Narangba Library

The Subversive Reader 2012 Library Awards

Welcome to the Subversive Reader 2012 Library Awards. Pull up a chair, fill your glass, and help yourself to the complimentary chocolates.

These awards examine the libraries which Squirm and I have visited on our library tour and hands out awards to the best. It recognises all sorts of things, while acknowledging that all libraries do wonderful things – many of which we can’t see on a short visit. Since Squirm was born, we’ve visited and reviewed 14 libraries – and now it’s time to award the awards!

Best Selection of Children Books

This is the award for the library which makes me drool over their book selection and wonder just how many books I could take home, or wonder if I could get my own library card in a library far from home!

Adventures of a Subversive Reader: Albany Creek Library

Winner: Albany Creek. This library may not have the biggest range of books, but there were so many great ones to choose from
Runners Up: Logan North, with low shelf after low shelf that nearly made me move down to Logan. Caboolture with its gorgeous display of picture books.

Best Library Book Display

This award goes to the library with the best displays of books. Good displays of books attract readers, make them more likely to engage with the books – it also tells you a lot about the staff in the library!

Adventures of a Subversive Reader: Logan North Library

Winner: Logan North Library. Their little book hideaway, their ‘End of the World’ display and their Wall of Forgotten books won it hands down. This was definitely a staff with a sense of humour and a good understanding of displays.
Runner Up: Strathpine Library. They have a special display stand right in the middle of the library which is constantly displaying different books – arranged around different topics and events.

Best Library Decor

This is a pretty obvious award, awarded to the library with the best overall decoration.

Narangba Library

Winner: It has to be Narangba Library – the whole library has a rustic train theme!
Runner Up: Caboolture is a gorgeous library. It doesn’t have one theme all the way through, but its local history and reference section, with their old style library theme, somehow fit perfectly with the modern, comfortable teen section and the green, airy children’s section.

Best Children’s Section Decor

This award is awarded to the library with the most awesome looking kids section.

Brisbane Square Library 1

Winner: Brisbane Square Library. It’s a children’s section designed around a book written for the children’s section. I’ve loved Home by Narrelle Oliver for a long time, so it was great to see the children’s section which is decorated so beautifully with images and ideas from the book.
Runners Up: This really is a competitive section! Chermside embraces a cool space theme, while Caboolture and Beerwah both embrace a nature viewpoint. And the string lights in Albany Creek, along with the etched poetry in the window are just gorgeous!

Best Rhyme Time/Story Time

There isn’t much competition with this award since we only made Rhyme Time or Story Time at a few libraries. It’s a bit of a place holder until next year where we hope to go to more.

Winner: Strathpine Library – such a friendly occasion! Love the egg rattles and Alice the Camel
Runner Up: Mt Gravatt Library. Well planned and executed in a very small space

Most Attractive Arrangements of Books in the Children’s Section

Adventures of a Subversive Reader - Beerwah Library

Organising the books attractively can make a big difference to how children approach books. Ideally it should be easy to see the covers of picture books and easily accessible by small children.

Winner: Beerwah Library. Love, love, love their low outward facing shelves. Easy to see available books, easy for children to pick them out (not too hard for adults, either)
Runners Up: Caboolture Library has special outward facing shelves which extend into the junior fiction as well. North Lakes had outward facing shelves, but employed the upper shelves of their display for parenting books.

Friendliest Staff

Another category which speaks for itself. I’m pleased to say that we’ve come across friendly library staff everywhere we’ve been, but special mention must be made of:

Winner: Sandgate Library – we had a lovely chat at this little library
Runners Up: Chermside, Narangba, Caboolture and Albany Creek

You can find all our library visits here.

Does your library do the best rhyme time or have the best displays? Have you come across the best range of books or the friendliest librarians? Tell everyone about it in the comments!



  1. I have enjoyed your library tour this year and look forward to the first one for 2013.

    It makes me want to do a library tour of my own.

    It’s about time libraries were celebrated much more, well you’re doing your bit.

    Keep em cumin – please.

  2. I was impressed with the Narangba train theme, I would go just for that. Our local library has a great rhyme time although the childrens area could do with an overhaul.

  3. Thanks for this list, you’ve done a lot of research and I’m going to make a note of this for the future in case I’m ever in the area, I’m on the Gold Coast and ours certainly need a makeover, although the new one in Helensvale is going to be amazing! Happy New Year to you and yours, Emily

  4. We love story time at our local library!! I cannot believe I only discovered it. Its such a fun way to spend an hour plus they do a craft!!

    1. I loved the story time we went to – I can’t wait until Squirm is really old enough to enjoy them 🙂 I also love that some libraries do early evening and weekend story time, so working parents can come along

  5. Hi – I met you during one of your library tours. Thank you so much for your honest feedback. I have enjoyed your blogs and have taken on board your comments and think how we can make the library better. Keep up the great work and perhaps you could have a future in providing quality feedback to improve our libraries

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Debbie 🙂 One of the things I’ve noticed in every single library we’ve been to is how amazing the staff are. Librarians and other library staff are so under appreciated, yet so important in our community!

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