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.
Alphabetical Order (Alan Ayckbourn play)
Batgirl (is a librarian)
breast feeding (space for mothers with babies)
Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Giles is a librarian)
baby bounce and rhyme
competitive advantage (for businesses)
coffee (relax with one)
colouring (fun sessions for children)
council services (access to)
Elaine Dundy – The Dud Avacado
Day after tomorrow (scene in library)
dry (inside, away from foul weather)
everyone (is welcome)
free (to join and free books)
Facebook (you can access it via our PCs)
Ghostbusters (library scene in the film)
green (eco-friendly book recycling)
Hermione (always in the library in Harry Potter)
Hollywood librarians film
hate crime reporting
journeys (discover new places with a book)
Kinship (finding like-minded people)
key-stage (supporting the curriculum)
librarians / library staff
The mummy (main character is a librarian)
managing directors (build businesses/business support)
make a noise in libraries
Manic street preachers – “libraries gave us power”
National Libraries Day
Name of the Rose
Neil Gaiman – a great advocate for libraries
not for profit
Octonauts (CBeebies – “To the library!”)
open to all
old (and young)
Sshh! (a quiet place to work/study)
space (to think and work)
summer reading challenge
Time travellers wife (works in a library)
Time machine (original film female character worked in library)
universal credit (support)
visually impaired users
werewolves (Twilight / teen readers)
xml (web of information; organisation of info online)
x-rated (50 shades of grey etc)
zzzzz (child sleeping after being read bedtime story)
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.