Six weeks or so ago I called for volunteers to contribute to another part of the LMS project - looking at the processes that will need to be in place to ensure certainty and minimal friction in the intereactions between libraries and between libraries and their customers.
A range of library staff with diverse experiences in multi-branch libraries, in consortia and in joint use libraries have all volunteered to participate in this project.
The group has three jobs:
- Identify all of the places where system-wide roles or policies will need to be developed to ensure the smooth operation of the network.
- Identify what the various practices are in SA public libraries today which need to be taken into account when framing new operational policies and practices.
- Look at a range of consortia to see how they have resolved some of the issues we will face, to see whether we can learn from some of these experiences.
The fundamental principles which will govern the work of the group are:
- As per the longstanding intent of the SA public library network, where possible we want to make sure that barriers to access to information for customers will be as low as possible while maintaining reasonable expectations on customers.
- Each library should retain as much local autonomy as possible so long as it does not negatively impact on other libraries or customers.
The interim user group will hold its 1st meeting on 12 April. I would like to thank Bill Roche for agreeing to chair the group, as well as all others who have volunteered to contribute their time and expertise to the project.
This group will not make any decisions about the future shape of policies etc. However they will be laying the groundwork for the first established User Group which will need to begin to develop a set of recommended policies to govern inter-library cooperation. These recommendations will be subject to broad discussion and consultation.
If you wish to contribute ideas to the operations of libraries in the new environment please feel free to add a comment here on the blog or communicate these to Jo Freeman at PLS, who is executive officer to this group. Jo can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org