Get involved in the Library A to Z

At the recent Library Camp East event one of the Voices For The Library team proposed a session to crowd source an A to Z of words that reflected the positive activities and values of libraries, as well as positive representations in books, songs, films and other media. The aim was to highlight that even though books are a core feature of library services, libraries are so much more than this – whether this “so much more” is as a result of the benefits of reading, or beyond this focus. The intention was also to use the A to Z as a way to promote library services. The group was attended by about 20 people from a range of library backgrounds, which was great, because it meant that the full breadth of library services could be covered and it showed common and uncommon activities between, say for example, public and academic libraries. We covered all of the alphabet (with a bit of artistic licence in places), but there is still scope for more words to be added into the Library A to Z. Please feel free to add any as a comment and we’ll then include them in the blog post.

Here’s a list of what the group at Library Camp East came up with on the day, along with some additional contributions. Thanks to all who got involved.

Questions (c) elycefeliz / Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 licence)

A
archives
access
answers
Alphabetical Order (Alan Ayckbourn play)
advice
art
astronomy
audio books
author events

 

B
Batgirl (is a librarian)
breakout space
breast feeding (space for mothers with babies)
books
Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Giles is a librarian)
borrowing
book club
baby bounce and rhyme
Britannica (encyclopedia)
business information
biographies

C
community
collaboration
childminders
careers
choices
crafts
creation
comics
competitive advantage (for businesses)
coffee (relax with one)
colouring (fun sessions for children)
council services (access to)
carers services
classics
community cohesion
ommunity memory
Council Information
CVs

 

D
Deskset (film)
Elaine Dundy – The Dud Avacado
Day after tomorrow (scene in library)
databases
democracy
discovery
dry (inside, away from foul weather)
dads
diversity
dvds
Dewey
dance
digital literacy

E
entertainment
escape
ebooks
employability
equality
everyone (is welcome)
education
excitement
events
exhibitions
enquiry service
email

 

F
fun
free (to join and free books)
family history
families
films
Facebook (you can access it via our PCs)
fax services
fiction

G
guidance
gallery
Ghostbusters (library scene in the film)
green (eco-friendly book recycling)
graphic novels
Go online
games

H
heritage
history
health
Hermione (always in the library in Harry Potter)
holiday reading
Hollywood librarians film
homework help
hate crime reporting
help
history

I
information
inclusion
internet
inspiration
imagination
information services
information literacy
information commons

J
job searching
journeys (discover new places with a book)

judgement-free

K
knowledge

Kindness

Kinship (finding like-minded people)

key-stage (supporting the curriculum)

L
librarians / library staff
lending
local
local studies
literacy
learning
leisure
languages
literature

M
Margaret Mahy
The mummy (main character is a librarian)
meeting (community)
mums
music
managing directors (build businesses/business support)
mood boosting
make a noise in libraries
mobile libraries
Manic street preachers – “libraries gave us power”
mailing lists
magazines
maps
market research

 

N
networking
noise (discussion/communication/activity)
National Libraries Day
Name of the Rose
newspapers
Neil Gaiman – a great advocate for libraries
non-judgemental
novels
not for profit

O
Octonauts (CBeebies – “To the library!”)
opportunity
outreach
online
open to all
old (and young)

P
partnerships
power
photocopying
printers
paper
photographs

Q
questions
quiet

R
reading
research
resources
relaxing
rhymetime
recommendations
reference books
retirement
reminiscence
romance

 

S
Sshh! (a quiet place to work/study)
silver surfers
students
scanners
space (to think and work)
skills
sharing
safe (place)
summer reading challenge
social media
serendipity
storytime
study
school visits
science
science fiction
spelling
sport
statistics

T
Time travellers wife (works in a library)
trusted
teens
Time machine (original film female character worked in library)
toys
treasure hunts

U
understanding
uplifting
universal
unemployment
unlimited
universal credit (support)
unexpected

V
visually impaired users
values

W
wifi (free)
well-being
wisdom
werewolves (Twilight / teen readers)
warmth

X
xml (web of information; organisation of info online)
x-rated (50 shades of grey etc)
exciting
expression

Y
youth
young adult

Z
‘zines (magazines)
zzzzz (child sleeping after being read bedtime story)

Force of Poetry (c) Artiom Ponkratenko / Flickr (CC BY 2.0 licence)

So, now we have a list and what would be great is if we could get more people involved in doing something creative with this list or a part of it – maybe just a letter, or a single word will inspire you to create something in response. So for example, some of the ideas people have suggested already include:

  • Turn some of this into a visual alphabet that we could share as downloadable posters.
  • Create a library A to Z video.
  • Pull together positive library user stories that cover the full A to Z related to your library, whether that’s public, academic, business, specialist library etc and produce a book of them to be sent to the people in your organisation who aren’t aware of the value of your library service.
  • Create an online photo montage alphabet.
  • Get artists (visual, musical, performance) involved to interpret this Library A to Z in their own unique way.
It would be fantastic if we could encourage libraries and their supporters to take up the challenge, focus on a single letter each and produce something we could pull together in time for National Libraries Day – a day all about celebrating the value of libraries and all the things that make libraries so great and important.
And if you do put something together (which we hope you will) please let us know and share it with us, so we can share it with everyone else too.

31 thoughts on “Get involved in the Library A to Z

  1. Analphabetism

    If you take all the words from L and put them into an online thesaurus to get some more words then you can get enough words to create a decent word image (e.g. a banana). Here it is:

    http://www.tagxedo.com/art/837d86db9c4947a9

    Some of them make sense. Like ‘knowledge’ is in there. But there’s also ones like ‘analphabetism’ and ‘oleomargarine’.

    Reply
    1. Gary Post author

      Thanks. Tagxedo is great. I was thinking of doing something with an animated word cloud too. You’ve also managed to teach me 2 new words today too. :-)

      Gary

      Reply
  2. LJH

    Just off the top of my head…

    Enquiry service
    Information services
    Digital literacy
    Information literacy
    Reminiscence
    Carers’ services
    Magazines
    Homework help
    Hate crime reporting
    Non-judgemental
    Not for profit

    Hertfordshire campaign group We Heart Libraries is going to do something around the word ‘opportunity’ for National Libraries Day 2014 – it’s a buzzword for the county council so we’ll use it to bring the arguments for libraries to the funders.

    Reply
    1. Gary Post author

      Thanks. Thanks great to hear you’re doing something in Hertfordshire on National Libraries Day. Thanks for the great contributions to the A to Z too.

      Gary

      Reply
  3. Martyn

    Art
    Astronomy
    Audio Books
    Author visits
    Biographies
    Classics
    Community cohesion
    Community memory
    Council Informationr
    CVs
    Detectives
    E-mail
    Family History
    Fiction
    Help
    History
    Information Commons
    Literature
    Local Studies
    Maps
    Market Research
    Music
    Novels
    Photographs
    Romance
    Science
    Science Fiction
    Spelling
    Sport
    Statistics

    Reply
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  6. Andrew

    Gary,
    Just asked someone in my Uni’s school of Art and Design if they have any students that could create an image for each letter. Was thinking of a picture for each that contained elements within it that represented all the words in your A-Z for that letter. Could then put a cc licence on and use them for posters / online promotion / book ?
    I’ll let you know what she says … I suspect there would be a cost, but if it looks promising, would you be up for a Kickstarter to raise the funds to pay the student(s)?
    Andy

    Reply
    1. Gary Post author

      Thanks for lettng me know Andy. That sounds like a great idea. I’ve never done a kickstarter project though, so am not sure what it involves.
      Gary

      Reply
  7. Gary

    In Surrey we put together an A to Z highlighting a range of our services, which is based on this A to Z. We’ve been tweeting it all week in the run up to National Libraries Day. https://twitter.com/search?q=from%3Asurreylibraries%20%23LibraryAtoZ&src=typd&f=realtime

    I also put together a little “I love NY” style animation for fun using some of the words from the A to Z http://24.media.tumblr.com/8a3b6e0aac81c44a763e115fe185bd5d/tumblr_n0l8lhJe721qli5k2o1_400.gif

    Reply
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  9. Alan Turner

    the Arts University at Bournemouth created an A to Z for their first year inductions. We have been doing it for a couple of years now and it is very popular, there was an article in Update a few months ago as well. The original uses students from our acting course for the voiceover and CC music released by Moby from Mobygratis. A great way to communicate everything a library can offer in a very short space of time. its great to see that public libraries are using it. Our video can be found here

    Reply
    1. Gary Post author

      Apologies, Alan. I completely missed this comment. I really liked this video – very effective. Thanks for sharing. Gary

      Reply
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