Friday, 27 September 2013

The Libraries Board tours the north of the State

Last Friday (19 September) members of the Libraries Board started their annual 2 day country tour of public libraries.  As per the Board's schedule this year took us back to the far north of the State.

Knowing that the Board was coming, Roxby Downs decided to time the formal opening of their new Roxby Link library with the Board's attendance.

We flew into Roxby Downs & picked up hire cars to then travel to Andamooka, Woomera and back to Roxby Downs.

Board members from left Jan-Claire Wisdom, Andrew Luckhurst-Smith, Helen Nichols, Lynn Spurling SLSA Director Alan Smith, Vini Ciccarello, Chair - James Bruce, Fiona Adler & Deputy Chair - Ann Short - at Roxby Downs waiting to collect hire cards
 Andamooka students were all at Woomera for the day, but we were welcomed by staff & got to visit the library & see their One Card system working.  Since our last visit 6 years ago the library has shifted into the new building you see on the right of Board members as they make their way towards it.

Members of the public told us that they get temperatures of up to 52 degrees, when the road melts & shoes get stuck on it!!  So of course almost everything, including the school and its library is air-conditioned.  However there is also a lovely covered outdoor play area.  And on a day when it was cold wet & windy in Adelaide, it was lovely to be here.

We drove down to Woomera to be met with library staff, the principal and community members.  The library has lots of space, so has spread out to use the space they have.  However they have recently done a significant cull of their collection - supported by PLS staff, getting ready for joining the One Card network. The library now has a very good looking, modern collection.  The library is now part of the consortium & because of their relatively large collection appear to be net lenders to other libraries at present.

Woomera is a Department of Defence town, so only people who are working for Defence, or directly supporting this effort can live in the town.  However they attract significant tourist numbers because of their long history of rockets, space exploration and weapons testing.  Currently the fact that the library is available to the public is not obvious from the road, so some new large signage has been commissioned & will soon be installed (see below).  

On the way back to Roxby Downs we saw a number of Sturt Desert Pea plants on the side of the road & as a number of Board members had not seen them before we stopped & took a few photos.

After a late afternoon Board meeting we then had an opportunity to participate in the official opening of the new Library.  Speeches were delivered by the Council CEO Bill Boehm, local State member of parliament Lyn Breuer and Libraries Board Chairman who also did the formal opening and ribbon / paper chain cutting.

Lyn Breuer made the interesting point that while Whyalla (her home town) 100 years to get a new, purpose built modern library, Roxby Downs is opening their new library in its 25th year.

The Library is being called the Roxby Link, partly because it was built in a void between two buildings, and now connects them, but also because the two buildings it links together are the town's cultural and leisure centres, however it also has its own purpose built features, purpose and features.  And that seems like a perfect metaphor for a public library.  Libraries link together culture & leisure in a unique way, adding an overlay of information & lifelong learning to create a new community space.  This library achieves this connection.  And it is pleasing to see that the library is a blend of collections, study spaces, technology and relaxed meeting spaces - with really interesting furniture and great finishes.  Below are a series of photos which are good, but as we know photos can't do total justice to many subjects.

Flexible study space which can be closed off as a meeting room

Interesting library couch

Great use of a library front desk - an instant bar!

Library Manager Kimberley Hargreaves (left) & Council CEO Bill Boehm (Centre) with library staff and chefs get ready to cut the cakes!

After a night's rest we were up an off to Coober Pedy on a charter plane.  This plane would also take us on to Leigh Creek, Port Augusta & home to Adelaide.

Everyone gets a window view!

So on to Coober Pedy - the most northerly public library in the State.  Here we were met by the School Bus to take us to the library.  Note the red earth, blue sky, white mullock heaps (left side on the horizon), very flat horizon & absence of vegetation.

We didn't take any good photos of the people at Coober Pedy, which is disappointing, as we had a delightful time with a group of very interesting, lively community members.  However we did capture an interesting display showing the diversity of the origins of the community, which is seen below.

A great chart demonstrating the diversity of the local community

So it was off to Leigh Creek where we were met by school students and transported on the school bus to the library.  Although the library has been open for more than 10 years it continues to look great & provide a great service to the local community and outlying settlements such as Lyndhurst and regional stations.

Our final stop was at Port Augusta.  Every time the Board visits Port Augusta there are major changes underway.  Last visit occurred at a time when plans for the foreshore upgrade were on display & this visit saw plans for a totally revamped sporting complex.  

The library has also gone through a face lift, with the 1970s brown bricks being clad and painted to provide a much lighter and colourful feel.  Sadly we were so distracted looking around that we didn't take any pics in the library.  The picture below is in the council chambers where we had a great opportunity to meet with and talk to councillors & the newly elected mayor.

Library Manager Tina Dunneman telling the Board and local council about the Library's achievements


Monday, 23 September 2013

Great US study about the use of, and importance of public libraries & other research

The well regarded Pew Research Centre in the US has undertaken a number of studies about Americans' use of public libraries.  One of their recent pieces of research was funded by the Bill 
& Melinda Gates Foundation & is called  The Power and Relevance of Libraries.

The research was presented at the American Libraries Association conference in May this year.  The key take out messages from this report are summarised in a slideshare here.  

Obviously the findings of these reports are not directly applicable to the Australian environment, however I believe that they are very encouraging and useful in helping us to think about our own service provision and customer needs.

Some other Pew Research Centre papers include:

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Charles Sturt goes live

After months of planning, training and preparation Charles Sturt joined the One Card project today. 

Adding five new access points to the consortium and bringing the total of items on the LMS to 3,285,909, with over 870,000 users.

Charles Sturt Mayor, Kirsten Alexander officially launched the One Card at the Woodville branch and unveiled the new look enterprise catalogue that you can view here.

Library Manager Jacqui Stretton thanked the entire Charles Sturt Council for their support of the project from IT, Marketing and Communications, Property Services and Governance.

Jacqui had lots to say about the efforts of staff:

The whole library team were committed and engaged throughout the project. Many of the team played integral roles including: designing and building the Enterprise site, delivering training, data testing, volunteering to be change champions and being tapped on the shoulder to be subject matter experts. All of this while continuing to deliver business as usual to our customers.

The library coordinators were outstanding in managing and leading the key elements of the project. It has been a privilege to work with them and their dedication to delivering a great outcome for our community has been fantastic.

It is wonderful to be part of the One Card Network and we can’t wait for what comes next.

Mayor, Kirsten Alexander (far right), Library Manager Jacqui Stretton (far left) and members of the Charles Sturt team

Charles Sturt staff using the new library management system

Information and screen for library customers to help demonstrate and explain the new service

Mayor, Kirsten Alexander looks on as staff demonstrate the new Enterprise catalogue and the millions of items now available to Charles Sturt customers.

And of course some One Card branded cupcakes!

Cupcakes up close...yum!


Thursday, 5 September 2013

Mount Gambier goes live

It was Mount Gambier's 'go live' today.

Together with Port MacDonnell (see post below), local communities in the lower South East of SA now have access to two fantastic libraries connected to millions of library items across the state.

You can view Mount Gambier's Enterprise catalogue here.
Thanks to the library for preparing the following words:
Mount Gambier celebrated its Go Live Launch with an open community invite and Mayor Steve Perryman opened proceedings and unveiled the new look catalogue.

Thanks to all of our dedicated library staff and wonderful volunteers who organised morning tea and the live demonstrations that followed, roving the library with iPads to show how easy it was to use both the online catalogue and the Bookmyne app.

A few special guests managed to make an appearance at the launch as well!

We are also informed that Ricky & Patricia deserve special mention for their One Card efforts.

These photos made us smile :-)

A great collage of Mt Gambier's launch

An appreciative audience...and hmmm... some familiar faces!

Great speech from Vicki Hutchinson, Library Manager...she gets by with a little help from her friends(!) 

Port MacDonnell goes live today

It's a very exciting day today at the Port MacDonnell Library to mark the launch of their new service.

You can view their Enterprise catalogue here.
A special thanks to library staff for preparing the following words on a very busy day:
Today the Port MacDonnell Library joined the new public library 'One Card' network.
A celebration morning tea was held at 10.30 am and was well attended by the public, council and library staff, Library manager Eve Carlin and Angela Sullivan (who was noted for her One Card contribution) shared cutting of the cake which was fittingly decorated as an open book with one card logos.

The Allendale East Area School reception students came dressed in their favourite book character costumes. They where entertained with storytelling before the official speeches.

Port MacDonnell Library staff are looking forward to enjoying all the benefits of the new One Card system.

Congrats to all are some great photos:

Proud Port MacDonnell staff at their launch

Local community members now connected to millions of library items across SA

Fantastic 'One Card' cake for guests to enjoy

 Allendale East Area School reception students came dressed in their favourite book character costumes