Creative Libraries Workshop @SLV

A number of YPRL staff attended the Creative Libraries workshops held at the State Library recently. These workshops addressed two themes – that everyone is capable of being creative; and that libraries need to raise our profile as one of the biggest providers of cultural activities in Australia.

The first half of the day explored what we think creativity means, and why we value it:

  • We talked about what makes cultural events memorable for us. Common themes include community building / bringing people together; uniqueness of activity; authenticity/ authority of presenters; and the sharing of skills/ learning something new.
  • We learnt to realise that everyone can be creative – creativity is not just about making art or being “good at art”. Brian Eno’s quote that “Adults learn through art, children learn through play” is doubly significant for libraries because many libraries also foster play-based learning.

In the second half of the day, we looked at why and how libraries need to improve advocacy about our role as cultural providers:

  • While our own research (The Creative Communities report, commissioned and published by the SLV) demonstrate that public libraries are active in nurturing and facilitating cultural activities, our efforts are often unrecognised by the creative industries – as evidenced by our omission from the Creative State strategy, recently announced by the Victorian Government
  • We looked at a number of effective communication strategies, including removing jargon, and appealing to different types of intelligences. A handy reminder is that most successful advocacy includes a Head (intention/rationale), Heart (emotions) and Feet (logistics/process) component

These thought-provoking issues make a refreshing change from our daily work commitments. There’s also the added bonus of meeting and learning from other library professionals (dare I use the N-word – networking?), plus a chance to catch up with current and former YPRL colleagues.

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