All but one of the Marketing Awards for Public Libraries (MAPL) winners at SWITCH were LIBERO Customers, showcasing their innovative ideas to interact with their community.
Organised by the New South Wales Public Library Association (NSWPLA), the MAPLs are awarded annually, recognising highly successful marketing campaigns by public libraries.
Let's take a look at the winners:
Harry Potter Festival
Waverly Library welcomed all witches, wizards, and magical creatures to become a Hogwarts student for a day.
As the library transformed into Snape and McGonagall's classrooms, "students" practiced potions, wand skills, and flying lessons. See the video here. The event became so popular, the library was forced to cap the event at 250 guests – as a result, an extensive waitlist formed.
The event was marketed through print, community, social media network and of course, by owl, reaching more than 10,000 people.
The MAPL award was given for the libraries strategic approach to marketing, originality of solution to marketing challenges, and potential for generating widespread public visibility and support for libraries.
Bland Shire Library
Our Community Our People
Developed in direct response to Bland Shire Council's community consultation and subsequent Community Strategic Plan goals and objectives, the "Our Community, Our People" project included a variety of activities including: Tech Savvy Seniors, Knit and Knatter, and Intergenerational activities.
"Our Community, Our People is a series of activities and programs that were developed to engage, attract and embrace the older members of the community. The activities are ongoing, developing over time and becoming self-sustaining," said Bland Shire Council Director of Corporate, Community, Development and Regulatory Services.
"Our Community, Our People has empowered the older members of the community and fostered and developed a love of lifelong learning. It has provided an opportunity for these members of our community to gather and develop, or to build upon, existing friendships while sharing skills and knowledge."
Cooks, Books, and Produce
With an aim to look beyond the norm and make people think library is much more than books, the Tumut Library transformed its library into a farmer's market for one evening.
In just four hours, the library attracted 400 guests engaging with local businesses, farmers, and chefs with pop up shops showcasing what the local area had to offer.
As well as a market stalls, the library put on two cooking demos, first generation Italians Hilda and Laurie Inglese , and the second by MasterChef 2016 winner, Elena Duggan.
The event was marketed through print, digital, and community engagement, but Kristin Twomey, Coordinator Library Services, at Snowy Valleys Council said it was the support from the entire business community that made it so great.
"We received such an overwhelming response from the local boutique business community," said Kristin.
"Every business involved is keen to do it again, so we'll look at doing something similar – late next year early 2019."
As a fourth-time winner of the award, Kristin shares her words of wisdom:
"Look outside the box, it can have such a tremendous effect in your community.
"Every library is focused on so much more than books, we are essential part of the fabric in the community whether it be place making, community engaging and building."
Susan Kane – Greater Hume Shire Council
Colin Mills Scholarship winner
Susan Kane of Greater Hume Shire Library was the successful applicant for this year's Colin Mill scholarship.
The Colin Mills Scholarship provides the opportunity for library staff to fulfill a professional development need that is outside of their library's normal staff development training resources.
"My passion is providing library services and programs for people in need or simply cannot access the library," said Susan
"I have chosen to attend the Philadelphia Public Library Association Conference – Imagine the possibilities – to learn about their innovative programs on engaging wider areas of the community and how they can be adapted to suit our circumstances here in Australia.
"Children especially need these programs and social, economic, or location based circumstances should not get in the way of that.
"Just one example of how Philadelphia State Library are overcoming this is by placing the correct technology needed to provide the services in community centers and churches."
The scholarship will also allow Susan to visit the local libraries in Philadelphia and witness how they engage their wider community.
Susan will attend the conference in March and promote her findings next year.