Turning the page on a new generation

Article image - Turning the page on a new generation A library patron learns to use an iPad Research has revealed that Logan City Council’s ratepayers are getting twice as much bang for their buck from their libraries than the Queensland state average.

In fact, for every dollar invested in the Logan City Council Libraries budget, approximately $5.50 is returned in benefits to the community, more than double the State average of $2.30.

Interestingly, in a time when the digital phenomenon is taking over the world, visitor numbers to Logan City Council libraries continue to grow and have dramatically increased over the past five years.

Libraries and Cultural Services Manager Annette Turner said this was largely because Logan City Council Libraries had embraced new technology and adapted programs to suit the community’s needs.

“Walk into any of the Logan City Council Libraries on any given day of the week and you’ll find the place abuzz with fresh faces from all generations – young, old and in-between.

“Our visitor numbers have increased to more than 1.4 million a year, which is phenomenal when you consider that’s more than five times Logan City’s total population.

“With wi-fi now available in all nine libraries, residents, students and business people alike are increasingly bringing their own devices and pulling up a seat on our comfy couches.”

In just one year, the Logan City Council Libraries delivered almost 375,000 online learning, tutoring and research sessions to residents at an estimated value of $10 million.

Ms Turner said the Council-run facilities had researched the community’s needs and developed a number of unique programs, all designed in-house.
“Logan-specific digital literacy training has been introduced and now provides more than 50 individual themed programs from travel, health and brain training, to social media and gaming.

“The Tech for suite is a lifelong learning approach to digital literacy for all ages and provides access to new technology for many residents. More than 1,000 people were skilled up in using iPads last financial year and we expect that numbers will only continue to increase.”

Ms Turner said many of the free programs were assisted by a team of diversely skilled volunteers, the most popular and successful for youth being the Homework Help and Pageturners initiatives.

“Homework Help is run by library staff and volunteers and provides one-on-one customised assistance for students in Years 3 to 12.

“The popular program has been running for more than two years and during that time, we’ve assisted almost 4,500 students at Logan Central Library alone.

“Results have been nothing short of outstanding. Some students who had previously never completed homework are now earning academic awards.”

Similarly, Pageturners is an after-school one-on-one reading program that aims to develop primary school students’ literacy skills and encourage them to establish a regular reading habit.

“Our programs’ popularity is not just limited to youth though, with success stories including an adult literacy learner who read to her adult child for the first time and an 83 year-old learning to use an iPad.”