Many of you will be aware that a delegation of government, business and cultural officials from South Australia spent last week in China's Shandong Province exploring ways that the two states can deepen their almost 30 year old relationship. Prior to the SA delegation travelling to Shandong, officials from China had visited Adelaide & amongst other things, they'd been briefed on the One Card project and had appeared to show considerable interest in how it worked & whether it was applicable in their circumstances.
Alan Smith the Director of the State Library was part of the SA delegation, at which One Card and other library projects were discussed. The week culminated with a Shandong Library and the State Library of SA signing a formal agreement to cooperate together on several fronts. One of these will be Public Library Services working closely with the Shandong Library through staff exchanges and other forms of support to "...properly support Shandong Library in setting up and operating One Card Management and Services System."
There is a media release about this here.
It is a little mind blowing how a system which supports the 1.6M residents of SA can be scaled to support even parts of Shandong, let alone the full province (of 96M people). However the principles of cooperation and sharing and the economies of scale of such approaches remain constant even if the scale and mechanisms may be different. It would be a really amazing thing if what we've done here creates the catalyst for a single provincial system or even a number of systems across the larger cities of the province.
At PLS we're very excited as to what this may mean for us - providing support to Shandong & also learning from them. Our 1st step along the way is likely to be hosting a staff member from the Shandong Library for several months, as they get to explore what we've done & how it all works. While they're here we'll make sure that they get out & about in the State, visiting libraries and participating in our various events and activities. The State Library will also be hosting an intern to look at the way that they support the Library & Information Management courses at UniSA. Shane Cathcart (SLSA Associate Director) & I have already begun discussions regarding how we can provide a professionally & culturally stimulating experience for both of our visitors while they're here.
We'll keep you posted regarding progress!!