Minutes of meeting Tuesday, 20th March 2004
Banksia Room, Willoughby Council
1. Present : Barbara Todes Manly
Helen Sutherland Stanton
Deborah Lisson Ryde
Frances Sims Willoughby
Cathy Howie Pittwater
Ray Amos Ku-ring-gai
Jane Broadbere Mosman
2. Apologies : Beth McLaren Hornsby
Linda Horswell Mosman
Ray Amos, the new Manager Library Services at Ku-ring-gai was welcomed to the Committee.
3. Minutes of last meeting
The minutes of the last meeting had not been done so they could not be confirmed.
4. Mentoring new librarians
Alan Flores, Gosford Library Manager, had submitted a paper from the CPLA to the PLCC
regarding professional development. The difficulty in keeping new graduates was a common
experience. Some libraries succeeded in attracting new graduates, but then found it hard to keep
them. Different ideas were discussed such as using existing networks to encourage networking
between these staff. North Sydney and Willloughby would trial staff visits and it was resolved to
keep the issue on the agenda.
5. PLCC feedback
5.1 Library Development Grant Guidelines
The Library Development Grant guideline recommendations could not be properly considered
because not all members of the PLCC Committee had seen them. The Committee would not
adopt them without feedback from the CPLA. Robert Knightly (CPLA) had expressed concern
about the fact that the recommendation was that there be no grant applications under $10,000.
5.2 Increasing access
Some libraries had used their allocation of funds, which most assumed was for additional PCs, to
purchase alternative pieces of equipment such as data projectors instead. Most librarians were
unaware that this funding could be used for alternative purposes.
5.3 Electronic deposits of funding from State Library
Several librarians reported that the practice of electronic transfer of funds from the State Library
to Councils was causing problems because the items were not clearly described. The funding
was received by the Finance Department and it was hard for the librarians to identify what it was
for, especially when the allocations changed from what was originally anticipated.
It was Resolved to take this to the next MPLA meeting as an issue requiring attention.
5.4 Regional Cultural Alliance
This Alliance consisted on historical societies, ALIA and the Museums Association, with
Alexander Downer's wife as the driving force. It had not received funding.
5.5 Review of funding arrangements
The issue of the way public libraries was funded was reviewed. However, the existing
formulations were tied to the Library Act and regulations and couldn't be altered until the Act was
changed. This might happen later this year. The meeting was reminded that libraries had
prevailed in the budget, unlike museums which had had their funding slashed.
The CPLA and MPLA had submitted to the State Budget that partnerships with other agencies
such as the RTA required additional funding for libraries.
5.7 Library Development Grant analysis
Kathleen Breshnahan had presented a paper analysing the Library Development Grants. 20%
had eminated from MPLA and 74% from CPLA.
6. Council elections
There was general discussion about the impacts of the Local Government Elections on the
7. Zone round up
Deborah Lisson reported that the construction of the new West Ryde library was expected to
begin in August 2004, opening in November 2005. The library would be undergoing an EOI with
library suppliers and related services. Previous "casual" library assistant positions have been
restructured to permanent part-time and true casual positions. Staff turnover was high.
Frances Sims reported that the library was in holding pattern due to the question as to whether
the new town centre (which included the new library) would go ahead and that it was hard to keep
up staff morale. It was anticipated that the results of the question to the residents about the
development would be out on the 21st March 2004.
Frances had been surveying staff salaries and would send out the final spreadsheet once the
outcomes had been received.
She had requested an additional 10 hours for Artarmon Library. There had been a 2 day blackout
in Willoughby which had affected not only the library but the entire Shorelink network.
Cathy Howie reported that they had recently restructured the library. Staff had all received a 2
grade increase and were now required to work on the desk every 2nd weekend. They were open
more hours on the weekend: Saturday 10-5pm and Sunday 1-5pm. They had recently advertised
and appointed new staff. The new library was due to open mid June 2004. They would be closed
for 2 weeks prior to opening. Parking was an issue due to huge developments around the building
and user numbers had reduced as a result. However, in 2005 there would be parking for 360
cars. There would be 2 self checkers (an ordinary PC with a self-check program) in the new
library, and a Youth Adult area.
Ray Amos said that the library was in holding pattern due to the management changeover. He is
looking at restructuring in the long term but wanted to see how everything worked first. David
Jones had been contracted to do a library needs survey to identify the best areas to have the
branch libraries. Demographics had changed and the current buildings might not be in the right
spots any more.
Jane Broadbere reported on the different events at the library:
Reading Rave - new summer reading program for youth 11-15 years which had been a
great success. Sponsorship had been generous.
Treasure Trove - the 6th year of this program for 5-10 year olds, with 400 attendees.
Author evenings featured Don Watson, Marian Keyes and Paul Brunton, all booked out.
Local History Photographic Exhibition 9-20 February featured Mosman - Before there
Library booksale at Mosman Markets raised $500
Seniors week featured senior's story time, webcat training and a legal talk.
Youth Week event with Mosman Youth Centre and Mosman Art Gallery - Shoreshocked
in the chillout tent.
Easter School holidays - Garth Nix, fantasy author, Chocolate Festival and Origami
Law Week - seminar for Year 11 and 12 students and one for general public
Library Week - great debate: Harry Potter vs Lord of the Rings
Trivia Night - Library staff versus the rest.
Multicultural story teller - Danielle Antaki.
Barbara Todes reported briefly on the different events happening in the library and on the recent
oral histories that had been done on some well-known identities in Manly. The library was going
to reinstitute an Internet basics hands-on training course. She also commented that in her
relatively new role overseeing the Art Gallery and Museum and Tourism and Event in addition to
the Library, that the library profession was more fortunate than these areas which had less
representation and lobbying power in terms of salaries and conditions.
Staff had moved out of the library into an air conditioned building while the new floor of the library
was being built. It would take 64 weeks to build the new floor at a cost of $3million. The new
community centre was being built so the lower floor had the Children's After School Care and
Leisure Centre. The disruption to the library service was therefore anticipated to be 2-3 years.
8. Next Meeting
The next meeting would be held at Chatswood on 9th June at 2.30pm.
The meeting closed at 4.45pm
Minutes taken by Barbara Todes