30 March, 2009

Disability Access Plan

NEAMI created a beautiful mosaic for the Lalor Library last year and are now working on another project for Watsonia library.

The Library Service recently commissioned Access Audits Australia (AAA) to undertake the development of a Disability Action Plan for the organisation and the Library Board adopted the Plan at its last meeting. The DAP responds to the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and provide a framework for ensuring equitable access to library buildings, services, communication systems and employment for all library users and staff. Community Consultative forums have been facilitated, one in each municipality. AAA conducted a staff forum to raise awareness of access issues and responsibilities and to identify issues to be addressed in the Action Plan. The Plan is available on the library's website.

The Action Plan focuses on achievable outcomes for the library service and concentrates on access outcomes rather than disability issues. It provides a framework for moving forward in addressing access issues relevant to each area of the library.

The DAP provides the framework for the Library to address disability access issues across all areas of library responsibility and operations and to support it in meeting its requirements under the DDA. The DAP will assist YPRL in removing access barriers and providing equity of access to services, facilities and employment for all people, and is designed to ensure that the Library’s practices are proactive in relation to meeting the needs of people with disabilities, their carers and associates, and that services and facilities will be accessible to all.

The DAP document:

  • Identifies access barriers to YPRL
  • Outlines actions to remove barriers
  • Includes priorities for actions
  • Identifies who has responsibility for ensuring actions are completed
  • Outlines how monitoring, reviewing and evaluating of the DAP will occur
If you have any access issues we would like to hear from you, either commenting on the blog or emailing ceo@yprl.vic.gov.au

23 March, 2009

Pay your library fees online

Last week we implemented a new service for borrowers, you can now pay your library fees online. On our first day we had over 20 people who did just this. We are pleased to be able to offer this option, as sometimes a card can be blocked because of a fee that is owed, and this way it can be cleared straight away, allowing holds to be placed and items renewed (as long as they aren't required by someone else or haven't been renewed already.)

Fees and charges are necessary for the library - for two reasons. First, to encourage people to bring items back on time so others may use them. Our materials go out on average 7 times a year (cds and dvds go out 15.4 times and some children's books over 12 times) and we want to keep them circulating. Second, it is a revenue stream for the library that assists us provide services. We charge for materials that are returned late and for lost cards and items. We don't charge for holds, though many libraries do. However we would much rather have the items back on time than the money. That is why if you have an email account, we remind you before the date due that your items should be returned or renewed. You can renew online, on the automated phone line 24/7 on 9401 0777 or by phone on 9401 0750.

Soon we will be implementing a new management system for printing in the library that will be more streamlined and will allow printing on the new multifuctional devices (fancy photocopiers) from the public pcs and will allow stored value on your library card. This will all be integrated with online payments and pc management. It will make printing very much easier for our customers.

Let us know what you think about our new systems - we'd love to hear from you.

18 March, 2009

Musings on 2 different themes

Samuel Dundas as Don Giovanni
(credit - http://onstagemelbourne.blogspot.com/2009/03/review-don-giovanni-victorian-opera.html)

Last Saturday night I went to the opera to see Don Giovanni - this is only the second opera I have ever been to, and I enjoyed it very much. The Victorian State Opera is four years old now and building a repetoire and growing young musicians - and this is not just words. The conductor was Nicholas Carter, who has was accepted into the Developing Artist Program with Victorian Opera in 2006, and the lead role of Don Giovanni was performed by Samuel Dundas, a 24 year old singer. The opera company is creating a new sort of company - one that encourages partnerships, takes operas out to the suburbs and regional Victoria and who is engaging a new audience for opera through such programs as sing your own opera community events, Discover Opera programs hosted by Richard Gill, of Operatunity fame, and programs designed for schools.

It got me thinking about how we continually need to reinvent ourselves, offer programs and services that will appeal to our audience and think of ways to grow that audience by doing new and different things. When organisations do this, there is energy and a sense of excitement.

The other quite unrelated musing was about Australia's Public Lending Right. We are one of only 25 countries in the world that compensates its authors for public and educational libraries holding their works - the scheme was introduced in the 1980s. I have recently joined the PLR Committee, which has responsibility under the PLR Act for determining the eligibility of claimants, the amount of payment to a claimant, approving payments under the scheme, and providing recommendations and advice to the Minister about the operation of the scheme and the Act. Lending Rights is a very important part of building our cultural heritage and supporting the enrichment of Australian culture by encouraging the growth and development of Australian writing and publishing.

So my musings were that we are fortunate to have organisations such as this to encourage our cultural life and that the Victorian Opera is really hitting the mark in building new audiences and ensuring their relevance to contemporary society.

10 March, 2009

libraries transform communities in the West

Beth Jefferson from Bibliocommons speaks at the conference

Last week I attended the LocLib 2009 Biennial Conference in Perth. The theme was libraries transform communities and there were over 200 participants. I presented 2 papers, one on integrating Web 2.0 and a keynote on the Great Public Library Tour.

The opening speaker was Beth Jefferson from Bibliocommons in Canada, who spoke about how we can build online communities in the same way we build real communities. She has developed an online public access catalogue where people can contribute reading lists, tag items and rate and review titles. For many people it can be the equivalent of browsing the shelves and return trolleys. One of Beth's main points was that its no good anymore libraries just being "free" as the cost of information becomes less and less - we are losing that point of difference. We need to add our special skills and build on the trusted brand we have to enhance people's online experience. She said that if all the public library catalogue hits in Nth America were added together this would put them in the top 10 of websites. But we need to work together and standardise the experience for people and give them the opportunity to interact and participate in the catalogue. It's about putting the public library at the centre of the online community, just as they are offline.

The other speaker that I was particularly impressed with was an architect, Josh Byrne, who described how the Peppermint Grove, Cottesloe and Mosman Park Councils have approached the development of a new library, community centre and council offices as an opportunity to create a building that is totally self sufficient using leading edge environmental and sustainable initiatives. As well as being beautiful and functional, the building will act as a educational and learning tool on sustainable architecture and building.

Perth was beautiful, hot and sunny - but I've had enough of hot and was pleased to get back to cool, dampish Melbourne!! I think most people who have endured our summer would say the same. Finally autumn is here and we hope lots and lots of rain.

03 March, 2009

Library industry unites for disaster recovery

The library industry has united to appoint a disaster recovery support officer to coordinate its response to disasters such as floods and bushfires.

Jane Grace, currently Yarra Plenty Regional Library Service outreach manager, will take up the position of acting ALIA disaster recovery project manager immediately to ensure that appropriate support is provided to bushfire families and wider communities as soon as possible.

Grace, who will also be working with Queensland colleagues on requirements for their flood affected areas said in an ALIA issued press release that ‘she was very pleased to be able to take up this interim position to coordinate immediate support and future models and information tools to support communities to get back on track.’

‘People are often well-meaning, but getting the needs and requirements right for
the people on the ground is our aim. Libraries really are providing an amazing service in these difficult times and making a difference in people’s lives,’ she added.

Representatives from the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), Public Libraries Victoria Network, the State Library of Victoria, school libraries and school library associations, public libraries in the bushfire region, the Victorian Government and the book industry met at the State Library of Victoria last Friday so they could create a united assistance to disaster-affected areas.

The meeting, attended by more than 25 people agreed to call on all Australian libraries and library organisations to support and contribute towards the position of ALIA Disaster Recovery Project manager.

Article from Australian Library News
26 February 2009 Issue 362
(ABN: 87 082 599 102)