Many readers and members of Hurstville City Library may remember Rong Liang – our first ever Youth Liaison Officer. Rong recently relocated to Melbourne with her family which meant we had to go in search of a new Youth Liaison Officer. Along came Stuart Barber. Stuart brings to the LMG extensive experience as a Youth Coordinator as well as fantastic artistic and programming skills. Stuart has already ‘hit’ the library floor to chat with young people. We caught up with Stuart to ask about his new role and all the exciting activities and events he’ll be working on over the next few months.

What are the secrets to being a good youth worker?

Well, I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you it’s the Youth Worker Code, kind of like a Ninja… But seriously, listening to young people, showing respect and a genuine interest in the types of issues faced by young people all help in being a good youth worker. We’re not convinced, tell us more Patience and some empathy are also pretty useful at times too!

How can you help young people using the LMG?

I can help with basic stuff, such as finding resources and using the library space and equipment. I am also really keen to help develop the services for young people here at the LMG. I want young people to put forward ideas to make the LMG even more useful and engaging for them, and look forward to hearing feedback and suggestions I’m always happy to chat and ready to listen.

What do young people have to look forward to over the next few months?

The team and I are currently planning a series of events and support sessions for the HSC, including subject lectures, dedicated study spaces for HSC students and skills sessions to help you stress less at exam time. We are also gearing up to start offering writing workshops and plenty of other fun, creative projects. Again, we want these to be the best programs they can be – input from young people is vital. We want to hear from you!

What’s one piece of advice you’d share with a young person?

Do the best you can, try not to stress too much, treat people how you would wish to be treated and you’ll be fine! Stuart is currently roaming the library floor in search of young people to assist and chat to. If you see him, say ‘hi’.

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