Tomorrow’s Library Response ID: 443 2. Personal Details 1. First name Susan 2. Surname Bentley 3. Email firstname.lastname@example.org 4. Council or Regional Library Corporation represented Glenelg Shire Council 4. Collections, Resources and Programs 5. Which of the challenges outlined for collections, resources and programs will most affect your library service over the next five to ten years? Are there other challenges that are not listed that affect your library service? Investment in collections Aside from providing library staff, the library collections make up a major component of library services and resources, and these are obtained using a recurring capital works budget item. The amount requested annually is based on the Glenelg Shire population, items per capita expectation, and stock turnover rates with an objective to renew the collection by 12% per annum. These parameters were established after a comprehensive report, Strategic Asset Audit of Glenelg Library Service in July 2006 by consultants, J. L. Management Services Pty. Ltd. The benchmark of two items per capita is achievable and sustainable using this formula. Council provides an annual budget for the purchase of books, DVDs, videos, CDs. However, with the increase in resources being offered in digital format, suppliers are not offering the same purchasing model as libraries have previously known. The buy-one-keep-one purchase is becoming harder to sustain. Often digital formats of items are offered from a software platform on a bulk leasing arrangement with a license contracted over a period of several years. This purchasing model takes away the flexibility and curative selection process to which librarians are accustomed. This model also reduces the influence and control librarians have for purchasing items to suit the local demographic that they know better than a global supplier from afar. The software platform driven leased contract for library purchases requires a large establishment cost followed by a contractual agreement for spending over the term of the contract. This may be manageable for one or two library collections but for a small regional library service this type of commitment is unsustainable and inflexible. It also diminishes the librarian’s ability to obtain multiple quotes for comparison and to meet the standard Council procurement requirements. LOTE The Glenelg Shire community consists of predominantly English speaking people with only 0.8% speaking languages other than English at home. The multiplicity of non-English speaking people that is now typical of Australian urban centres has not yet been experienced in this region. There is a significant population (2%) of Aboriginal Australians in this area and offering collections to meet these needs is being explored. The Glenelg Shire Aboriginal Partnership Plan 2011 - 2013 includes liaison work for this. Procurement Glenelg Libraries participates in collaborative purchasing arrangements through the Public Libraries Victoria Network and the Municipal Association of Victoria contract to supply library materials and services for Victorian Public Libraries. The current contract ends in September 2012 and the PLVN are currently investigating options for future collaborative purchasing arrangements. Shelfready items are also acquired under this collaborative arrangement. Some online databases are leased using this arrangement, such as Ancestry.com. Two-thirds of the current Glenelg Libraries materials budget is committed to this with the other third available for purchasing items not available through this method. This collaborative method for purchasing may be the preferred option when considering digital collections using software platforms such as those for e- books. Programs Libraries provide programs in order to promote their resources to the community. Specific groups are sought and programs designed and delivered specifically to fill a need, promote resources, and raise awareness and literacy in all its forms. Historically libraries have offered these programs free of charge as it is seen as part of the community service that is provided. Increased participation in these programs could be a result of the lack of other cost-free activities available for families elsewhere. Whilst increased participation in programs does place demands on existing spaces, building, and other library needs, Glenelg Libraries is only just beginning to experience conflicting demands for space. Continued provision of high quality programs is an issue, as the expectation amongst library users is specific, and to deliver quality programs requires time, planning, and continuous enthusiasm and effort by library staff. RFID Radio Frequency Identification tagging of library items is a costly expense and Glenelg Libraries is aware of the growing disparity between libraries that have already implemented this system, and those that have not. The advantages for implementing this system include: stock management; security and theft reduction; reduced manual handling of library materials; increased library database and catalogue reliability; self service processes for library members, and reallocation of staff time. Outreach With a small population spread over a large geographic area Glenelg Libraries endeavours to provide library services to cater to the needs of the whole community. Delivery of physical material is costly and time-consuming, and the essential requirement for access to an appropriate vehicle. These constraints result in a service that is often unable to meet all expectations. Increasing fuel costs will affect this service into the future. The creation of “floating collections” has assisted with the circulation of current items to library branches in Casterton and Heywood. Delivering library services to varied groups such as providing weekly story-time sessions at Child Care Centres is also constrained by staff levels, time allocation to other essential tasks, and vehicle availability. 6. What is your library service implementing or planning to implement to meet these challenges? What assistance is required to meet the challenges? Investment in collections Decreasing the size and diversity of the print collections in favour of digital resources is not a viable option for library members or regional public library organisations at this time due to the lack of reliable regional digital infrastructure, and user preferences and capabilities. Therefore digital collections are added costs that the present library budget does not accommodate well. Collaboration with other regional libraries in this area could be strengthened and this could assist in negotiating the way forward towards a strong prospect for public library services in general. While the global powers struggle for dominance over resources, the public library can stay relevant by focusing on local resources, knowledge, and stories. This will be a real asset to the community. Building collections in electronic and print format that are relevant to preserving the heritage of the local region will serve to honour the stories and culture that are of specific importance to past, present and future residents. Digitising print materials associated with local stories is an area of focus for Glenelg Libraries and this will be explored and developed in the coming year. Opportunities will be sought. LOTE Future needs for library materials in Languages Other Than English will be an area monitored by the library staff. At this point in time the Glenelg Libraries subscribes to an online world newspaper database that provides the latest daily newspapers from around the world with a view to meet some needs for resources in other languages. Procurement Collaborative purchasing through the Public Libraries Victoria Network is seen as a positive method especially for small regional libraries whose buying power is limited. Glenelg Libraries will continue to actively seek these opportunities. Programs The programs provided by Glenelg Libraries will continue to operate in order to promote literacy to targeted groups in the community, but this will be done in a planned and strategic way in order to not over-stretch the current staff, time and space resources. RFID Glenelg Libraries staff continues to discuss this option with suppliers about how to implement this system effectively. An incremental roll-out is under consideration. Monetary assistance outside the usual library budget is required. A collaborative standardised approach across Victoria would be beneficial to the small regional libraries. Outreach Providing online access to electronic materials and library catalogues is also challenging for aging communities with a lower take up of Internet than other areas of Victoria. Slow Internet speeds in remote geographic areas is also a further challenge for Glenelg Libraries. 5. Library Buildings 7. Which of the challenges outlined for library buildings will most affect your library service over the next five to ten years? Are there other challenges that are not listed that affect your library service? Fit-for-purpose buildings The Portland Library was redeveloped in 2004 with partial funding through the State Government Living Libraries Program. In 2005, with the winding up of the Glenelg Regional Library Corporation, the Portland Library became the hub / central library for the Glenelg Shire. This change was not foreseen, and not reflected in the 2004 redevelopment. As a consequence, further work will be required in the next three years to meet the current space requirements. Co-location of public library services with other services Council buildings at Heywood and Casterton house the Glenelg Libraries collections in those towns and provide the service point for the library members. These buildings require internal maintenance and future planning with consideration given to library, community and planning needs. 8. What is your library service implementing or planning to implement to meet these challenges? What assistance is required to meet the challenges? Fit-for-purpose buildings Council is planning to undertake a Civic Precinct Master Planning activity including the Portland Library. The aim of this activity is to enhance the overall attraction of this area and the community use of the improved civic spaces. It is anticipated that further integration of public space here in Portland could result in projects such as: creation of a library cafe that employs hospitability trainees; creating a local history/ genealogy/ cultural centre that combines the excellent services that exist separately. External funds such as the Living Libraries funding would be required to bring these plans to fruition. An access audit of Portland Library was received in 2011 and some items were raised that do not comply with current (disability) access standards. Funds will be required in order to address these access issues. 6. Technology 9. Which of the challenges outlined for technology will most affect your library service over the next five to ten years? Are there other challenges that are not listed that affect your library service? LibraryLink Victoria / SWIFT Library Consortium Glenelg Libraries is actively involved in sharing items via LibraryLink Victoria and this is working well. Glenelg Libraries is not part of the SWIFT Library Consortium. The advantages and disadvantages of the SWIFT system are known. The demand for item movement within the SWIFT consortium may not be practical for a small library. Shared purchasing is an advantage however the technology system variations between library services creates further issues that can be complex. For example, sharing e-book collections is a known issue. Future technologies Glenelg Libraries is proud to be an early adopter of new technologies and enjoys leading the local community in this area. Essential to the provision of library services is the library website and catalogue that allows for access to library functions around the clock. It also allows access to library members who are located in the remote areas of the Glenelg Shire. Mobile technology is making a noticeable change to the way customers (not just members) are using the library services. Access to wifi within the library branches allows people to use the internet with their own devices. Remote access to Glenelg Libraries is also available through internet links to mobile devices. Library Anywhere is a product that Glenelg Libraries subscribes to specifically for this purpose. Mobile applications (apps) provide other enhancements for library members such as the Bolinda Digital audio e-book collection that allows members to download an audio book directly onto their device of choice. Community use of technology Glenelg Libraries staff are enthusiastic to introduce computer and internet know-how to people as this assists in developing their independent abilities so they are able to use the media necessary in negotiating today’s world. 10. What is your library service implementing or planning to implement to meet these challenges? What assistance is required to meet the challenges? Future technologies The National Broadband Network will hopefully address the issues with poor internet access that is a real disadvantage to people living in the remote areas of the Glenelg Shire. The ‘digital divide’ is a very real problem in this region. Community use of technology Using e-books, e-readers, the internet, social media tools, mobile technologies, wifi, basic computer needs, online research assistance, copyright advice, image and media editing and management, and more, are all areas where library staff are proficient and keen to assist. This is definitely an area of strength for library staff and a valuable asset to the local community. The Horizon Report 2011 by New Media Consortium provides information about: technology trends; electronic books; mobile technologies; game based learning. Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions 2012 by Deloitte is another report that offers emerging trends in this area. These are great resources for library technology planning. 7. Service Delivery 11. Which of the challenges outlined for service delivery will most affect your library service over the next five to ten years? Are there other challenges that are not listed that affect your library service? Workforce Current staff levels maintain the service provision at Glenelg Libraries. Future growth and program development depends on employing library professionals and technology-savvy individuals, as well as being able to increase the staff numbers to match demographic growth. Recruitment of suitable library staff is problematic due to the remoteness of this location from the major urban centres. Attracting suitable and specialised people to this region proves to be an ongoing issue. Training and skilling local people interested in this career often means travel to urban centres for career development. Glenelg Libraries enjoys assistance from volunteers in providing regular services. This can provide local people with a means to comply with government assistance requirements, helps people gain experience for future work prospects, and assists the library in completing some of the daily tasks. In order for library services to remain relevant, professional and community assets, it is important that volunteers do not replace paid library staff. The essential tasks required in order to maintain an excellent library must be continued by library professionals; otherwise this asset will be undermined and devalued. Equity in access Public libraries are leaders in offering access equitably to all, and Glenelg Libraries endeavours to offer assistance wherever possible to match the needs of each individual. It could mean offering large print books, keyboards, screen displays, hearing devices, audio books, AUSLAN resources, LOTE resources, music, movies, information databases, language kits, referral services, e-readers, or a suitable place to sit. Glenelg Libraries seeks assistance and advice in order to remain current in this area. Model of service Public libraries have seen remarkable changes to their service models since the availability of the internet and all of the associated changes to information and resource availability. The developments in this area continue to revolutionise everything associated with books, reading, information, and literacy. The current power struggles for media power influences the way libraries can access, purchase and supply materials to the local community. Issues with copyright, freedom of information, purchasing and sharing of content in electronic formats, print format vulnerability, user access, device domination, and online social media sharing, are unresolved and still evolving. Libraries face competition from Google, Amazon, Apple, and book publishers and vendors. As the struggle for profits ensues, public libraries are trying to maintain the free library model. Operation of service Extension of opening hours is always listed on customer satisfaction surveys and the response is always in favour of more opening hours. The current opening hours match usual business opening hours and as such make library visits unsuitable to those who also work these hours. There is a need for extended opening hours into the evening and on the weekend, however additional resources are required to enable this to occur . Demographic changes Glenelg Shire is an area remote from capital cities and urban centres and has slow population growth. There are pockets of significant disadvantage across the shire and opportunities for further education and employment are limited. The Department of Planning and Community Development study Change and Disadvantage in Regional Victoria 2011 describes the disadvantages faced in these rural areas and how change will impact on existing resources and opportunities. The Department of Health Town and Community Profiles 2011 show that 48.5% of people in this region did not complete Year 12. The public library can assist by offering pathways for individuals who wish to study in areas not available locally. Informal lifelong learning opportunities available at the local library can enhance the level of wellbeing without cost or commitment by the learner. Hard to reach users The opportunities, resources, and services available at public libraries are not always well known and it is the responsibility of the library staff to ensure promotion is maintained. Providing relevance to a diverse population across a large geographic area is an ongoing challenge for library staff. It is especially challenging to engage with the more vulnerable families, young people and active baby boomers in the Glenelg Shire . 12. What is your library service implementing or planning to implement to meet these challenges? What assistance is required to meet the challenges? Workforce The internet and online resources and access may have changed many tasks that were once ruled by librarians, but the knowledge associated with honing internet research skills is a main key to the work of the librarian. Through conversation librarians assist people to navigate their way through to find the specific information that is required. This personal face to face approach of shared discovery is what librarians do best. Librarians are expert knowledge brokers as well as companions in reader advisory services. Demographic changes The older people in the community are offered access to library materials through home library services and this is an area where volunteers can assist in a meaningful way. This is an area of public library services that will increase in need in the coming years. The Ageing Well in Glenelg Strategy and Action Plan 2008 – 2013 states that by 2031 53% of the Glenelg Shire population will be 55 years or older. 8. Conclusion 13. Is there anything else that you wish to add about the challenges facing your library service that has not been covered? Conclusion In summary, the key challenges for the Glenelg Shire Council in providing relevant and responsive library services for its communities into the future include the attraction and retainment of appropriately skilled and experienced staff; developing attractive integrated civic spaces; maintaining collections; equitable access to fast online/electronic resources; meeting increasing community expectations; and reaching the 'hard to engage' communities.
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