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8. Specialist services

Information about the specialist services provided to Queensland public library staff by State Library - part of the Manual for Rural Libraries Queensland (RLQ) libraries.

8.1 Young people's services

8.1.1 Resources for library staff

The exchange collections for children and young people are picture books, junior fiction, junior non-fiction and young adult fiction (PIC, JF, JNF, and YAF) and are described in Section 4.1 Your library collections. State Library provides state-wide consultancy and advice on library services for young people, along with grants and program ideas.

JS: Storytelling resources

Resources are available for loan to public libraries to supplement their own resources and storytelling programs.  The resources are also available to individual customers. These include:

  • Themed kits containing several books and activity-based props, such as finger puppets, felt boards, puppets and soft toys. The contents of each kit may vary.
  • Big books or outsized picture books, suitable for showing to a group.

This collection has the call number prefix J*S. Storytelling resource kits can be found in the online catalogue by limiting the format to Junior Storytelling kit.

All resources are suitable for the under 5 year age group and kits are available on bulk loan via the online forms or reserved via the online catalogue.

8.1.2 Resources for young people

Resources for young people are provided in the following formats - books, audiobooks, and DVDs.

Displaying resources for young people

Face out shelves are vital for displaying books for children and young adults. The covers of books are more attractive than book spines. Display picture books, fiction and non-fiction for young people face out where possible.

8.1.3 Library promotions for young people


Contact local schools! Schools will welcome your approach and have goals in common with you to foster reading amongst children. Contact the Principal, teachers or teacher/librarian.

You can work together with schools in your community. Here are some suggestions:

  • Class visits for children to work on projects or borrow books
  • Hold a storytelling session for a visiting class
  • Offer a library visit during first term of pre-school or grade one classes
  • Organise Children's Book Week activities with local schools.

Day Care centres, kindergartens and playgroups

Community groups working with children would love an invitation to visit the library. Parents of Under 5s want the best for their young children and will become great supporters of your library.

You can involve local day care centres, kindergartens and playgroups by:

  • Inviting them for a short storytelling session
  • Inviting playgroups to combine a library visit, joining up and borrowing books with morning tea at the library
  • Sending notices of library events and activities to day care centres, kindergartens and playgroups
  • Offering a talk for parents about the resources the library offers for Under 5s
  • Inviting the local vet, postal officer or local identity to attend the library and talk about his/her job.

For Storytelling sessions

  • Choose a comfortable, cosy place for Mums, Dads/carers to snuggle up with their children
  • Choose books with bright pictures and a few words
  • Look at the pictures and make up your own story
  • Move your finger under the words as you read
  • Encourage children to join in the story and ask questions
  • Show children lots of different types of books like board books, pop up or lift-the flap books
  • Choose books about familiar objects, animals or everyday events
  • Let the story be a springboard to talk about baby’s own life
  • Be prepared to read and re-read favourite stories.

Tips for reading aloud to children

  • Become familiar with the story, so as not to stumble over unfamiliar words
  • Make sure everyone can see and you can see them
  • You might begin with some action songs until everyone gets settled
  • After the song, use a calm voice to settle the children down for listening
  • Introduce the story, briefly discuss from the picture on the cover what the book might be about. Older children can they guess?
  • Read clearly and dramatically using your voice to portray characters and mood
  • Show or point to the illustrations as you read
  • Mix old favourites with new titles.


Run children’s activities or offer competitions. The First Five Forever website has lots of practical ideas on how to run sessions.

  • School holidays are always a busy time as families visit the library exchanging books, DVDs and games.
  • Special celebrations such as Christmas, New Year and summer holidays provide a fine opportunity to feature junior books on these subjects.
  • Build a cubby house, create a spy group – promote books and internet sites on a theme with activity programs in the library designed around the children’s holiday interests.

8.2 Languages other than English (LOTE)

Books in many languages are available on bulk loan.

For a list of the languages available please refer to the LOTE collection list.

The Multicultural Services pages allow library staff and clients to connect with more resources.

8.2.1 Some ways to promote the service

Notify the following about the range of multicultural resources available:

  • Community organisations and centres in your area, including backpackers working in your district
  • Government support groups - welfare agencies, immigration officers etc
  • Nursing homes
  • Schools, especially those that include the teaching of languages as part of their curriculum
  • TAFE colleges (including literacy tutors)
  • Local papers and newsletters by providing articles.

Every time you promote public library services, remember to include information about the LOTE collection.

8.2.2 Who can borrow?

The collection is available to all borrowers. Regular users of the collection may include:

  • People born in non-English speaking countries who cannot speak or read English
  • Migrants to Australia who speak and read English but wish to maintain their first language through reading
  • People who have learned a second language and wish to maintain this language through reading
  • People who wish to learn a second language.

8.2.3 How do you get the books?

Libraries may request LOTE material by completing one of the Online forms. The size of each language collection varies.

Discuss your borrower's likes and dislikes, e.g. fiction or non-fiction, romances, mysteries, biographies. Try to complete as much of the loan form as possible, including details of borrowers, whether they prefer works written in or translated into the requested language, fiction, non-fiction or both and what subject or fiction categories they like. It is important to select books suitable to your borrowers needs and all this information will help.

Specific authors, titles or subjects may not be available but encourage your borrower to take advantage of our request service.

A bulk loan of up to 50 books will be sent to your library for up to one year. When your borrower has almost finished with the books, fill in another request form to refresh the loan. Your LOTE items can be refreshed as often as required.  Items do not need to be kept for one year before they are exchanged.

8.3 Collections for people with disabilities

Resources are available for people with a variety of disabilities including those with visual and hearing impairments.

L: Large type books – fiction and non-fiction are included in exchanges.

Audio books are available as a bulk loan request or as individual author/title requests.

8.3.1 Audio books

Audio books can be found in the RLQ Catalogue by first selecting the format audiobooks then refining the results by location – Cannon Hill (PLS). Libraries may reserve these titles via the catalogue.

A print disability is defined as:

  • blindness or vision impairment
  • physical disabilities which limit capacity to hold or manipulate print material
  • perceptual disabilities which limit ability to follow a line of print
  • insufficient English literacy or language skills.

Discuss with your borrower what type of material they require e.g. fiction or non-fiction, romance, biographies. Specific authors or titles may be requested. A bulk loan of up to 100 audio books will be sent on bulk loan for up to one year. Varying quantities can be requested to build the required stock level needed at your library.

8.4 Adult literacy services

8.4.1 Literacy resources

The adult literacy collection aims to support people who want to develop their literacy and numeracy skills. Materials at various levels in fiction and non-fiction, workbooks for use by tutors with students, reference materials and kits are available.

Bulk loans, author/title or subject requests for adult literacy materials can be made via the Adult literacy request online form.

Requests do not have to be for a borrower. A bulk loan can form part of your collection or can be used to promote this library service. Amounts requested can vary according to your need. The average size is usually 50 items.

Contact State Library if you wish to discuss borrowing adult literacy material.

8.4.2 Who can use literacy resources?

Any member of the library is welcome to use the collection. Regular users include learners as well as tutors undertaking tutor training courses.

8.5 Reader advisory services

Reader advice or reader advisory refers to assisting clients in their selection of authors, genres and current reading trends. Informed library staff can foster and promote a love of reading by referring patrons to the next best-read using author lists, developing profiles online and searching useful websites. These collections support reading for adults and discussions about reading.

8.5.1 Book club sets

Book club sets are available for loan to established book club groups through Queensland public libraries. This service is currently available to all Queensland public libraries. The library should register local book clubs and encourage their facilitators to coordinate their members in using these sets. There are currently over 300 sets available for loan. Request a set for your library via the catalogue. The loan period is for 12 weeks.

8.5.2 Series in a box

Library patrons love to read all the titles in a series, but often find it difficult to chase all the titles in sequence. Series in a Box has sets of adult and junior series available for loan. Request a set for your library via the catalogue. The loan period is for 12 weeks. This service is currently available to all Queensland public libraries.

8.6 Digital literacy resources

8.6.1 Technology kits

Digital literacy is the ability to confidently and critically use digital information sources, communication tools and networks for learning, communication, collaboration and creation. Resources in kit form are available for loan.

Borrow digital literacy resource kits to support literacy and learning in your community. Resource kits ensure that all communities have access to new and emerging technologies. All RLQ/IKC kits can be reserved on the desktop version of Aurora (not the online catalogue). The kits are for use by patrons within the library only, as part of supervised library programming. There are webpage links and digital fact sheets to support your programming. The loan period is for 12 weeks.

8.7 Family and local history

RLQ libraries and patrons have access to a number of authoritative Family History resources many of which are not available through Google or other free search engines.

A free two hour research service is provided by State Library for all Queensland residents.

8.8 Other State Library services

8.8.1 State Library collections

State Library's resources include books, maps, photographs, newspapers, manuscripts and audio, video and digital material that reflect many aspects of Queensland life.

State Library provides services to help you find what you're looking for. Library staff can help answer your research questions, show you relevant resources and generally point you in the right direction. Membership provides a wide range of online resources along with items available for loan. This membership is in addition to RLQ membership.

8.8.2 John Oxley Library

John Oxley Library consists of unique Queensland resources including diaries, manuscripts, artworks, photographs, original maps and plans, and oral histories. A broad range of books, magazines, newspapers, and ephemera are acquired largely through legal deposit and websites are archived in Pandora. These materials as well as films and digital stories are available for viewing in the John Oxley Library Reading Room or online via the catalogue OneSearch.

Readers who want detailed information may submit an enquiry via an online form using the AskUs service.

Last updated
9th October 2019