Last night Prospect hosted a celebration of the SWAP network which has served the customers on inner north east Adelaide so well for 22 years! This celebration was also a recognition of the changes that the One Card system has brought to these libraries and their customers. Thanks to Anne Gowin and her team at Prospect for a great evening.
It was wonderful to see colleagues from public libraries in attendance, as well as councillors and community members. And what made the event really special was to see people who had been instrumental in setting up SA's 1st multi-council library consortium there in attendance. The 3 founding library managers, Ann Short (Prospect) Anne Reece (St Peters) & Noel Hayman (Walkerville) were all there, along with founding, and long-serving Sys Admin / IT coordinator Leonie Edwards.
On behalf of the staff of the early days Ann Short (now a Libraries Board member & key driver of the One Card system) gave a great speech reminding us of the leap of faith it took in the late 80's to undertake such a venture. She also took us on the journey of the changes that also occurred - through council amalgamations, which added Payneham & Norwood, and then Campbelltown joining as well.
Their consortium started with great trust between the founders and a real sense of "can do" which also allowed the libraries to agree on shared policies and shared collections with borrowers being able to freely use any library in the consortium - all of which was a precursor to what we're now doing at a state-wide level. One of the SWAP founding elected members has mentioned to me that he was delighted to see that what started over 20 years ago is being completed with the State-wide consortium.
Prospect's Mayor David O'Loughlin also commented on how difficult it is to get 68 councils to agree on sharing their resources with others & noted the example which was being set by librarians to the benefit of all South Australians. He also noted the role that PLS has played in being the catalyst and coordinator of the roll out.
As always libraries do celebrations, food & drink really well so people stayed & reminisced for a few hours & got out the old SWAP photo albums to see how they all looked 20 years ago - all a lot of fun. And of course there was the obligatory cake! See below (taken quickly with my phone before it was cut by Ann Short and David O'Loughlin - apologies for the quality.)
There were also several people with cameras recording this moment for the councils & I am sure that there will be some great shots that we can share at some stage.