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Introducing the Drug & Alcohol Info Hub for public libraries

New from Drug Info is an interactive travelling display program for drug and alcohol information. Developed in consultation with the Exhibitions and Publications & Design teams at the State Library, the hub uses several different ways to provide people with up to date and accessible information about drugs and alcohol and identify support networks and agencies within the local community.

Woman looking at information on the Drug and Alcohol Info Hub display

Library client accessing information on the Drug & Alcohol Info Hub display at Concord Library

The Drug & Alcohol Info Hub consists of two displays stands, one with an iPad providing interactive content and the other featuring a removable shelf for displaying information resources and promotional collateral. Interactive content consists of a mix of drug fact information and an online quiz.

The display stands form part of a program of activities delivered by the host library. This program is based on the existing Know Your Standards and Know Your Drug Facts programs for public libraries and is supported by a tool kit document containing a suggested program of activities and display themes. Host libraries are provided with display resources and promotional material for the display period. Resources are also included for pop-up events and satellite displays in branch libraries.

Pilot program

This program was piloted and evaluated in two public libraries, one regional and one metropolitan. Participating libraries were City of Canada Bay Libraries (Concord) and Macquarie Regional Library (Dubbo and Wellington branches). Both libraries hosted the display in their libraries and ran events to support the program. 

City of Canada Bay Libraries

The info hub was set up on display in the foyer at Concord Library, with a satellite display at the Five Dock branch. 

Two drop-in events were held for teens  aged 12-18 at Concord and Five Dock libraries. Attendees were given the opportunity to try activities using beer goggles, allowing them to experience how alcohol impairs a person's balance, vision, reaction time, and judgement. YouTube videos showing the effects of alcohol and drugs were played during sessions. Staff also provided a mocktail tasting station for attendees to try their hand at making mocktails.

Staff at Concord Library also hosted a mocktail making demonstration and discussion around Know Your Standards in the monthly book group meeting for adults at Concord Library.

All events were well attended and participants were provided with take home show bags containing resources from NSW Health and the State Library of NSW.

Wonderful display. The interactive aspect held the users’ attention. The online quiz was very popular.  Fantastic to see the flyers were popular with all ages and were needing to be topped up regularly. The reaction was positive with the public happy that this information was being provided via their public library. 

Macquarie Regional Library

Two people completing a standard drink pouring challenge

The info hub was intially displayed in the foyer of Dubbo Library. 

The library worked closely with council staff to plan and organise an open day to launch the display in their community. Local service providers, police, media and school students were invited to attend. The event featured a mocktail making demonstration, beer goggle obstacle course and standard drinks challenges. This highly successful event was featured on the local television station and in the local news.

Following on from the success of the event in Dubbo, Macquarie Regional Library moved the display to Wellington Library. The library liaised with council staff and local community workers to organise an open day where attendees participated in beer goggle activities and a mocktail making demonstration. Attendees were provided with a range of drug and alcohol information material to take home.

We had a most successful day today in Dubbo with an Open Day for the Drug Info Hub.  We made the mocktails, had an obstacle course for the beer goggles and the standard drinks pouring.  Had lots of interest and media coverage with two newspapers and one TV station coming along.  Funniest moment of the day was when one of the police officers that attended tried out the beer goggles and couldn’t navigate the witches’ hats - I think it gave her a better perspective of what some of her clients’ experience!!!

Feedback from participating libraries was overwhelmingly positive with libraries reporting that the hub was easy to assemble and clients were interested in the display and resource material provided.

We would love to have the display back again. It was easy to install with two people and was well suited to our library's foyer which attracts all library visitors and is a great space to promote services.  Thank you for allowing us to make the most of this space with the simple to install and engaging display. 

Find more infomation about the Drug & Alcohol Info Hub program.