Saturday, 11 June 2011

Same Same, but different*

I was having a conversation with library staff the other day about the LMS project & it became apparent that a bit more information about library consortia elsewhere & what may be different in SA was warranted.

When we embarked on this project, part of our research was to consider who else had done something similar that we could learn from and what was unique about our local circumstances. 

It soon became clear that there were hundreds of consortia around the world, many of which were larger and more complex than our own potential network.  If you are interested in this you may like to visit Marshall Breeding’s site here.  While it is not definitive, it certainly has some great information about libraries, LMSs and consortia.

However it also quickly became evident that the issues that are unique for any consortium are three distinct things:
  1. Local telecommunications infrastructure,
  2. Local governance / decision making / culture
  3. Funding Model

      The project has therefore been putting additional energy into these three areas in parallel with the LMS selection process.  We are doing this to ensure that we understand and can address the issues that are unique to SA.

As mentioned in my 12 April post there is a Wide Area Network (WAN) group currently looking at our current telecommunications infrastructure, what will be needed to deliver the LMS to each council, and what the gap is between the current and future needs.  This group is working to ensure the 1st of our unique issues is addressed prior to rolling out the LMS.
As mentioned in my 4 April post we have an interim user group which has been looking at the issues of decision making.  This group has produced a document which lists all of the areas where the network will have to make some decisions.  This list will be out to libraries for discussion in the near future.  And while this is happening we continue to develop the longer term governance framework for decision making on LMS issues.  I will have more to say about this soon.

And finally – the all important money!!  Following the LGA’s consultation in January on a funding model with an allocation per council the LGA has been considering some modifications to that original model.  As soon as there is something to report on this front I will let you know.

So – while the LMS selection process is proceeding I trust that you can also see that the other parts of the jigsaw are also being addressed.  James Kemperman has done me an interesting diagram of all of the groups associated with the project.  I will post this here next week.

*With apologies to all who have shopped in markets across Asia.

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