Sunday, 24 August 2014

1,001 libraries to see before you die

There has been quite a bit in the media & through emails about some great libraries as physical spaces.  

We've been very pleased to see the Travel & Leisure Magazine's recognition of the State Library's Mortlock Wing as one of the world's most beautiful libraries. There is a great follow-on report from the ABC which shows some wonderful photos & information about the Mortlock library.

Many of you will have seen the emails about Craigieburn's win in the inaugural IFLA Public Libraries Design awards competition. The Hume Council which built the Craigieburn library, also reports on this global award here.  

Along with the Mortlock and Craigieburn libraries the Murray Bridge Library also rated a mention in a Guardian online article.

Many of you who attend the PLSA Awards ceremony will also remember the great presentation of the new Melbourne "Library at the Dock" which can be seen here.  

Some of you will be aware that I have had the privilege of presenting a paper about out network at the IFLA public libraries conference at the new Birmingham Public Library.  This is a new library which at 3,500 SqM is the largest public library in Europe. Much can be read about this incredible library here.  I am deeply impressed not just with the 111M pounds spend on the library, but the incredible philosophical perspective which has driven the amazing programs which fill this library space.

Which brings me to the IFLA public libraries division project called "1,001 libraries to see before you die".  This is a really GREAT OPPORTUNITY for a number of our libraries to get some recognition and get on the "library tourism" map.  This is a new IFLA project to list the best 1,001 libraries in the world.  Of course we all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we do have some sensational libraries & it would be great to have a few SA ones on the lit.

If you believe that you'd be keen for your library to be listed in this 1,001 list you can find the conditions and entry form here.  

I am sure there will be a Mk II of this post in the next 12 months or so, but it is great to be able to share where we are internationally with public library buildings.  

As a post script, I should also report that while I have not been able to visit the library, one of my colleagues tells me that their favourite UK libraries is the relatively recently refurbished Manchester Public Library.  I will take their word for it & hope to visit this library at some stage.

I am thrilled to see that in many parts of the world great library buildings are being developed and provided to the public.  In some ways great public library buildings are the enablers which allow for great community outcomes. 

We all know that while a building may be great - the real action for a public library is in how it uses its space, how its collection meets the needs of its community and how its public programming engages with its community.   I look forward to reporting on some of these issues in the near future. 

Friday, 15 August 2014

The Coorong Council roll out commences

On Thursday Meningie, the 1st of the Coorong Council libraries joined the consortium. The libraries of the council have chosen to use a single Enterprise site to indicate that all of the libraries in the council are there for all residents.  The Coorong Enterprise site is here

Bernie Ryan the local library manager has provided the paragraph and photos below.

Meningie School Community Library went live today and the launch was attended by nearly forty people, some who had travelled over 50 km to attend. We had great support from community members, School staff and volunteers as well as The Coorong Council CEO, Mayor and staff. Meningie is looking forward to an exciting future working cooperatively with DECD and Local Government to deliver a level of service and access to students and the public not possible before the 1LMS was implemented.

Inside the library on "go live" day

The outside of the library

Bernie Ryan - library manager

Some locals at the launch

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

From "firsts" to "lasts"

This blog has chronicled the progress of the development of the One Card network across South Australia.  We've documented everything from the 1st library going live (Mitcham in May 2012) through adding existing consortia like "SWAP" and "LINK" and the various decisions we're collectively made about sharing our collections.

We're now at the other end of the project, where we are beginning to document "lasts".  This past week saw Cathy Cusack, our semi-resident trainer from SirsiDynix complete her last " pre-go live" training session in the PLS offices. She provided training for the staff from Lucindale and Yankalilla, our last 2 libraries to go live in mid to late September.

Cathy has been a great contributor to the success of our project.  Her consistent training, along with her understanding of how our consortium works has been invaluable. And when she isn't training she is helping us to solve various issues. Cathy has almost become a member of the PLS staff during her repeat visits.  We've been delighted to host her over the last few years.

So - the production line of libraries moving towards their joining date has now come to an end. We have no libraries to add to the production line after Yankalilla.  There is quite a mixture of emotions associated with getting here.  There is both relief and sadness as well as a reasonable sense of pride in having achieved such a rollout in the relatively short time of 30 months.  To have converted over 80 databases, and seen so many libraries join up during this time is quite an achievement by both the PLS project management team  the rest of the PLS staff and all libraries who have committed to making this consortium work.

So, we're on the count down & look forward to how we will be able to build on the success of our One Card network. 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Balaklava joins the consortium

We've been flat out at PLS & I've omitted to report Balaklava joining the One Card network last week.  Along with Snowtown, this concludes the rollout for the Wakefield Regional Council as well as for all of the mid-north region.

The Balaklava Enterprise site includes a great photo of the "pile of books" sculpture which is outside the library.

Balaklava library holds a special place in the history of the SA public library network.  Des Ross was a local farmer and member of the council, living at Salter Springs.  He was chair of the Libraries Board of SA from 1985 - 1997 - during the rollout and consolidation of the SCL program across the State. He also negotiated the first multi-year funding agreement between State and local government.  While on the Libraries Board and holding many other offices he was also the chair of his local Balaklava School Community Library board of management.  And while most of us in the library community remember the library parts of Des' work, his impact in his local community and in the nation was quite significant.  Des' contribution to the community is recorded in the LGA media release here.