Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Yankalilla Launch

Yankalilla decided to have a "go live" launch / celebration last Friday, the day after they went live.  Members of the school, council and community attended the event, along with a number of PLS staff.

We heard from a number of speakers and Shirley Thompson the library CLA took us on a tour of their Enterprise site, showing people how easy it was to use, as well as showing the links off to the local newspapers and pages which assist readers in choosing suitable material.  Shirley was the prime designer of the site so she was the prefect person to take us on the tour.

And Shirley was the star of the day as the caterer as well.  We were informed that she'd stayed up half the night to prepare the delightful morning tea which kept the crowd lingering for some time.  Below are a couple of photos from the morning tea, but there are other photos of the event on the library's Facebook site.

The cake was cut by volunteer Shirley Whittlesea who has covered all the books in the library's collection for the last 16 years.  Shirley couldn't stay for all of the event as she was also volunteering in the school canteen that day!

Teacher Librarian Jo Davidson (right)
thanking volunteer Shirley Whittlesea


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Phase one - all done

With the advent of Yankalilla going live this morning we can sign off on the major part of the One Card project - i.e. all libraries now connected together and sharing their customers and collections.  The library's Enterprise site is here.  The site includes some photos showing off the natural beauty of the region - both the coast and the country.

A few of us from the PLS office will be attending the final "go live" celebration in Yankalilla tomorrow.

Just to add a degree of complexity at the end of the project the Yankalilla School Community Library is in the process of changing its operating location and practise.  It will cease to be a School Community Library in mid November, and will open as a council operated public library in late November.  So part of our data conversion process has had to take into account this change.  The school will continue to run their own library and keep their current LMS, with the metadata for community collection being migrated to the One Card network.

PLS is working with the current library staff and council staff to ensure that the transition to the new arrangements is as smooth as possible.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Opening address to "Visioning the future"

As I mentioned on 12 September, the Libraries Board is working with the Local Government Association and the Minister for the Arts and people across the State to plan for the future of the public library network.  

Part of this process includes nine consultation sessions across the State.  At the first consultation session we had a short opening address from Libraries Board member Ann Short.  A few people have asked me to publish Ann's address - which you will find below.

On behalf of the Libraries Board I have much pleasure in welcoming you to this workshop “visioning for the future of the public library network”.

In South Australia we have a unique partnership between State and local governments to deliver public library services to our communities.  This partnership has had bi-partisan support from all Governments over the past 50 years.

I believe that the unique South Australian approach to the provision of public library services has proved to be very successful, and a key contributor to this success is the governance model.

This model has both levels of government actively supporting an independent Board to drive statewide policies and strategies.

The one card library Management system is the most recent example of such a successful statewide project.

The funding under the 10 year Memorandum of Agreement, that the Board provides to libraries, is the “glue” that binds the network together and facilitates collaboration.

It is the glue that creates two major benefits:
      Broad consistency in what public libraries do in SA such as free membership, and uniformity of loan procedures, and free Internet etc;
      the network infrastructure and connectivity that enables the library sector, which is  predominantly a local government service, to act as a cohesive Statewide network for the benefit of all South Australians.

I am proud to be a member of the Board which gave total support to the One Card Project.

This morning we have a great opportunity to contribute to a vision for the future of public libraries using the technique called Future Perfect Thinking.

This visioning technique talks about the future as something that has happened in the past.

Using this technique, the consultants have translated the predictions and trends with which we are all familiar, into a scenario for a possible future for public libraries in SA.

Looking forward is a challenge for us all. Putting ourselves into a future state and looking back at a future that has already been achieved is exciting.

I, and some of my former colleagues here today, are very fortunate and privileged to be in a position where we are actually in the future that we envisioned many years ago, and able to look back on the journey public libraries have taken since then.

This is by no means the first review, workshop or planning day involving public libraries that I have attended.  However, one of them does stand out.

In the mid 1980s, an audience much the same as here today attended a workshop at the former Wattle Park Teachers College. Just like today there were Local Government Mayors, CEOs, librarians, Local and State government senior officers, Board members and staff from other agencies.

We all shared a similar belief in the positive role and influence of public libraries in our communities. We wanted to further that vision of making public libraries the best they could be, and develop their capability to deliver the most relevant and cost effective services.

Back then the functions of the then PLS were done manually.  The central tool for inter-library loans, the union card catalogue, was a rather imperfect record of all the books held in SA.  Back then, book selection was done by librarians physically visiting the central book depository and filling in request cards manually.

The major challenge for that workshop was two-fold:
      how we could go about moving the union card catalogue and inter-library loans functions to computer, and
      how to provide information technology to enable librarians to select their material via computer from their own libraries, that is, putting procurement functions online.

But these were just technological questions to answer an overarching vision – to provide the best possible access to library collections for the public.  As a result of that workshop, a business case was developed and presented to the Libraries Board.

Most importantly, a significant outcome of that entire process was the recognition that it was a major step in the development of networking and collaboration between all public libraries; a process that was facilitated by the governance model of the Board which I mentioned earlier.

By the standards of 2014, these initiatives were very small steps in the “how” of changing libraries. However, they certainly influenced the why and what and when of future changes and developments.

It is interesting to reflect that at that 1980s workshop, some of us here today, boldly suggested that it would also be good to have a networked circulation system.

Looking back, we were laying the foundations of the one-card system way back then.

I believe our present public library network is a result of the profession's and stakeholders' excellent planning, innovative strategies and their ability to respond quickly to changing technologies, and social and economic environments.

Our Public Library Network has been supported by strong leadership and wise investment from local and State Government.

Therefore I am delighted to pay tribute to everyone who has been involved in the development of our public library network during the past 30 years of its evolution.  And I believe that today is the start of the next phase in imagining and planning for the public library network of 2030.

I have every confidence that the deliberations on the future of our public library network will benefit from the participation and creativity of everyone here today, and everyone participating in this review.


Friday, 19 September 2014

And then there was one...

Yesterday the Lucindale School Community Library joined the Network, completing the rollout for the Naracoorte Lucindale Council.  The library has chosen to have its own Enterprise site which can be found here.

This phase of our "roll out" will be complete when Yankalilla joins the network next week. 

However connecting all of the State's public libraries onto one system is only phase one of our project. Phase one has been about establishing the inter-connected basic Library Management System infrastructure in every library.  But there is lots more to do to ensure that our network is delivering in the best way possible for both staff and customers. We have always talked about phase two, which will be a combination of deploying additional software as well as refining what we have to maximise efficiency and customer benefit. I will have more to say about phase two in coming weeks.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation

I am at the ALIA National Conference in Melbourne - which is always a great opportunity to learn and recharge the professional "batteries"  as well as catch up with old colleagues and make new connections.

I have been conscious for some time that the One Card project has been an all consuming passion at PLS & one of the risks of this is that we can sometimes be too narrowly focused and miss other things.  I discovered one of the "other things" that I have missed at the conference yesterday.  It is the truly amazing Indigenous Literacy Foundation.  I would really encourage everyone to take a look at their site.

And I wonder about how the SA public library sector could get behind the vital work that they're doing.  Yes - they are sponsored by the Australian publishers and booksellers, but they could certainly do more if they had more funds. They have got some really interesting activities such as the ILF great book swap which are both fun literacy and fundraising events.  And they do have a section about how libraries can join up and provide support.  Perhaps we can join in next year.  I'll be talking to the PLSA Executive about what we could do together to both support the Foundation & also how we may be able to collaborate with them on activities in SA.  I'll keep you posted.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Vision for the future of our Public Library Network

Yesterday saw the commencement of the consultation process around the future of our public library network.  Over 80 people attended our first workshop to begin capturing the views of people working in public libraries, or in some way associated with the work that libraries do. Along with people who work in libraries the attendees included a range of mayors & councillors, senior council & State Government staff, senior LGA staff, Libraries Board members and various partners who contribute to our network - NGOs, technology and logistics companies etc.

The facilitators took us forward to 2030 to consider what libraries would be like then.  We worked our way around 5 difference scenarios which prompted us to consider what the future may look like & then we worked in groups to document what we wanted to protect in 2014 which would be important in 2030, and what we were prepared to jettison.  It certainly led to some interesting conversations. For many of us the process assisted in "drilling down" to the fundamental purposes (i.e. the why) of libraries, rather than focusing on what we do now.

The process got us moving around, talking to other participants and actively engaging in thinking about our preferred future for public libraries.  One of our facilitators took some photos of the day, showing people busily engaged in the activities.  These photos have been put together in multiple images in a frame - I've dropped a few in below.

This workshop will be followed up with 2 metropolitan and 5 country workshops to ensure that regardless of where people are, if they're connected to libraries they have an opportunity to have their say. If you're reading this & haven't registered for an event close to you please do so, as they kick off next week. Library and other council staff will also have an opportunity to contribute through an online survey that will be available soon.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Coorong complete

The last of the Coorong libraries - Tintinara & their depot library at Coonalpyn joined the consortium today.  They share their Enterprise site with the other Coorong libraries at Meningie, Tailem Bend and Coomandook. The site includes a really nice collage banner showing some of the highlights of the council area from the Coorong lakes & a pelican on the wing, to a beautiful canola crop inn full flower & a granite outcrop.

As I have mentioned previously, the four libraries in the council have used the capacity of Enterprise to create four separate pages for each library, listing opening hours and links to other relevant information.  The separate Tintinara page is behind the windmill & can be found here

We will post any photos from Tintinara as they come to hand.

Filling in this part of the map means we're certainly on the home straight, with only Lucindale (18th) and Yankalilla (25th) still to go.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Changes in membership of User Group

As a result of the recent expression of interest process we welcome six senior library staff who have joined the LMS User group for a two year  term up to Aug 2016.

We have a mixture of new members and some returning members. They will be officially starting at the 20 October 2014 meeting.

4 x metro reps:
Janice Curtis, Pt Adelaide Enfield
Jo Cooper, Prospect 
Suzanne Kennedy, Norwood, Payneham & St Peters
Gill Galloway, Onkaparinga
1 x River Murray rep: Carol Bath, Murray Bridge
1 x Central region rep: Pam Menadue, Pt Pirie
On behalf of the Network I’d like to thank those members who are leaving the User group.  To Liz Byrne of Marion (who also took on the role as acting chair); Bob Muster from Lameroo and Alison Burden (who had filled in for Julie Weller) from Mitcham, thanks for your professionalism, pragmatism & expert advice.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Burnside's other languages site

On Friday I posted Charles Sturt's use of their Enterprise site to provide a tailored service to their NESB communities.  It appears that Burnside has also been busy creating a similar site - see here. In fact I'm reliably informed that Burnside was the genesis of this idea - further developed by Charles Sturt. Apologies to Burnside for not being aware of this great work earlier.

The site highlights the library's 5 major languages - Korean, Chinese, Japanese, French and German, with the pre-defined searches divided into DVDs, books and music for each language.  And for all 37 languages collected across the State there is a predefined search that covers all media.  The searches look across all of the holdings across the State, so people using this site at Burnside can find all items in their language through this site.  The page also has links to a range of other useful resources such as IELTS, language kits, newspapers etc.

Matthew Spearman - acting library manager at Burnside described the development of the page thus, "This simple and practical design considers the language limitations of new arrivals to Australia and was created by a very clever Penny McInnis here at the Burnside Library.   Other Councils have since taken our design on board (with permission / assistance) and many more have been asking us about doing the same.  It is a real success story in creativity and partnerships across the sector all sourcing from a single individual who had a neat idea."

I'm delighted to see such a great development.  And the fact that staff at Burnside are happy to provide support for others who want to develop something similar is a real testament to the professionalism & sharing ethos which exists across our network.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Coomandook joins in

(This was originally posted on 21 August, but with the update by Jessie below it has skewed the date to be 6 September)

One of our smaller libraries - Coomandook went live this morning.  Coomandook is part of the Coorong Council, so is utilising the Coorong Enterprise site which I mentioned last week when commenting on Meningie joining the consortium. This Enterprise site is here
The Coorong Council has four School Community Libraries and a depot.  The remaining two libraries, Tintinara and Tailem Bend as well as the depot at Coonalpyn will join the network in coming weeks.  

On the Council's Enterprise site each of the 4 libraries has a picture which illustrates their part of the council - from the Coorong Lakes at Meningie to a harvester in operation for Coomandook, the Murray River for Tailem Bend and an iconic windmill for Tintinara.  Each of these pictures is a "click through" to information about each of the libraries - opening hours, contact details and some with additional pictures of their library.  This use of the Enterprise software to provide additional "pages" for each library is great to see.

Jessie Cameron, a Year 11 student at Coomandook wrote the following report of the opening event.

On the 21st August the Coomandook School Community Library went live with the new ‘One Card’ system. Over 130 public libraries across South Australia are now connected on this system. It allows you to borrow and return books at any library involved and all you need is your One Card library card.

The library board members provided a great morning tea and the library staff gave out free raffle tickets at the door and had book prizes for the winners. Approximately 50 people attended the launch including community members, teachers, school staff, Library board members, SRC executive, senior students and special guests.
Amongst our special guests were:
Barb Williams, Library Board President, was excellent as MC for the day

Roger Strother; Mayor of the Coorong & Districts Council, who cut the ribbon to officially launched OneCard at our Library

Paul Simmons; Community Representative and the official cake cutter, the Simmons family has been a part of this library for many years and Paul is the son of the library buildings name sake Maxine Simmons.

Council Representative; Councillor Bob Simcock and Nat Traeger, Nat has also published pictures from the morning tea on the Councils Facebook page.

Principal Kath Macalister presented Library staff; Helen Bowering, Michelle Cameron, Julie Barrie and Belinda Keatley (Library Manager) with gifts to thank them for all the hard work that they had done in preparation for the new system.

Staff of the Library also had a bit of fun on the day, wearing ‘L’ plates, this enjoyment and relaxed attitude made the morning tea be very successful.

Photos relating to each of these groups or individuals are provided below.

A "very hungry caterpillar" cake

Library Board President Barb Williams
Mayor Roger Strother cutting the ribbon
Paul Simmons with knife to caterpillar's head!

Library staff with gifts

Like staff in some other libraries the staff wore their "L" plates


Friday, 5 September 2014

Great use of Enterprise to provide access to "other languages" materials

I know that Charles Sturt has let people in our own network know about the work that they have done on customising their Enterprise site to promote access to their extensive community languages collections.  But lots of people who visit this blog are from other places.  And I want to point all visitors to the great work that Charles Sturt has done. 

The Charles Sturt Enterprise site is here.  There is an added link in the left hand column called Other Languages.  I decide to click "French" as I at least read a bit of French (compared to the other languages) and it opened search which displayed all of the NEW French items that the library holds.  The top 9 languages also have predefined searches for books or DVDs.  And there is so much more - go take a look - it is great.

Well done to the Charles Sturt staff for thinking through all that was needed to create this easy to use page & then creating it. This is a great model for libraries to look at & see how they may want to create similar additional pages for specific collections or customer groups.

Customer Self registration

One of the features of Enterprise is the ability for customers to "self-register" - i.e. fill in an online registration form & begin using the library.  At the point of registration customers can place up to 5 "holds" on the system.  Of course customers then need to produce ID at the library to turn their provisional membership into a full membership and be able to borrow the items they have reserved.

Most of our libraries have not advertised this feature, but some have chosen to display it in a prominent position.  See the picture below from the Marion Enterprise site which shows off the self-registration offer right up front with the statement Not a member? Register here. They have made the LOG IN option much more prominently than in the normal set up of Enterprise.

For libraries who have not placed an advertisement of this feature on their front page it comes up when people go to login - as per the picture below.  But potential customers are unlikely to click the "log in" button if they're not already members.  So the Marion version of putting this offer on the front page makes sense to me.  Some of you may want to consider whether you want to reconfigure your front Enterprise site to include this option.

A relatively new feature of the "self registration" process is the addition of the ability for customers to reset their PIN if they have an email address in their customer record.  This allows for self management of the login. process.

I've always thought that the "self registration" feature should be used every time someone wants to join the library - not just for remote users.  I would set up a PC near the front counter so that customers can fill in an online registration form themselves rather than have library staff fill it in.  Customers will be lots quicker and more accurate at spelling their own names and addresses than a staff member.  And this frees up staff to do other things.  All staff need to do is then verify the details, add the X0 barcode and the customer is now ready to go.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Tailem Bend joins the network

I was travelling late last week, so missed the Tailem Bend "go live" and launch - which happened on Thursday the 28th.  As with other Coorong Council libraries Tailem Bend is utilising a common Enterprise site.

Below are a few words from the library staff along with some pictures which they supplied. 

Tailem Bend had a wonderful day to celebrate " going live". We had excellent support from community, local council and parents with a short official ceremony

and morning tea to follow. Several other Coorong libraries also visited to show their support for which we were grateful. The relationship that has been forged with the local council through this whole process has been beneficial for all. We have received outstanding support and help throughout the whole journey.

The local "town crier" happened to visit and settle the crowd and the students were all excited to receive their new cards in lanyards and a cupcake to celebrate.

As a library staff we are also grateful to our wonderful volunteers, school staff and students who helped us may the day a special event for the community and our school.

We look forward to the adventure of moving forward with other libraries around our state. 
Library Staff Ang and Sal

Cutting the ribbon
The town crier
Using cupcakes to spell out the One Card message