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2017 / Creating Culture

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Latest Activity: Feb 15

What is culture, and how do public libraries create and sustain local, national and international ‘cultures’?

Furthermore, how do we capture and describe the cultural benefits of libraries?

Culture can be defined narrowly as the ‘Arts’, or, as something that emerges out of the values and aspirations held by community members, and the various ways in which they accommodate, debate and expand these values and aspirations to create dynamic cultures. No matter how broadly or narrowly we define culture, the modern public library is a culture-creating phenomenon without peer.

Contemporary public libraries are places for creative cultural production and exchange. Those of us working in and with public libraries know it; sometimes, our clients and users know it; but how can we get better at framing our role as culture makers to a broader audience?

Join us for a lively interactive workshop about how public libraries can, must and already are igniting creative and dynamic cultures around the world. 

Our workshop is based on sound research. A collaborative research project between the State Library of Victoria (Australia) and the Public Libraries Victoria Network took the hypothesis that libraries are culture-making social entities but that their role as cultural institutions was under researched and under valued.

A year-long empirical research process was initiated to reveal and describe the extent to which (Victorian) public libraries were enriching the creative communities in which they were located. The study (2014) arrived at six lenses through which we can see, describe and quantify the numerous cultural benefits libraries produce. Our workshop will show you how to apply the six lenses of cultural benefit, and craft a compelling story about how your library ignites and nurtures creative communities.

We hope you’ll be inspired to claim your role as a culture leader with pride and joy!

Workshop leaders

Patti Manolis, CEO, Geelong Regional Library Corporation (Australia) Jenny Ruffy, Manager, Information and Arts, Monash City Council (Australia) Annie Talve, Principal, Project Sisu (Australia) Patti and Jenny are both senior library leaders and recognised innovators in the Australian library context. Annie Talve is a cultural researcher and experienced facilitator. Together, they collaborated on a ground-breaking piece of library and cultural research called Creative Communities: The cultural benefits of Victoria’s public libraries (2014). Their insights and experience will inform this engaging and practical workshop.

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