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Y shop at a library?. Karen Gawen Young Adult’s Librarian Sunshine Coast Libraries. Y-shop n. 1 . also youth shop A small retail store run by young adults. 2 . A place for the sale of original arts and crafts . 3 . A business establishment; or a

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Y shop at a library

Y shop at a library?

Karen Gawen

Young Adult’s Librarian

Sunshine Coast Libraries

Y shop at a library

Y-shop n.1. also youth shop A small retail store

run by young adults.

2. A place for the sale of original arts

and crafts.

3. A business establishment; or a

centre of activity for young entrepreneurs age 12 – 25 years

On it’s own…an extremely simple idea and an easy program.

However, the underpinning philosophy, the extras we have added, the participants and the outcomes have made it an extremely effective program.

Young adult programming the ultimate goal
Young adult programming – the ultimate goal

  • Find timely, sustainable programs not dependent on grants, budget or sponsorship

  • Design ones that are wanted and needed without reinventing the wheel

  • Engage with young people on their terms

  • Empower and educate them by giving them a voice, opportunities and access to mentors

  • Create programs that aid in implementing Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s Youth Strategy

Y shop at a library

mmX.III youth art exhibitions

  • Run on an annual basis

  • Young artists ages 12 – 25 years

  • They choose the library, the art to exhibit and may price their work to sell if they wish

    Becoming increasingly frustrated that we could only give them a ‘one off’ opportunity


  • Over 30 markets every week in region

  • Young adult vendors a minority

    On further investigation it was found:

  • No resources – tables, marquees

  • No money – stall and insurance fees

  • No or limited transport

  • No confidence – to enter a traditionally ‘adult’ world

Y shop is born
Y-shop is born

  • Young adults 12 – 25 years invited

  • 9.30am – 11.30am every Saturday, December to January

  • One table per vendor provided

  • Promotion provided by Sunshine Coast Council

  • Only original, hand made arts and crafts

  • Comprehensive “how to” guide provided with rules and tips and tricks

  • Young adults choose where and when their shop will be open

  • They decorate and stock their ‘shop’ and are responsible for all transactions

The extras that make the program
The extras…that make the program


  • Partnership with EumundiMarkets to provide a “Scholarshop” program

  • Mentoring session provided then young people can trade one Saturday in February. Eumundi supplies all resources and insurance


  • Sessions run by local business people specifically created for

    young people


So far

  • 2 Y-shop seasons

  • 32 shops involving 46 young people ages 7 – 25 years

  • Y-shops in 6 libraries

  • 3 Ybusiness sessions fully booked – participants all young adults with interests as diverse as wedding planning, graphic design and chook farming

  • “Scholarshop’ program expanded to include one Saturday of every school holidays for the following year

  • 2011 budget - $100 for posters + staff time

  • 2012 budget - $600 for posters and 3 pull up banners + staff time (banners will be used for next 2+ years)

The unexpected
The unexpected

  • The quality of the products

  • The professionalism of the young people

  • The family involvement and bonding

  • The diversity – craft, art … even lawn mower repairs

  • The inclusiveness– indigenous, recently immigrated, disabled

  • The impact – from community members to the Eumundi market stall holders, everyone is amazed and inspired with how talented these young people are

How far they can go
How far they can go

  • Carlyndal now has an extremely successful Facebook business

  • Regularly attends markets across SE Queensland

  • Received business cards as a Christmas present – and loved it!

  • Recently paid for a graphic designer so she now has a professionally designed logo

  • Partners with other crafts people to create new merchandise

  • 15 years of age

Y shop at a library

  • Samara runs ‘how to’ classes at Kawana Library

  • Sells her fairy furniture and runs workshops through a local Café

  • Wrote and got her first book How to make fairy houses published 9 months after the Y-shop

  • Won first place in the Homemade toy division at the 2011 Ekka

  • Is now working on her 2nd book

  • Regularly attends other markets

  • Is setting up a website

  • Spends many weekends at stores doing book signings

  • 12 years old

Great advocacy tool for the library
Great advocacy tool for the library

  • Other markets now ringing to partner

  • Receive calls throughout the year from community and youth organisations for the Y-shop participants to set up stalls at local festivals

  • Case study now appears on the Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies website

  • Media, educational institutions and local community very receptive and enthusiastic about the program

    Y-shop images



Into the future
Into the future

  • Continue to expand the Y-shop

  • Partner with other markets to ensure participants have as many opportunities as possible

  • Change the focus from just art and craft to include other young business operators e.g. dog walkers, gardeners, web designers

  • Implement more Ybusiness sessions both in-house and online

    Success =

    Never seeing the same participants 2 years running – that means we’ve done our job and they have progressed far beyond us