Monday, 30 April 2012

Mitcham "go live" has commenced

The reality that we've been working towards is finally here. As you can imagine we're all both exited and a little apprehensive. 

Mitcham libraries have stopped using their Horizon LMS, and started using the Symphony "off-line" system this morning.  This allows the library to circulate items to customers and record these details.

While this is happening the Mitcham data up until yesterday is being loaded onto the server and it is being checked etc.  This process will be completed by Wednesday night, and then all of the circulation data from Monday - Wednesday will be loaded - to make sure that the circulation transactions are all in the new system. 

So when the libraries (Mitcham and Blackwood) open on Thursday they will be running "live" in Symphony.

SirsiDynix tell us that they could have allowed Mitcham to keep using Horizon until close of business today, but Mitcham took the decision to start the week using the off-line Symphony system. This suits their local business needs.  The usual pattern that we will follow is that libraries will use the off-line module for 2 days while the cut over between systems takes place.

During this time customers can still use the library's OPAC to view whether the library has items, but they will not be able to place holds and the "status" of items will not be accurate, as items that were on the shelf may have been borrowed.

In the meantime Mitcham staff have configured their Enterprise site. This is their public access "discovery layer".   As with the OPAC, the status of items in Enterprise will be incorrect, and customers will not be able to place holds. 

Mitcham staff tell me that their Enterprise site is still a work in progress & it will developed further over time. However they're happy for people to take a look at it.  It can be found at This URL will change in the future to make finding it easier. 

We'll keep you posted on how things go in coming days & weeks!!

Friday, 20 April 2012

SWAP library consortium joins the LMS network

The SWAP library network was the first formal multi-council shared library system in South Australia, having cooperatively purchased their 1st LMS over 20 years ago.  The original SWAP members were the councils of St Peters, Walkerville and Prospect (hence the acronym - which also speaks of sharing resources).  Council amalgamations in the late 90's added the former councils of Payneham and Norwood, and more recently Campbelltown joined the network.  The total SWAP network provides a shared library service for a combined population of approximately 115,000.

While exploring the possibility of a Statewide network we met with and learned from the SWAP pioneers & I would like to pay tribute to both the founders of SWAP for showing us what was possible & to the current managers for their forward thinking - wanting what is best for their customers.

As pioneers of sharing the SWAP network has now decided to join the Statewide consortium.  All four councils will transition as a single entity in September.  They will bring to 14 the number of councils in the consortium, which will be serving a combined population of over 765,000.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Libraries Board tour with new members

The Libraries Board had Vini Ciccarello and Andrew Luckhust-Smith appointed to it in February.  Ms Ciccarello is the former State MP for Norwood and the former mayor of Norwood (now part of the Norwood, Payneham & St Peters council).  She is also a former employee of the State Library.  Mr Luckhurst-Smith is a qualified lawyer and director at Angus Securities.  These two new Board members bring a wealth of diverse experience, which will complement that of the existing Board members.

 As is its practice the Board will embark on its annual country tour, however this year’s tour will be in April (26 & 27) rather than its usual springtime tour.  The Board will visit libraries in the Mallee, Riverland and Murraylands regions.  On Thursday we will be visiting:
  1. Murray Bridge
  2. Lameroo
  3. Pinnaroo
  4. Loxton
  5. Renmark
  6. Berri
And then on Friday we will visit:
  1. Barmera
  2. Waikerie
  3. Swan Reach
  4. Cambrai
  5. Mannum
As you can see this will be quite a busy couple of days.  Given the diversity of libraries that we will be visiting this will give all Board members a feel for the issues being faced by libraries across the State while also providing information about the specific issues faced in these councils.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Benefits of a new library realised

In my posts of 16 and 22 September last year I talked about and shared some photos about the new Strathalbyn library.  The library has now been open for just over 6 months & the impact of the new facility is now being quantified. 

There is considerable anecdotal evidence that a new public library will lead to an increase in activity, loans & visits etc. This is usually anticipated to be between 20 - 30%.   While some of this may be a bit of curiosity, there is generally a longer term ongoing increase in library usage for any new library.

Jill has sent in an article that appeared in the Mt Barker Courier paper on 4 April & the usage statistics point to a really positive community response to this great new library - well above that 20 - 30% mark.  This shows that there was obviously a pent up demand in the community that the new facility is meeting, and that because the new building is so pleasant that this demand is so high. 

The Stats that were reported in the paper include:
  • Loans (general) up 43%
  • Loans (Children's) up 300%!!!
  • Membership up 12% - which is really impressive.  These are new users who intend to come back!
  • Computer use up 43%
There is a lesson here for all of us.  A new, modern library that meets the needs of the community is not just a "nice to have" community facility - some may even say a luxury.  Rather, it is a necessity if community members are going to maximise their learning and literacy - which can only be a good thing.  So when we're deep into the slog in persuading funders that a new library is needed we can all be reminded that this is not just about a beautiful building, but it is about the literacy and learning levels of our community; it is about the right to access the best possible learning and community interaction opportunities; it is about the future wellbeing of our communities.

As I said in my earlier posts - congratulations to all at the Alexandrina Council for investing in the long term wellbeing of their communities by opening this new library. The community has shown its approval in their overwhelming increased attendance and use of this new facility.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

New LMS Intranet site

We've been aware for some time that while we have been posting a number of LMS documents to the existing public libraries intranet site, they've often been difficult to find.  So we've created a new LMS intranet site with better grouping of all relevant documents & information.

It only went live today, and is obviously not completely populated with all relevant documents that we have produced.  These will be transferred to this site in coming weeks. Also, as new documents are developed they will be posted directly to this site.  We will not be posting any new LMS documents to the existing intranet site.

The site is intended to be a document repository & primary information source, for access by SA public library staff.  Documents posted on the site will be updated from time to time as required.

Below is a picture of the front page of the site,  Each of the coloured buttons on each side open up to documents related to the headings.  Hopefully this will make finding relevant documents much easier.  And of course, if the information you're looking for is not on the site please let us know & we will ensure that they are added to the site.

Access to the site can be made from here.  The login and passwords are the same as you will have been using on the existing intranet site. 

You'll also notice that the site carries a new logo for the SA Public Library network.  Jon Bentick is working on a style guide for this logo & it will be available for all libraries in the near future.