Fresh thinking @ local library

Brokered by the State Library of NSW, Taking the Lead 2012 invites public librarians from across the state to learn new leadership skills while exploring different ways of engaging their communities in the experimental hybrid space of the contemporary library. As a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald put it: “As libraries work feverishly to digitise their physical collections, the interactive nature of digital learning is transforming libraries from studious environments to social ones.” This transformation is occurring across all library sectors, with public libraries facing specific local challenges like devising new metrics of success that reflect a re-purposing of space and services to accommodate the needs of heterogeneous user groups.
Twenty-one public librarians – from inner city libraries, the outer suburbs of Sydney, and NSW country towns like Tamworth and Wauchope – are involved in a five month discovery process, guided by the Project Sisu Learning Framework. Tools presented at an initial workshop in May are being used to explore the ways in which public library services can support digital learning, and other modes of learning that build social capital in urban and regional communities.
Four project teams have been assembled – Access the Awesome, Library Without Walls, Where the Wild Things Are and We are not Pirates –  to undertake action research experiments bound to yield fresh insights and actions.
The program will run from May to October, with results presented at an open forum in October.
Project Sisu team: Annie Talvé and Chia Moan
Client: State Library of NSW