the online catalogue by limiting the format to Junior Storytelling kit.
All resources are suitable for the under 5 year age group and kits are available on bulk loan via the online forms or reserved via the online catalogue.

8.1.2 Resources for young people

Resources for young people are provided in the following formats - books, audio books, and DVDs.

Displaying resources for young people

Face out shelves are vital for displaying books for children and young adults. The covers of books are more attractive than book spines. Display picture books, fiction and non-fiction for young people face out where possible.

8.1.3 Library promotions for young people


Make contact with local schools! Schools will welcome your approach and have goals in common with you to foster reading amongst children. Make contact with the Principal, teachers or teacher/librarian.

You can work together with schools in your community. Here are some suggestions:

  • Class visits for children to work on projects or borrow books
  • Hold a storytelling session for a visiting class
  • Offer a library visit during first term of pre-school or grade one classes
  • Organise Children's Book Week activities with local schools.

Day Care centres, kindergartens and playgroups

Community groups working with children would love an invitation to visit the library. Parents of Under 5s want the best for their young children and will become great supporters of your library.

You can involve local day care centres, kindergartens and playgroups by:

  • Inviting them for a short storytelling session
  • Inviting playgroups to combine a library visit, joining up and borrowing books with morning tea at the library
  • Sending notices of library events and activities to day care centres, kindergartens and playgroups
  • Offering a talk for parents about the resources the library offers for Under 5s
  • Inviting the local vet, postal officer or local identity to attend the library and talk about his/her job.

For Storytelling sessions

  • Choose a comfortable, cosy place for Mums, Dads/carers to snuggle up with their children
  • Choose books with bright pictures and a few words
  • Look at the pictures and make up your own story
  • Move your finger under the words as you read
  • Encourage children to join in the story and ask questions
  • Show children lots of different types of books like board books, pop up or lift-the flap books
  • Choose books about familiar objects, animals or everyday events
  • Let the story be a springboard to talk about baby’s own life
  • Be prepared to read and re-read favourite stories.

Tips for reading aloud to children

  • Become familiar with the story, so as not to stumble over unfamiliar words
  • Make sure everyone can see and you can see them
  • You might begin with some action songs until everyone gets settled
  • After the song, use a calm voice to settle the children down for listening
  • Introduce the story, briefly discuss from the picture on the cover what the book might be about. Older children can they guess?
  • Read clearly and dramatically using your voice to portray characters and mood
  • Show or point to the illustrations as you read
  • Mix old favourites with new titles.


Run children’s activities or offer competitions. The First Five Forever website has lots of practical ideas on how to run sessions.

  • School holidays are always a busy time for the public library as children are in and out of the library exchanging books, DVDs and games.
  • Special celebrations such as Christmas, New Year and summer holidays provide a fine opportunity to feature junior books on these subjects.
  • Build a cubby house, create a spy group - books and internet sites on these and other subjects should be promoted and activity programs in the library designed around the children’s holiday interests.

8.2 Languages other than English (LOTE)

Books in a large number of languages are available on bulk loan.

For a list of the languages available please refer to the LOTE collection prefix list [Document in PDF format 52 kb].

The Multicultural Services pages allow library staff and clients to connect with more resources.

8.2.1 Some ways to promote the service

Notify the following about the range of multicultural resources available:

  • Community organisations and centres in your area, including backpackers working in your district
  • Government support groups - welfare agencies, immigration officers etc
  • Nursing homes
  • Schools, especially those that include the teaching of languages as part of their curriculum
  • TAFE colleges (including literacy tutors)
  • Local papers and newsletters by providing articles.

Every time you promote public library services, remember to include information about the LOTE collection.

8.2.2 Who can borrow?

The collection is available to all borrowers. Regular users of the collection may include:

  • People born in non-English speaking countries who cannot speak or read English
  • Migrants to Australia who speak and read English but wish to maintain their first language through reading
  • People who have learned a second language and wish to maintain this language through reading
  • People who wish to learn a second language.

8.2.3 How do you get the books?

Libraries may request LOTE material by completing one of the Online forms. The size of each language collection varies.

Discuss your borrower's likes and dislikes, e.g. fiction or non-fiction, romances, mysteries, biographies. Try to complete as much of the loan form as possible, including details of borrowers, whether they prefer works written in or translated into the requested language, fiction, non-fiction or both and what subject or fiction categories they like. It is important to select books suitable to your borrowers needs and all this information will help.

Particular author/titles or subjects may not be always available but encourage your borrower to take advantage of our request service.

A bulk loan of up to 50 books will be sent to your library for up to one year. When your borrower has almost finished with the books, fill in another request form to refresh the loan. Your LOTE items can be refreshed as often as required.  Items do not need to be kept for one year before they are exchanged.

8.3 Collections for people with disabilities

Resources are available for people with a variety of disabilities including those with visual and hearing impairments.

L: Large type books – fiction and non-fiction are included in exchanges.

Audio books are available as a bulk loan request or as individual author/title requests.

8.3.1 Audio books

Holdings of audio books can be searched in the RLQ Catalogue by first selecting the format Audio visual then searching 'anywhere' for the phrase 'sound recording'. Libraries may reserve these titles via the catalogue.

A print disability is defined as:

  • blindness or impairment
  • physical disabilities which limit capacity to hold or manipulate print material
  • perceptual disabilities which limit ability to follow a line of print
  • insufficient English literacy or language skills.

Discuss with your borrower what type of material they require e.g. fiction or non-fiction, romance, biographies. Specific authors or titles may be requested. A bulk loan of up to 100 audio books will be sent on bulk loan for up to one year. Varying quantities can be requested to build the required stock level needed at your library.

8.4 Adult literacy services

8.4.1 Literacy resources

The adult literacy collection aims to support people who want to develop their literacy and numeracy skills. Materials at various levels in fiction and non-fiction, workbooks for use by tutors with students, reference materials and kits are available.

Bulk loans, author/title or subject requests for adult literacy materials can be made to SLQ Public Library Development on the Adult literacy request online form.

These do not have to be for a particular borrower. A bulk loan can form part of your collection or can be used to promote this part of the library service. Amounts requested can vary according to your need. The average size is usually 50 items.

Contact State Library if you wish to discuss borrowing adult literacy material.

8.4.2 Who can use literacy resources?

Any member of the library is welcome to use the collection. Regular users include learners as well as tutors undertaking tutor training courses.

8.5 Family and Local History

RLQ libraries and patrons have access to a number of authoritative Family History databases many of which are not available through Google or other free search engines.

A free two hour research service is provided by State Library for all Queensland residents.

8.6 Other State Library services

8.6.1 State Library collections

State Library's resources include books, maps, photographs, newspapers, manuscripts and audio, video and digital material much of which reflects Queensland in all its glory.

State Library provides many services to make it easier to find what you're looking for. Library staff can help answer your research questions, show you relevant resources and generally point you in the right direction. Membership opens up a wide range of online resources along with items now available for loan.

8.6.2 John Oxley Library

John Oxley Library consists of unique Queensland resources including diaries, manuscripts, artworks, photographs, original maps and plans, and oral histories. A broad range of books, magazines, newspapers, and ephemera are acquired largely through legal deposit and websites are archived in Pandora. These materials as well as films and digital stories are available for viewing in the John Oxley Library Reading Room or online via the catalogue OneSearch.

Readers who want detailed information may submit an enquiry via an online form using the AskUs service.

Last updated
9th April 2018