Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Independent assessment of the welfare and economic contribution of Australian public libraries

I wasn't going to post about this report for a while as I know that ALIA want to do a bit of a splash about it, but I note that it has been picked up by (Australian Policy Online).  So now that it is out there I'm really keen to share with you the report entitled National Welfare & Economic Contributions of Public Libraries.

The report uses known research methods to measure the libraries' net contribution to community welfare and the economic activity induced by public library operations.

One of the key findings of the report is that for every $1 spent on public libraries $3 of benefit is derived by the community.  And as the annual spend on public libraries is just over $1Bn then the benefit is approximately $3Bn.  In terms of investment value, this is considered a sound investment by the community.

The company doing the work initially worked in Victoria and Queensland to develop their methodology and do some in-depth research including interviewing members of the public.  A few of us from other States, having seen the outcome asked ALIA if they were prepared to auspice turning this study into an national one. So for not a lot of money the company did some analysis of the performance statistics of all other States and Territories and used these figures to produce the report. They did not replicate all of the work done in Victoria or Queensland, as this would have been considerably more expensive.  However for the purposes of getting some high level information I believe that the report is invaluable.

It is short, easily readable & very useful to quote to decision makers etc.  It can be found on the ALIA website here.

Geoff Strempel
A/Associate Director
State Library Services

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

SirsiDynix - annual road show in Adelaide

On Friday 10 May, SirsiDynix hosted its annual road show in Adelaide. This was a great opportunity to interact directly with SirisiDynix representatives and obtain a firsthand view of new products and the planned implementation of enhancements.

Highlights included:
The electronic resource management system, ERC promises to make eBooks and other digital content from multiple vendors seamlessly available through Symphony and Horizon ILS systems via the SirsiDynix Enterprise and Portfolio discovery tools. eResource Central is currently in Beta testing and due for release later this month.

The company has a strong focus on mobile devices and demonstrated its Wireless application WAP MobileCirc, which is scheduled to be released in July 2013, and is a new portable client for circulation, inventory, and shelving tasks. It will be released as an Android or iOS app or as a browser-based web app.

Sirsi Dynix is very aware of the funding constraint that libraries are facing and to this end they are developing a demand driven application, whereby a customer can buy a book for the library, be the first to read it and then donate it back to library.

Of particular relevance to the network, SirsiDynix is developing a new product, BLUEcloud MarketPlace. This product is a direct outcome from the visit that Geoff and Jo made late last year to investigate the replacement options for P2. SirsiDynix was so impressed by what we have achieved in South Australia that they are using the P2 model to devise a product that will both meet our local needs and give their customers worldwide the kinds of procurement options that we now take for granted. Along with the development of group transit slips, our network is making a global difference to the products that SirsiDynix develops.

COSA (Customers of SirsiDynix Australasia Inc.)

COSA is an association of libraries and organizations using the Dynix and Horizon Library systems throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Rim. COSA represents its members on a range of automated library systems and IT related issues, and has links with similar organizations around the world. 

Adelaide has a strong COSA user group coordinated by Dave Slater at Mitcham Library Service.  COSA also hosts and annual conference which this year will be held in Melbourne in October.

COSA’s website is and, for regular updates please join the list serve by emailing

Teresa Brook
Acting Manager
Applications & Network Services
Public Library Services

Friday, 10 May 2013

Copper Coast joins the LMS consortium

After a busy week solving some last minute data issues the Kadina Community Library joined the One Card consortium yesterday. They will be followed next week by their colleagues at the Moonta School Community Library. This brings the Copper Coast libraries onto the same library management system for the first time – a great outcome for this community as they will be able to use one library card to view and access the holdings of all 3 libraries in the council – Kadina, Wallaroo and Moonta. While achieving integration is never easy and takes a lot of discussion and compromise, the benefit for customers can’t be understated. This is a major achievement for all concerned – congratulations to Lynn Spurling and the Copper Coast team!

From all accounts the Kadina launch went well with only a few minor glitches to sort out including a mad search for some lost keys. What’s a launch day without with a couple of moments to get the heart racing?

I’ve included some photos below of Kadina’s celebrations and will share more from Moonta next week.

Kadina Library staff looking fantastic with matching shirts and big smiles

Copper Coast Mayor Paul Thomas

And of course the cake...
Moonta cake-cutting
Moonta speeches

Moonta staff ready all ready to go with One Card

Jo Freeman

A/Associate Director
Public Library Services

Friday, 3 May 2013

How time flies

Believe it or not, it is one year today since the One Card consortium was born!  On 3 May 2012 the Mitcham Library Service switched over to Symphony and started the consortium ball rolling.  For a whole week they didn’t have to worry about sharing resources or items in transit so could concentrate wholly and solely on celebrating with their customers.  They looked pretty happy didn’t they?
 A week later they had a friend and partner in Onkaparinga and were thrown into the crazy world of transit slips and pallets of black boxes.
Twelve months on the consortium includes more than 40 library services and continues to grow.  As at the end of April there are more than 670,000 registered borrowers on the LMS, with over 2.4 million items available.  This is a huge achievement in only one year and should be celebrated by all libraries, regardless of where you are on the implementation roller coaster.

I asked Mitcham for a photo of their staff celebrating their first anniversary and this is what I got from the one and only Dave Slater.  I’m very glad to see that the sense of humour at Mitcham is still strong, even if they look like they’ve aged a little.

I’m sure each of the consortium libraries will celebrate in style as the one year anniversaries continue to roll around.
Jo Freeman A/Associate Director
Public Library Services