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Loyalist joins campaign to rediscover libraries

By Molly Little [1]

BELLEVILLE ­­– Loyalist College has joined organizations around the world to rediscover the value of the library through the Outside the Lines [2] campaign.

Outside the Lines is an annual event put on by libraries to inspire users to get to know their local library all over again. The event encourages people to discover how libraries have changed, said Erica Grossman of the Outside the Lines planning committee, which is based in Colorado.

Grossman said the event is beneficial to the public because it allows residents to understand just what a library has to offer.

“That outdated perception – that libraries are just warehouses for books – needs to be challenged so that residents make the most of all that the library can provide,” Grossman said in an email to QNet News.

The event is in its second year and Grossman said the campaign has already improved since its start.

“This year, more than 275 libraries and organizations have signed up … nearly 100 more participants than last year.”

The Parrott Centre, [3] Loyalist College’s library, is one of the new participants this year.

The event takes place in the same week globally, but each community has the ability to make it unique to its local area.

“So far, we’ve seen everything from pop-up libraries at commuter stations to nature hikes, scavenger hunts, brewery tours and a sunrise concert for the homeless,” said Grossman. “These are the types of events that reach new audiences and create new, positive associations with libraries.”

Jennifer Dupuis, a library technician at Loyalist College, said that she discovered the event on social media and was inspired by the work of past participants.

“I was really, really impressed by the work that other libraries had done at past events,” she said. “I thought this is something that we need to get in on because we are doing things that are interesting and innovative too, and this is a great way to show our community … what we are doing.”

Loyalist College is using social media to participate in the campaign, Dupuis said. The library encourages staff and students to photograph themselves reading and use the #LoyalistReads hashtag on social media.

The event ends on Saturday, but Dupuis said Loyalist is extending the campaign for a second week due to low participation.

“It’s been pretty slow … and I think it’s timing. This is the first year that the library has had social media. It’s the first year we are participating in the event and it’s really early in the school year,” she said. “Hopefully once things have calmed down for people they’ll have a little more time to get involved with us.”