It’s Duffy time!

Sometimes when you work in libraries you get to do awesome things with awesome people. For me, National Science Week 2017 coincided with working a short contract for City of Gold Coast Libraries where my challenge was to re-activate their social media. This role is only 2 day per week for 3 months and I was given the freedom to get involved in anything that interested me during my short time there. Work heaven!


When I first started in June, my colleagues had already started planning a BIG National Science Week 2017 event that promised to be awesome! So naturally, I got involved and started joining the discussion on how to market and promote the event to the City of Gold Coast through social media. But as the weeks progressed and I got to know my colleagues better, I got more and more involved in other aspects of the event and became an integral part of the event team.

What was this amazing event? We managed to snag astronomer and Australian Science Superhero DR ALAN DUFFY in his first National Science Week 2017 events! Awesome right? There were 5 events planned in two days – an ABC radio interview, a primary school visit, a high school visit, a Luminary Lecture (the main event) and an intimate Q&A. Dr Duffy was keen to squeeze in as many events as possible in order to reach and share his love of science with as many people as possible.

The main LUMINARY LECTURE was held on Friday 11 August 2017 in the Robina Library auditorium which seats about 450 people. We knew we had to make sure we promoted this with a bang to fill all those seats! Dr Duffy kindly created a custom video (based on a short script I wrote) that we used for a promoted Facebook post and it was hugely successful! The lecture was booked out and jam packed full of science lovers of all ages from across the city. I spent the evening with my camera in hand and photographed the event.

The next morning, a small team assembled early at Broadbeach Library to setup for an intimate Q&A with Dr Duffy and a small group of lucky competition winners. As we were limited with the audience numbers for the Q&A (at Dr Duffy’s request), I suggested that we use the Facebook Live feature to share the event with the world! We decided to run a Facebook competition to win a spot at the Q&A and the opportunity to ask Dr Duffy any burning science questions. We engaged the services of the Gold Coast Libraries Media Lab expert to setup the sound and microphones so our Facebook Live a professional feeling. I was very pleased to be asked to host the event (a bit of science study required!) and you can watch it here.

National Science Week is such a great fit for libraries and this was an example of passionate science and library people working together to give the community access to information and knowledge. If you’re library doesn’t normally celebrate National Science Week then I recommend you try it next year. There are many, many wonderful scientists in your community and they want to share their knowledge and love of science. Ask them to get involved and work with them to create awesome programming for your library community – you won’t be sorry!

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