Since we were holidaying at the Gold Coast, and Elanora Library was right nearby (and right next to the local shopping centre) it made perfect sense to include it in the library tour. Even more sense when we were given a rather wet and windy week – not all that conducive to a beach holiday!
Like Logan North, Logan Central and Caboolture, Elanora is quite a new library. Opened in 2007, it is situated above shops and is a wide, mostly open plan library. There’s a meeting room and a large space filled with computers, along with rows and rows and rows of books.
The children’s section is situated in the back corner of the library. Unfortunately, there’s a fire escape right in the middle of the children’s section. This meant that the section felt broken up, with readers forced to search around the fire escape to find the picture books. There was no large sitting area for children and no room to fit in a couch for reading – all the seating was individual, which was hard enough for Mr Pilot with Squirm – it would have been impossible to sit and read with a bigger child. The fire escape would have also made it difficult to watch children on the other side of it – you would need to have your child right next to you all the time
There was a big display of ‘fact’ books available for readers, several low shelves of board books, and lots of picture books in lovely animal shelving. I also loved the fact that the audio books were shelved amongst the junior novels. The books were very new looking, and there were several that immediately drew my eye – I’m sure there would have been many more if I’d been there for longer.
There was one big poster, created by children on the wall, but the other posters were advertising (including advertising for a movie.) It really felt like there was something missing in the kids section, like it had been relegated a secondary status by whoever designed the building (situating the kids section around a fire escape is ludicrous – and since it was a ‘designated’ space, the staff would have had to just go with it. However, I can’t help but think of the amazing Logan North Library, and the way they brought magic into otherwise ordinary parts of their library – the tiny reading nook in a corner, a wall and attached table used as a wall for forgotten books. Elanora could have used some of that magic.
The Young Adult section was also a bit strange. In most libraries, the Young Adult section tends to be near the Children’s – very useful when you’ve got those 11-13 year old readers who read from both areas. Here the Young Adult section was a good distance from the Children’s, right in the front of the library. It was very much ‘on view’ – I don’t know if there have been problems with teenagers in libraries previously, but it felt like there might have been and all teenagers were on notice that they were being watched. It didn’t make for a particularly cosy area, and I think I would have given it a miss as a teenager myself.
The Elanora Library felt very much like an exercise in lost opportunities. It is a gorgeous big space, with a huge up to date book collection. There are some great book displays and an obviously friendly and hard working staff. But it could have easily have been made more child and teenager friendly and become a space for them to love and enjoy – building another generation of library fans.
The best parts of Elanora Library
- The massive book collection
- The audio books in with the regular books
- The friendly staff
- Lovely lighting in the library
Important Information about Elanora Library
The Pines Shopping Centre
Guineas Creek Road
Open Monday to Saturday