Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Empowering Users Conference - NLA

Thursday 5th November 2009, Hobart

Empowering users – what can we do to facilitate creation, discovery, use and transformation of our collections?

In July 2008, NSLA (National and State Libraries Australasia) published a paper, Re-imagining library services, outlining the strategies they considered essential in order that libraries remain at the heart of their communities while making the fundamental shifts necessary to meet the needs of users who, more than ever, are contributors as well as consumers, of the digital world.

This seminar, the fourth in a series jointly supported by the National Library of Australia, Charles Sturt University and ALIA is intended to provide both a broad overview, with examples, of what this means for libraries and information agencies in strategy and in practice. In addition, a number of speakers will address specific approaches being undertaken in order to ‘re-imagine’ the services they offer.

9.00am Welcome and introductions
9.10am Opening, Jan Fullerton, Director-General, National Library of Australia
9.20am Wendy Quihampton,

Re-imagining Libraries – Delivering on NSLA’s Vision

There has been a fundamental shift - Australians and New Zealanders turn to the Internet as their first choice for information, to obtain services and to access global culture. Information-seeking now happens online. At the same time, the number of people coming through the doors of our libraries is increasing. NSLA’s re-imagining of libraries for the digital age puts people at the centre of our services, and focuses on making our content available to everyone.

10.00am Vic Elliot, ANU

Beyond Platitudes: Challenge and Change in Academic Libraries

For a decade or more, the nature and role of the university library within its parent institution and the academic enterprise have undergone rapid change. Such change generates its own set of challenges but is also in itself the product of attempts to confront and meet enduring challenges of a different kind. This paper explores the relationship between challenge and change in the context of the academic library.

10.35am Morning Tea
10.55am Lloyd Sokvitne, Manager Digital Strategies, State Library of Tasmania Carmel Denholm, Senior Cataloguer (Metadata), State Library of Tasmania

A Digital Island

An exploration of the State Library of Tasmania’s provision of a set of services around its (digital) island, including Tasmania Online ( a unique response by a State Library to index web content, Service Tasmania Online ( for government information, Our Digital Island ( for preserved websites and STORS ( an electronic document repository.

11.35am Warwick Cathro, Assistant Director-General Resource Sharing, National Library of Australia

A national framework for improving access to e-resources

E-resources, licensed by Australian libraries, are an under-used part of our library collections. The National Library has an interest in establishing a national framework which would encourage greater use of e-resources, especially in the national/state/public library sector, by improving ease of access. The Library's interest stems from its responsibility for two e-resource consortia (the NSLA Consortium and ERA) and from its leadership role in the NSLA Open Borders Project. During 2009 the Library has examined some options for establishing a better national framework. The Library's current thinking will be summarised in this presentation.

12.15pm Lunch
1.15pm Rodney Foley, University of Tasmania

Trends in Integrated Library Systems: Are traditional Library System vendors going the way of the dinosaur?

Earlier this year the University of Tasmania conducted an investigation of the Integrated Library Systems environment. This presentation reflects on some of the conclusions and highlights issues that will affect the systems landscape in the future. Of particular note are the emergence of open source systems, including the Open Library Environment project (OLE), and the arrival of ‘cloud based’ solution within the library systems environment.

1.50pm Geoff Strempel, South Australia

Public Libraries: keeping true to foundation principles while moving into uncharted waters

The NSLA Re-imagining Library Services project, while influential, is one of many agendas impacting on public libraries. We will consider “re-imagining” along with broad societal, technological, related industry and library industry influences which are shaping the development of public libraries today.

2.25pm Pam Gatenby, Assistant Director-General Collections Management, National Library of Australia

Revealing library collections: streamlining collection description and enhancement

The public now expect to be able to find information about what libraries hold through commonly used search engines. However, this is not possible if the collections are not catalogued online. Libraries Australia includes good coverage of mainstream Australian publications but access to unpublished heritage materials and more difficult materials such as maps and ephemeral publications is patchy. Processing and cataloguing library collections can be a resource intensive and costly undertaking so in an environment of tightened budgets and increasing user expectations, it is necessary to find more streamlined and cost-efficient ways of describing collections and making them findable through online catalogues. This can entail re-assessment of ideas concerning record standards and quality and user expectations regarding access. A key challenge is to achieve more efficient and productive operations while also meeting the data requirements of new resource discovery services with sophisticated functionality that maximises exposure and discoverability of records. The paper will discuss these issues with reference to the work of the NSLA Re-imagining Libraries Description and Cataloguing Group and to related work being carried out by RLG Programs

3.10pm Afternoon tea
3.30pm Paul Reynolds
4.45pm Close followed by complimentary drinks from CSU Winery

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