Ann-Maree Dyer and Drew Wickerson show off the Mental Health Week giveaways at the South Rockhampton library
Ann-Maree Dyer and Drew Wickerson show off the Mental Health Week giveaways at the South Rockhampton library

Takeaway librarians thrilled by overwhelming public praise

HAVING been a librarian for many years now, Ann-Maree Dyer never tires of matching people with resources.

“It’s intensely rewarding to see people coming through the door looking for the perfect book or that bit of information for an assignment,” she said.

“Whatever their age, ability or need, we get a thrill about introducing them to our expanding collection.”

Part of the Rockhampton Regional Councils’ library team, Ms Dyer said they swung into action early on during COVID-19 restrictions, to keep up community engagement.

The Takeaway Library service is an initiative which involves the librarians handpicking collections for members to take home.

Indeed, the feedback from the public has been overwhelming – 12,300 loans over four months - with many people crediting the librarians for introducing them to new authors and new genres.

Ann-Maree Dyer at the South Rockhampton library
Ann-Maree Dyer at the South Rockhampton library

Ms Dyer said it was a “thrill and a delight” to hear the feedback.

“We become very invested in coming up with reading ideas the client might enjoy,” she said.

Given her passion is children’s books and graphic novels, does Ms Dyer grow tempted to slip a few of her own favourites into the takeaway selections?

“The artwork in so many children’s books is sublime and you get that same sense of anticipation with graphic novels,” she said.

“Telling a story with pictures can be just as powerful as with words, so I really encourage children and adults to check out our range of anime and manga books.”

There are also family activities, such as making finger puppets and shadow puppets, which parents can supervise from home.

Councillor Drew Wickerson said he was an avid reader of e-magazines about adventuring and motorcycles and “other things I don’t have time for anymore”.

The council libraries added nearly 5000 online magazines and audio books to streaming services, such as Beamafilm, during the COVID-19 restrictions, and fielded around 80 phone calls a day.

“The library is an integral part of keeping the community healthy,” Cr Wickerson said.

“Even when people were denied the physical contact with out facilities, our librarians worked hard to keep the social fabric as intact as they could.”

The libraries have resumed normal visiting hours, with sign-in sheets at the door and number restrictions.

Both Southside and Mt Morgan libraries offered more loans last month than they did in September 2019.

During Mental Health Week, October 10-18, all library visitors go into the draw for a range of fabulous giveaway goodies, including books and T-shirts, stationery and e-resources.

  • Weekly Ready, Set, Go take home kits that can be collected from the library. Include a craft (e.g. making shadow puppets) and a story. Story is also read out and posted on library Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LivelyLibraries/



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