Academic journal article Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services

Creating the Future Public Library: A Children's Forum

Academic journal article Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services

Creating the Future Public Library: A Children's Forum

Article excerpt

Five young speakers were selected from a South Australian statewide competition in which entrants were asked to present a short speech defining their ideal library and pose a question for a panel of representative library service providers to address. Kyle Rowley, Nikki Macor, Tom Ricketts, David Forster and Emma Toop were chosen because of their clarity of vision, their commitment to that vision and the insight their vision gives of the role and potential role of libraries. Edited version of a session at the Australian Library and Information Association conference Adelaide October 1998

Editor's note: I am indebted to Janice Curtis, Port Adelaide Enfield Library and Nola Cavallaro, City of Adelaide Library for the supply of this contribution to Aplis

Library service to young people is a complex partnership between young people, teachers, librarians and governments. Creating the future is a series of South Australian activities designed to raise interest in, and awareness of, issues surrounding library services to young people. In 1997 the Creating the future seminar brought together public and teacher librarians to better facilitate open dialogue between library service providers in meeting this client group's needs. A key outcome from this seminar was the recognition that young people seldom get an opportunity to participate in the planning and development of services that most affect them. The Creating the future children's forum session at the 1998 Australian Library and Information Association conference in Adelaide was one step towards redressing this deficiency.

The library of the future Kyle Rowley

Year 7 Pimpala Primary School

I visualise libraries of the future being relaxing and good for the environment. So relaxing that you would think of it as your very own home and if you felt like having a nap then maybe you could go into a garden and there would be bird sounds and sounds of a nice warm breeze flowing slowly past you. It could be a room with hammocks and comfy chairs to sleep and read in.

I don't think people would use encyclopedias or books. There would be computers and many big screened machines and things like that. Books will be more valuable and sacred in the future and I really don't think that the people who work in libraries will want to get rid of all their books and encyclopedias and just have big screens, virtual reality helmets and computers etc. I hope that they will have some kind of room where they could put all the antique computers from the past. Maybe there could be another room where all the old books are kept. These would be historical rooms.

In the movies that are about the future, most movies show our world with heaps of computers, humungous glass and metal buildings and a lot of high tech things. That's not how I would really like to look at libraries. I would like to see libraries with lots of trees out the front and all you would have to do is look at the building and see that it's a friendly place.

I've said a bit on how I would like to see a nice, peaceful library. Now I might talk about what kind of rooms it could have and what you could do there. A perfect library would be a library with quiet and peaceful rooms and noisy and playful rooms. Rooms where you can have books read to you by computers or robots and rooms where you can research any information you want on the internet. When I close my eyes I can visualise my future library, and my future library is a happy and fun place. I would like to see libraries for everyone. When I say everyone, you probably forget about people with disabilities. When it comes to reading I think it's the blind people who miss out the most. That's why talking computers would really help the blind. Maybe they could take a laptop computer into a room or corner or have the story or information read to them. Another great idea for the blind people would be a talking lift. The lift would tell you what's on what floor of the building. …

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