Phrases you might have heard - Library Renovations

If you've been keeping tags on our 365 days of a library project you'll have noticed that Camden and Narellan libraries have undergone a few renovations in the past year. From our changing displays to new furniture and installations, there's plenty more to see. In honour of the new flourishes, here's a blog post about some of the things you might have heard while these changes were going ahead.

1. Wait...where did the castle go?

The book castle at Narellan library lasted far longer than we expected it to. Four months into its old age, we finally had to take it apart - It was starting to lean over to one side in a drastic fashion. Patrons certainly loved it and it was great that the books got one final use before they had to go (They were so old and tatty even Lifeline wouldn't take them!).

You might have heard this phrase said by library staff who didn't notice it was gone until someone (usually a library member) pointed it out to them. Funny how something can become such a part of the environment that it almost becomes subliminal.

2. I'm certain these chairs were red when I was here last.

Camden library bought new chairs for the main thoroughfare. They were very similar to the old ones, just newer and more comfy, and most importantly, a completely different colour.

This resulted in some of the Narellan staff thinking they had gone insane when they arrived at the other library.

3. It's too early in the morning for Bibbliosaur.

Bibbliosaur has been a welcome addition to the library family since his appearance earlier in the year. Last week we found him curled over in the morning next to the DVDs. Rest assured he only required a quick visit to the dinosaur doctor (ie. an air pump).

This resulted in a number of jokes about dinoaurs not being morning reptiles.

4. If you can't find me, I'm chilling out in the shed.

As with most garages and storage rooms, the garage out the back at Narellan library had become its own peculiar kind of labyrinth. Filled with everything from Storytime supplies (Did you know that you can get crepe paper in 37 different colours?), bulk loan crates, home library service bags, library lovers t-shirts and a ream of other stuff, our team leader Luise bit the bullet and restored order to the place.

We all knew Luise was a bit of a Grand Designs fan, which included the presenter Kevin McCloud(adoringly called Kevin McStylish in our library). Library staff printed out pictures of Kevin and made masks to surprise Luise on the morning the clean-up and shelving refit was done, complete with Kevin "powerwords" (e.g. organic, invigorating, visionary, aesthetic!).

For example,

To this day, Luise retreated to the new 'shed' if she needs a peaceful moment.

5. It's the Ottoman empire! Get it? Get it? (Response: Not really).

Yeah, we bought new ottomans for Camden and Narellan. A lot of them. Hence the pun.

It wasn't as funny as some library assistants thought it was (i.e. me).

6. It's a sign! Get it? Get it? (Response: Haven't we fired you already?)

We have new signage! From the new non-fiction signs to direct you to different topics, to the browsable collections' craft letters, to the new HSC good luck signs.

Surely all these signs are a 'sign' of the library's increasing attention to making the library easier to sort through.

For the record, I have yet to be fired over my bad jokes, although I feel this may be inevitable.

7. FREEDOM!!!!

iPads! Flip Cams! Mp3 Players! We got a whole lot of new tech this year, which has given us greater freedom in what we do. The iPads are great for our reference services (looking up the catalogue without having to go back to a pc? Oh la la!), and we've started to video a lot of our seminars and activites.

Although not technically a renovation per se, keep your eye out for new tech in an about the library as much of it is available for patron use. Book-A-Librarian for example, allows students to use the library iPads to do research enquiries on Friday afternoons at Narellan.

8. What's that sound?

Why, that's a whole lot of classical music pouring out of the external speakers at Camden.

Afternoons can get a bit hectic at Camden. In a moment of genius, Virginia decided to put on some classical music at key influx periods - and noticed an instant difference. Lending followed more smoothly, everyone was calmer, and the more usual peace of Camden library prevailed.

9. You can do it online.

This might not seem like a renovation phrase but shelves under the service desk are certainly looking tidier after the introduction of online booking. Patrons can now do everything from the privacy of their own home, even at 3 in the morning.

You can even print your tickets from home!

10. RAWR!

Without fail, one person per day walks by Bibbliosaur and does a dinosaur growl under their breath.

Over 80% of these people are fully grown adults.

Yes- we can hear you.