I have been following with interest the progress of a consortium of 11 councils in south western Western Australia as they've been developing a library consortium, which will operate in a similar manner to our State-wide OneCard system in South Australia. They have developed an interesting logo which is a stylised map of the regions that the participating councils cover.
The consortium has commenced its public announcements about its intent and has commenced converting libraries onto their new Library Management System and has announced their intent to their communities. This has received media publicity.
The 11 councils involved span from about 100Kms south of Perth at Waroona all the way to the south coast of WA at the Walpole library. The consortium will include 23 libraries, serve a population of almost 200,000 people and include over 500,000 items in their collections. And it is interesting see that the consortium has chosen SirsiDynix as the providers of their Library Management System which enables the consortium. This is the same software used by the OneCard consortium in South Australia.
Various councils have provided information to their communities outlining how the consortium will work & what the rollout timetable is for all members of the consortium. They intend to have all libraries onto the new system by July this year. Information on the Bunbury and Manjimup council sites provide useful information about the operations of their consortium.
While this consortium only covers 11 of the 140 councils in WA and covers about 8% of the state's population this is quite an achievement, and is a good start to what could provide a model for other councils in the state.
From my perspective in South Australia, and considering the success of our consortium here, it great to see another group of likeminded councils considering that their communities will be enriched by pooling their library collections and sharing them with their neighbours. This spirit of cooperation can only be a good thing for the communities they serve & strengthen the place that libraries have in their communities.