08 December, 2008

Shanachie tour Downunder

Every so often something new comes along that grabs people's imagination and gets them thinking in different ways. We have just experienced that with the visit by 2 Dutch librarians from Delft.

Shanachies were travelling storytellers who moved from village to village in Ireland in olden times, earning their board and lodging by telling stories. And that is the inspiration for Erik and Jaap, who have travelled around the USA in 2007 and now Australia. They landed in Perth, flew to Brisbane, then picked up their campervan and drove down the Pacific and Princes Highway to Melbourne, visiting libraries, talking to librarians and running workshops. They have videoed their experiences and their adventures are posted on their website. They are recording how libraries are engaging their communities and preparing for the future.

I wrote about the marvellous Delft Public Library - DOK - a few weeks ago, it is an amazing library, some say the most modern public library in the world. The idea of the library as a concept centre, a place where people can try out new things, explore new ideas and have fun - this is the aim of DOK.

Erik and Jaap ran a workshop at the State Library and enthused the audience with the stories they captured - and the story of DOK. It was great to have them here.

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