Way back when, Wednesdays

A bigger, better library

In its first incarnation, the Tea Tree Gully Library was a bookmobile. The ‘Municipal Library’ began operating in June 1965. It was a bus that serviced the local community by visiting locations around the local district, Inglewood and Houghton, such as shopping centres, the Council Civic Centre, schools and the Highbury hotel. At this time, Tea Tree Gully had a population of approximately 16,000 residents scattered over an area of 55 square miles. By 1968 the population had increased to 27,000 and Tea Tree Gully had officially been declared a City. The Library’s book stock and the number of borrowers had also increased substantially, making conditions cramped inside the mobile library. Due to its age and poor mechanical condition the bus had to be retired.

Public Library

So the official opening of a new public library made front page news in the North East Leader, a Messenger newspaper on 5 March 1969. The Library was housed in the building which was formerly the Modbury Primary School and headmaster’s cottage, which is now designated as 561 Montague Road, Modbury. It was small compared with our modern library facilities but it had high ceilings, fireplaces and was of solid construction. However, I recall a former Library staff member who worked in the old building shelving books after school commenting that it was cold and that there were mice!

The North East Leader article provides us with some interesting statistics relating to the amount of book stock held by the Library, the number of loans and membership in 1969. Naturally the demand for library services has increased over time. Since 1969 the Tea Tree Gully Library has serviced the community at three other locations. The Library opened on 17 December 1975 at 1020 North East Road, Modbury, adjacent the former Civic Centre and on 28 July 1991 at 98 Smart Road, Modbury, in a joint-use agreement with the Torrens Valley Institute of TAFE. Things have changed quite a bit since the Tea Tree Gully Library moved to our current premises in the Civic Centre at 571 Montague Road in 2003.

As of September 2017 the City of Tea Tree Gully Library has approximately 118,000 items in stock, including not only books and magazines, but also many audiovisual materials which did not exist in 1969. As part of the One Card Library network we can offer our customers infinitely more choice.   On average, the Library issues 75,000 loans per month. We have 28,500 members who have borrowed in the last three years and we enroll around 266 new people per month.

The heritage listed Modbury School House building has been transformed into the Sfera’s 1877 Restaurant which commenced business in 2004. Sfera’s 1877 Restaurant offers fine dining and serves Italian cuisine.

#waybackwhenwednesdays

One Library, One Community – A work experience recap

Hello dear Reader, my name is Danielle, and I am from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College. For one week, I used my time to gain knowledge on how a professional and working environment functions and to learn and assist around the Tea Tree Gully Library.

As part of my Work Experience, I have been given the task of writing a blog post for the Library website (which is what you are reading now), and after considering many topics and ideas I have decided to write about the wonderful community here at TTG Library and how much the staff value those who come to visit. I hope you enjoy reading!

So on my first day, I began the week by helping “behind the scenes” of the library, such as in the Chute Room (where books are returned on a daily basis) as well as the Customer Service Desk, however, my first interaction with the public was when I helped Jessica and Natalie during “Toddler Time”. I enjoyed being around the younger audience and I loved how comfortable the kids were around Jess and Natalie. Even just joining in with singing the nursery rhymes was a fun and relaxing way to spend the hour, with two wonderful ladies. Later, I spent time in the Toy Library, which was filled with dozens of toys ready for the children before the holidays.

Next up, we have ‘Cover 2 Cover’, a book club run by Kim where young adults (like those who are teens) can come and be a part of the Library activities once every month. This week in ‘Cover 2 Cover’, the group discussed a recent book that they had been reading named “The Enchanted”. Written from the perspective of a man on death row, the novel followed many complex themes and metaphorical twists. I found it very interesting, seeing the discussion between those who were there and joining in with answering questions that related the topic of the book and to events in the real world. Being in Year 10, I definitely liked being able to spend my time with others close to my age and who also enjoyed my passion of reading. ‘Cover 2 Cover’ is now preparing for the Inky Awards, and so, I would definitely recommend the club to anyone who loves discussion and books and I will definitely try to attend another meeting!

During my time at TTG Library, I also noticed the enormous effort that the staff and those who work here put in to ensure the Library runs smoothly for the public. From hosting introductions about new technology, for those who wish to learn, attending presentations that provide information on new changes with social media (regarding the younger generation) and even just maintaining the library to make certain that anyone is able to easily access what they want.

 

After seeing the positive attitude here at the Library, small gestures such as being able to help with providing assistance to someone on the computer or aiding with the self-checkout machines for borrowing were tasks that I was happy to help with. Towards the end of my week, I was also given the chance to assist Penny with updating the Library website. During this time, I was given a run through of some of the tasks that Penny was assigned to perform and once again, I was amazed with how meticulously she was able to keep the website up-to-date in order to guarantee that any members of the library can definitely find what they need. We also experimented with different software such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop and the content management software, Seamless.

I would like to thank the staff who have made my week of Work Experience so enjoyable, especially those who acted as my buddy throughout my time here. I am incredibly grateful to those who helped me, especially on my first day as even though I was slightly nervous, you taught me to adapt to the environment here at the Library, which in turn allowed me to have a very successful week! To Kerry, Heidi, Deborah D, Lyn, Taylor, Nicolle, Sonya, Tegan, Stephen, Adrienne, Michele, Linda, Kim, Tricia, Chris G and of course Bronwyn: THANKS ONCE AGAIN!

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 Signing off,

Danielle Cooke

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Playing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ on the Library piano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We put an echidna onto our new library bags!

Our new library bags arrived earlier this year. There is a bit of story behind them and how Anstey, the library’s echidna mascot, came to feature on the design.

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When another order of bags arrived with the standard logo late last year, we decided they would be the last lot. After that, the library bag would be refreshed. We would embrace a new design!

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The old library bag.

It’s funny how something as simple as a bag can bring about so many opinions. Of the 40+ staff who work in the library, everyone had a different perspective on what colour, size, shape and design a library bag ought to be.

The majority agreed the new bags should be made from sustainable materials, to reflect council’s slogan ‘Naturally Better’. We ordered sample sizes, filled them with books and walked around the library with them to test bag shapes. Staff and 20 customers were shown the samples and asked what they thought. A compromise was soon met and the size issue was sorted. But how to go about creating a new design?

We wanted a new design that was eye-catching and captured the fun and dynamic nature of Tea Tree Gully Library. A take-home advertisement for the library. Unique, reusable, sustainable.

Something a bit hipster.

Last November, we were talking about the hipster generation and their impact on marketing  and society. Did you know there are now more than 25,000 baristas in Australia? Ten years ago there were 8000.

Douglas McWilliams, economist and founder of the London-based Centre for Economic and Business Research, says ‘Hipsters have identifiable spending patterns and homogenous tastes. But they don’t want others to copy them, so they keep up by changing their tastes, by moving on to the next thing.”

Hipsters traditionally reject popular, mass culture and spend their money on products that reflect their individuality. Acknowledging the hipster impact and the digital age means branding and new library bags are required to be just that much more sophisticated.

That’s where Bernard Salt came in.

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Demographer Bernard Salt, who writes quite a lot about hipsters

Bernard Salt, who writes a weekly column for The Australian, had written an article that very week, announcing he had determined the ‘epicentre’ of hipster cliques in major Australian cities. As a way of measuring the hipster flow and its impact on a city and culture. In the article, he claims to have pinpointed the hipster centres of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

On impulse, we decided to google each of the centres. That’s how we came across the adorable logo of the cafe that marks Melbourne’s hipster centre zone: Bluebird Espresso.

 

bluebird logo

Image credit: Not a foodie blog

Cute, simple and memorable. We loved it and thought we’d try and create a similar design for our very own library bag. Instead of a bluebird – we decide to use the library’s mascot, Anstey the echidna.

 

 

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Anstey has been our long-time mascot, much loved by staff and customers. He features on the mural in the children’s area and on the postcard with the children’s programs. There’s even a stuffed toy version of Anstey. But these Anstey/s are very much designed to appeal to children – it’s adults who mostly purchase library bags.

We sought echidna-spiration from the web.

All lovely and pretty echidnas. We thought about going to a graphic designer to try and replicate one of them, but our Arts & Cultural Coordinator Kelly took the idea home and worked into the night to come up with a grungier, hipster Anstey.

She created the artwork using a rubber pad, ink set and scraper. The yellow colour block behind Anstey was used to make him pop on a black calico bag (as chosen by staff and customers when we walked around with samples).

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Anstey and some of the different designs

Transferring Kelly’s design from a rubber stamp sheet onto a piece of calico turned out to be easier than we thought. A graphic designer created a vector of the original illustration to send off to the printers, and voila. We had our very own Bluebird Espresso / Bernard Salt-inspired, grunge Echidna ‘hipster’ library bag.

Tea Tree Gully Library bag

The library bag on display – when it went travelling to Japan in April this year.

The bags are $3 each and can be purchased from the customer service desk within the library.

Thank you Bernard Salt and Bluebird Espresso.

You can read Mr Salt’s ‘hipster’ article, published in The Australian on 8 October 2015 here