Public Libraries

As part of my year in Torbay, I get to visit other libraries in the region. In honor of World Book Day yesterday, I spent the day at Paignton Library and Information Centre to see how a public library/information center is run, and to join in with some of their events. It was a really busy day, but great fun.

9.30-10.30: After arriving and making my introductions, we were straight off into the community for a nursery visit. On this occasion we read The Gruffalo, among others,  to 3 and 4 year old children. I was in charge of the puppets and sound effects!nl-gruff

10.30-11.00: Rushing back to the library for a quick cup of tea, we then started the second nursery visit of the day. This time though, they came to the library to read the Three Little Pigs. We colored and even sang a song about the story!


11.00-11.30: Later, I was brought upstairs for a brief session called “Music Rhythm and Rhyme.” This is for parents and their (very young) children. Basically, it consisted of us adults singing along to barnyard songs while the children played with a variety of masks, toys and rubber ducks.

11.30-12: Before lunch I was shown around the  rest of Paignton Library and Information Centre. It’s more than just a library, as there are a number of different governmental offices located in the building, as well as a cafe and study rooms for the local college. It’s really a great and innovative space.


12.00-1.00: Time for lunch! During my break I ran to the post office and submitted all my paperwork to be an absentee Oregon voter. Taking advantage of the sunshine, I also went to Paignton pier just to have a little look around.


1-1.45: Once lunch was over I shadowed the library manager. Today she was going over stock, and moving some of the overcrowded adult non-fiction shelves to the teen section. I got to chose what I thought was “teen-friendly” to move: lots of crafting and pet books!

1.45-3.30: I spent most of the afternoon with the Torbay Stroke Surivors. They meet every week to learn about computers and socialize. It was a really fun group to be a part of, and I got to put my (extensive) knowledge of Facebook and email to good use.

 3.00-3.15: Tea break.

3.15- 4.00: The last bit of the day I spent shadowing the librarians at counter: answering reference questions and helping with miscellaneous duties, including checking out books and returning inter-library loans. This was the most similar to what I do at Torbay, although it was much busier!

4.00-4.15: Debrief/questions

And that was it! Phew, what a busy day. I went home exhausted (but satisfied), and quickly packed for my weekend trip to Ilkley! Hopefully I won’t hit any snow or ice on my way up.


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