Changing library types – the journey from joint use to public library – Kimberley Hargrave
In SA, community libraries were established in the 70s and 80s. Of the 142 public libraries in SA, just over 1/3 are joint use. There is an agreement in place outlining the responsibilities, funding etc.
The Two Wells library operated at the Primary School since 1983. In July 2006 the Council opted to have their own library, which was launched in 2007. It opened in the Two Wells Institute. Such a split is a rare occurence in SA.
In 2004-2005 a new joint use agreement was being negotiated and that was the time for reassessment. A new agreement was finalised in 2006, but was reviewed in May 2006 and a statistical snapshot was conducted. In July 2006, Mallala Council opted not to renew the agreement. August the library staff visited their future home and vision for the library was defined.
September 2006 they developed change management tools, purchased the Spydus system. October 2006 they reviewed magazines coordinated the asset division and received donated shelving.
November 2006 they undertook training, management committee had last meeting, resources reviewed. December 2006 – joint library closed, moved resources and had broadband installed. Jan 2007 – the move, but without a phone for 2 weeks.
Feb 2007 – opened to the public, promoted and worked without computers. March 2007 – trained on Spydus, which finally went live in May – when the library was officially launched.
Library open 28.5 hours per week, with other branches open very short hours. Slight reduction from the joint use library, but open longer on school holidays. Good reception to the hours opened.
Challenges – design and fitout of the library was limited due to preexisting bookings of the facility, the heritage nature of the building and budget. Donations assisted with the budge restrictions, with more than half the shelving and the circulation desk being donated.
Higher loan figures in many collections, reference requests, internet access, access to Council services and more. Very positive feedback on the new library.
Review the change process regularly, celebrate achievements, list all tasks and network with local colleagues. Dont implement a new ILMS, dont be afraid to ask for help, dont paint laminate, keep participating in your profession. Remember to maintain a good work life balance, take more photos, provide recognition, include everyone in the journey.
The future: increase and improve marketing, stocktake, development of the local history collection, review library policies and procedures.
Question: what was the schools response to the change. Mostly positive as they were happy to get the extra space, have the security of school attendees only and they were able to take their library in a new direction, not problem free, but handled well.
Question: how using volunteers. In move, packing and unpacking. Now general circulation and currently writing job descriptions for them.
Libraries to 2025: turning dreams for new public libraries into reality – Carolyn Robertson
Greater Christchurch area is expected to grow by 50,000 in the next 20 years. They have 18 community libraries an 2 joint use libraries, with 70% membership. Over 1.1 million items, 6 million loans, 3.8 million visits.
The plan began in 2005, at the completion of a 10 year library development plan, but no new libraries were identified and no capital funding assigned for the next 10 years. In early 2006, surburban libraries and a mobile were identified for potential closure due to budget restrictions – was overturned.
Library planning proper didnt restart until 2007. It is not an asset management or refurbishment plan or facility plan. Built within the framework of local government, educational and national strategies, both government and library.
Collaboration and consultation with local governments, the public and staff. Partnership was a guiding principle. Used an external working party which gave them a cross section of representation, included key stakeholders and gave them Council and community buy-in at an early stage in the process.
The plan – criteria for future library planning (effectiveness, efficiency, affordability, equity), size-function and range of services, options development, identify priority areas. They modified their hierarchy of libraries to metropolitan, suburban, neighbourhood and rural outreach and other. Priority areas were identified, by looking at growth, community need, asset condition, resulting in the 51 options reducing to 28.
Stakeholder engagement also undertaken through meetings, newsletters, market research, online surveys, targetted community events survey and staff workshops. Asked the same questions of all groups.
Public participation included public forums, public participations, one on one and group invitations, public hearings and feedback, which ended in the final plan.
Plan supports options for a new central library, recommends 3 new libraries (1 a larger replacement), replace a current library due to poor condition. More projects other than the capital developments are also outlined, which include 7 day opening, a library cafe, review of services in smaller libraries and volunteer library arrangements. Partnerships will also be reviewed in line with criteria established.
Adoption of the plan is no guarantee of funding – which is being developed at present along other Council budget reviews. Final sign off will be in June 2009.
Have learned that the Working Party was a successful model, lots of work to support this though, use of language is important (dont use closure), repeat key images continuously, make connections. Overall has been a very rewarding experience.
Redevelopment and reinvention: rethinking reference services at SLQ – Vicki McDonald and Sandra Duffield
Planning framework was service delivery groups – had to rethink current services,how they were delivered and how they could be delivered in future. This included client empowerment and encompassed service delivery and building design.
The Info Zone was developed and is distinctive in its lack of shelving. Staff rove and provide assistance at point of need. Talking and eating in this space are allowed here. Clients are able to access the catalogue and the internet without authentication in stand up and sit down system and uses a queueing rather than the booking system which is used throughout the rest of the library.
One of the most successful services offered was wireless – which is available 24/7 without authentication. It will extend to the whole building soon and will comprise a separate network for staff and clients.
e-services card is available for clients to book a PC on upper library levels, call slip an item, access databases- both done remotely and locally, copy, print and more.
Once in the new library, the review continued but moved away from building considerations. They undertook a value management study and surveys. The study reviewed teh delivery of reference services to individual clients. The study recommendations confirmed earlier study as well as NSLAs strategic plan. The survey was client exit from upper levels only and mystery shopper and onsite only. Survey found that staff skills, behaviour, knowledge an experience and clients satisfaction was based on the entire experience of the library and resulted in a 80% satisfaction rate.
Latte Librarian was trialled at the Library Cafe – with a coffee and a laptop – highly desired slot, but finished early due to the low uptake of service and the instability of the wireless access. Once wireless is expanded, the trial will be continued.
IM reference is being trialled during business hours, using Meebo from the Ask Now page and no results page on the catalogue. They have been very happy with the response so far to this offering.
Convict Transportation Registers database is now available to all web users – the result of 12 years of volunteer work. Much international recognition for this. Can be accessed via Google.