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Major Projects

Major Projects

Reimagining the future of our Libraries

Over the last 30 years public libraries have experienced unprecedented change. The advent of automated library management systems, the Internet, and most recently the increase in self-service technologies and online services, have seen a significant shift in the day to day operation of libraries and the way customers interact with libraries. Our Charles Sturt Library Service is currently made up of five branch libraries (Woodville, West Lakes, Findon, Henley Beach and Hindmarsh). These five branches weren’t created by design, but through council amalgamations. At the moment, these five branches provide almost identical services in each location. We have an opportunity to reimagine how our libraries work – and before we make any changes, we will connect and engage with you as our community.

Historically, libraries were almost exclusively about books and information, and were based on face to face interactions and physical visitation to library facilities. Library Services today have significantly evolved and now also provide access to technology (desktop PCs and wireless services) and free internet services, for communicating, finding information, learning, conducting business and interacting with government.

A growing proportion of library collections are in electronic formats, from online information databases, e-books and e-magazines. In addition, with the introduction of the One Card Network, collections are moving away from the concept of ‘local’ holdings to an accessible State Wide collection of 4 million items.

Libraries also develop and deliver a range of programs focussed on digital literacy, literacy and learning generally, and are moving towards more sophisticated, appealing and accessible outreach services (libraries operating beyond the physical facilities).

Even though visiting a local library may be the way you want to interact, increasingly, and through the advances in technology, many residents prefer and like the convenience of online interaction.

The way communities interact with libraries is changing, and our Charles Sturt libraries need to respond strategically and operationally to these changes both at an industry wide level and at our local level.

Across all of our libraries, there has been a gradual decline in visitation while the annual operating costs have been gradually increasing (rents, electricity, employee costs). These trends cannot continue. We have therefore been developing a strategic response to current trends, the unsustainable financial operating environment and the repetitive services. This response will also incorporate the elements of Community Services.

While we haven’t finalised our strategy yet, we have shaped our future outlook on branch specialisation and differentiation of services – rather than every branch having the same services. The aim will be to provide core services as well as specialist services based on a defined target audience. In this model one library would focus on children and families (Civic), one would focus on adults and adult learning (West Lakes), one would focus on arts and culture (and potentially cultural diversity), and two of our smaller libraries will become ‘boutique’ libraries reflecting the immediate local community needs.

Before we make any changes, we will connect and engage with you as our community.

West Lakes Hub

Project Value $2m

We are reimagining the future of our libraries, and taking the opportunity to change the way we deliver library and community services at West Lakes. Our aim is to create a sense of belonging for our diverse communities, delivering community and library services that can operate side by side to deliver enhanced connections and encourage creativity and innovation with our community. Site location, costings and scope of works will be determined in the later stages of 2017.

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