Thursday, 31 July 2014

Update re Snowtown's celebrations of their "go live"

Greg King, of the Snowtown School Community Library has sent us through a post regarding the local community launch of their One Card membership.  Below is Greg's report and some photos of the event.

Snowtown School Community Library launched its membership of the One Card system on Tuesday 29th July 2014.  The event was well attended with the official party comprising the Honourable Geoff Brock, Minister for Local Government and Regional Development, Darryl Ottens, Deputy Mayor of  the Wakefield Regional Council, John Brock, student winner of the child borrower card design competition and Fione Love, Principal of Snowtown Primary School.

Greg King introduced the official party to a gathering of students and community members who attended the launch.  The official launch was performed by Darryl Ottens who extolled the benefits of having a library service in small rural towns such as Snowtown.  Geoff Brock added to this in his speech, by further explaining the benefits to the community of stronger regional growth and the strength and value of the One Card concept. 

Geoff then presented student John Brock, with his borrower card that has his design printed onto it.

Principal, Fione Love then explained the work that the school had been doing around building co-operation and resilience in the children and invited guests to view some of the games that had been used to develop these skills.  After watching the students demonstrate several games, guests were invited to participate.  With little urging required, Geoff Brock soon formed a team and joined in with the events.

A morning tea followed where visitors had the opportunity to be escorted by students through the classrooms where they were able to show the learning that they had been involved in.  It was a great launch that involved all sections of the Snowtown community and was well supported.

1st the formalities with Geoff Brock MP, Darryl Ottens,
Greg King, John Brock, Fione Love Principal
Then the games - with students

Followed by the adults: Beth Gerhardy,
Katherine Arbon, Cate Atkinson (Council CEO), Geoff Brock

Monday, 28 July 2014

Searching State Library holdings in Enterprise

One of the original claims of the Business Case for our State-wide consortium was that it was highly likely that the system would be able to allow all users to search the holdings of the State Library and other sources.  This was considered important, as the State Library holds extensive records about the history of our State, including specific documents and digital images about local towns etc.

We are able to demonstrate that the first rudimentary step towards this outcome has been achieved here, on the generic Libraries SA Enterprise site.  If you do a search you will see that at the top of the screen a tab will appear - see the screen shot below.  Note that the tab is not always showing, but appears when you do a search. The default search is the SA public libraries' content.  You need to click on the State Library tab to view their holdings.

The search results are still rather rudimentary in that they show the State Library's metadata for items in the library's catalogue.  At this stage it does not show any digitised images which are embedded in the SLSA catalogue.  We need to do some more investigation to see whether we can "pull through" the images in the SLSA catalogue.  This is a work in progress.

We are also investigating whether we can add a tab for the holdings in Trove, and whether we can get the digital images from there displayed.

PLS can add the SLSA searching tab to any library's Enterprise site if you are interested in making this feature available to your customers.  If you are interested in this then please discuss it with James Kemperman at PLS (

Friday, 25 July 2014

Snowtown joins the consortium

Now that the school holidays are over PLS has recommenced it's final roll out schedule for the last 10 libraries to join the consortium.  All of these libraries are School Community Libraries.

First cab off the rank was the Snowtown School Community Library which went live yesterday morning.  This library is one of two in the Wakefield Regional Council, with Balaklava being the other.   The library's Enterprise site includes the usual links to a range of online resources and a photo of the wind farms which have become a feature of the landscape in the neighbourhood.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Interesting loan stats

Collection HQ has recently published some statistics about non-fiction loans in USA public libraries. This report prompted me to ask staff to extract some statistics about loans across our network since the start of the One Card consortium approach. 

The information below shows the percentage of loans across the 10 major Dewey groups.  The figures cover all items with a Dewey number attached - so Adult and Children's books, DVDs etc. We can divide this data down to the "10's" groups in Dewey if required, or tease out more granular data if required.

I see this as rudimentary data which begins to show us what the system is capable of.  However as we get the time, and access to the new reporting package Analytics I expect that we will all be doing some interesting reviews of our library and/or consortium data to assist us in making collection management decisions.

If anyone has other reports that they want to share I'd be happy to publish these periodically.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Approaching several milestones.

Staff have just provided me with some LMS numbers.  We're closing in on the 4M items and 1M borrowers figures.  As of today the figures are 3,953,158 items and 971,090 customers. 

Of course the customer numbers will reduce as we de-duplicate the customer database. However anecdotal evidence suggests that many libraries have seen an increase in borrowers - either former borrowers re-registering and returning to use their library or new users.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Port Pirie & Crystal Brook win the prize!

We're all aware that there is "transferring" work to be done - to clean up our shared database.  Everyone benefits from the work - libraries can present a professional product & can search with certainty, customers only need to place a "hold" on a single bib record, and our courier costs go down when customers stop reserving multiple copies of the same title.

In the month of June people across the network completed 16,976 transfers - which is great. This was a considerable improvement on the previous few months. 

Below is the "league table" for our top five libraries during this period.  Interestingly these libraries have been towards to top in the last few months.  We'd love to see a few new names towards the top of the list in coming months - particularly a few more larger metros??

TOTAL 16976
Pt Pirie & Crystal Brook 2047
Burnside 1676
Enfield 1602
Campbelltown 1467
Brighton 1263

Whether we used a "per FTE" measure or on total numbers there is no doubt that the Port Pirie library service takes the cake - or more correctly the Haigh's chocolates (on their way in the Toll courier box). Here at PLS we thought the Pt Pirie effort was so outstanding that we wanted to publicly recognise their effort & send them a small gift.

Thanks to all who have contributed & please, make the Transferring work a priority whenever you can, as we are beginning to see a difference in the quality of what we're offering.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

PLS farewelling two key staff

PLS is in the process of farewelling two of its really great staff who in different ways have contributed so much to PLS and the public library network.

Penny Richardson retires today after working at PLS and its former iterations for over 42 years.  For those of you who know about our sojourns in various places Penny has worked at Hindmarsh, Norwood and within the State Library way back in the 80's. During this time Penny has taken time out to obtain a degree and have a family, but she has always come back to contribute to the work at PLS. Penny's most recent roles have included single-handedly looking after all of the day to day liaison with our libraries and suppliers regarding any mix ups with our orders - including lost & damaged items, wrong titles sent, partial supply of orders etc.  She has also had a number of other tasks including managing the ordering and distribution of barcodes to libraries as well as contributing to selection list management etc. 

The fact that the network is able to rely on one person to undertake the day to day supplier liaison role is a great efficiency for libraries as well as for our suppliers.  While we can't replace Penny and her wealth of knowledge and great relationships with suppliers, we are in the process of recruiting someone to take on Penny's work & learn all that is required to continue to provide this service to libraries.

Penny has not been one for having the spotlight on her, so didn't want a fuss made of her on her retirement.  However we did ask people in the network who wanted to contribute comments about Penny and her work to send their comments in to us.  We used these to compile a beautiful book of comments and photos for Penny to take home with her as a memento of her career in a key role in our network.

In contrast to Penny's long service at PLS we're about to farewell a staff member who has only been with us for a couple of years, but has also made an incredible impact during this time.  Jo Rivers was recruited as a project officer for the One Card roll out.  She arrived full of drive and has carried this right through as she has shaped our implementation team & processes and driven so many of the library implementations.

Jo was employed on a contract to contribute to this project and she has fulfilled everything we could have asked of her during her stay with us.  She had a number of months left to run on her contract, but as the LMS project was always designed to wind up Jo knew that there was no ongoing work here with PLS.  So she has won another software implementation position & we'll soon be wishing her well as she moves to this new role. Her new employer is getting a gun software rollout project manager.

We know that we took a quite aggressive approach to the speed of our roll out, and that it would take a real dedication by the PLS implementation team to keep up the schedule which was laid down. Jo's skills, knowledge, tenacity and dedication has been one of the really key factors in the whole network achieving what we have in the last 2+ years. For those of you who have worked with Jo, you may wish to contact her before the 18th when she leaves us.

I should note that we plan to have an "end of project" event to which library staff will be invited (more on this later).  We will certainly be inviting Jo back to celebrate this project's success.      

Monday, 7 July 2014

Burra joins the consortium

We were so busy in the PLS offices last week that the advent of Burra's go live almost passed most of us by - but not their project team of course!  Apologies for the delay in getting the message out there. 

Burra is the "other half" of the DC of Goyder which includes Eudunda.  Their Enterprise site includes a striking photo taken from their council's website, which includes some icons of the region including canola, an old stone building and the local bald hills. And I recall reading that old stone building is the one which featured on Midnight Oil's Diesel and Dust album cover.

The Enterprise site also has some great links to sites like the local school's live weather station data and a history of the town.

It is school holidays now, so we're not due to have another library go live until 24 July when Snowtown will join the consortium.