Using video to socialise the science of family literacy and promote libraries

BROWNING, Rachael, DENOON, Louise, HANNAH, Kate and WEBB, Kylie (2018) Using video to socialise the science of family literacy and promote libraries. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2018 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Transform Libraries, Transform Societies in Session 126 - Joint Division I and Division IV.

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Language: English (Original)
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Using video to socialise the science of family literacy and promote libraries

In Queensland (a state of Australia) public libraries are emerging as a key ally in the fight against sliding literacy rates in school children. First 5 Forever, a $20 million state government funded initiative was established in 2015 to help address a negative literacy trend in school age children by offering families with newborns, toddlers and pre-schoolers vital support and resources. Programming now has the potential to reach 99% of the Queensland population. The initiative is coordinated by the State Library of Queensland, delivered through public libraries and is provided free to families with children aged zero to five years. Why libraries? With branches in every community, libraries were recognised as being uniquely placed to directly reach families – a significant strength as Queensland is nearly five times the size of Japan, seven times the size of Great Britain, and two and a half times the size of Texas. There are more public libraries in Queensland than McDonalds restaurants, so it made sense to harness their strong community presence to reach and impact on families. However, commonsense in the digital age tells us that having extensive physical presence is not everything. This is why a First 5 Forever statewide marketing strategy was developed – to support a strong network of libraries to expand their reach, promote their role and raise awareness around the importance of early literacy. The core reasons why families were targeted to engage with First 5 Forever were founded on evidence from neuroscience, early childhood and various health fields. Building a strong case for why parents and caregivers should participate was a challenge. It couldn’t easily be drilled down to a single tagline or campaign slogan so social media and videos were used extensively to effectively engage families. The First 5 Forever team worked with the Queensland network of libraries to deliver compelling content that would resonate to a diverse community of families who live cities, regional towns and small remote islands. Videos designed for release on social media channels were identified early as effective tools for the network to use to engage families on the importance of participating and to draw them into their libraries and outreach activities. Four videos were created, each with their own purpose and all have been extremely successful on social media, collectively achieving nearly half a million views and high engagement among target groups. This presentation will also share the success stories of creating and using local content across social networks to connect with families and stakeholders.

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