Yesterday saw the commencement of the consultation process around the future of our public library network. Over 80 people attended our first workshop to begin capturing the views of people working in public libraries, or in some way associated with the work that libraries do. Along with people who work in libraries the attendees included a range of mayors & councillors, senior council & State Government staff, senior LGA staff, Libraries Board members and various partners who contribute to our network - NGOs, technology and logistics companies etc.
The facilitators took us forward to 2030 to consider what libraries would be like then. We worked our way around 5 difference scenarios which prompted us to consider what the future may look like & then we worked in groups to document what we wanted to protect in 2014 which would be important in 2030, and what we were prepared to jettison. It certainly led to some interesting conversations. For many of us the process assisted in "drilling down" to the fundamental purposes (i.e. the why) of libraries, rather than focusing on what we do now.
The process got us moving around, talking to other participants and actively engaging in thinking about our preferred future for public libraries. One of our facilitators took some photos of the day, showing people busily engaged in the activities. These photos have been put together in multiple images in a frame - I've dropped a few in below.
This workshop will be followed up with 2 metropolitan and 5 country workshops to ensure that regardless of where people are, if they're connected to libraries they have an opportunity to have their say. If you're reading this & haven't registered for an event close to you please do so, as they kick off next week. Library and other council staff will also have an opportunity to contribute through an online survey that will be available soon.