North Shore Libraries
MetroNet Report ®– August 2007.
There has been a great deal of progress made in the last six months. Earlier in the year a hosting/system support manager, Petri Coetzee, was appointed. Petri is employed by Auckland City Council ITC and is responsible ensuring, in broad terms, that the technical side of Millennium runs smoothly. A service level agreement has been signed between the councils who make up the eLGAR consortium and ACC ITC and this has allowed the process of appointing the new system support team to begin, the positions are expected to be advertised this week.
In May eLGAR appointed its Establishment Manager, Hamish McDonald, who has a business background, mainly in the wine industry. Hamish will be supported by an office of three, with provision to bring in project management help as required. Already Hamish is having a significant impact on the running of the eLGAR operations and allowing the Board to concentrate on more strategic work.
The discussions with Franklin and Papakura libraries concluded with neither library deciding to purchase the Millennium software at this stage, however, we are still looking at ways of including them in wider eLGAR projects and functions.
The eLGAR work plan for the next twelve months is still large but not as frenetic as it was this time last year. Operationally we are looking to install some form of ecommerce so that patrons can pay fees and charges directly on-line either in the library or remotely. On a strategic level we are currently undertaking a training review, writing a customer strategy and finishing off work on both reporting strategies and cataloguing principles. We are working with our staff on creating a collaboration framework, and on moving our focus from Millennium only to a wider collaborative vision. Beginning work on a shared technical services concept is scheduled to begin in the middle of next year.
Last year eLGAR won the 3M Award for Innovation in Libraries. In consultation with our staff we decided the best way to spend the prize was to bring a relevant and motivational speaker to New Zealand. The choice of speaker is Rivkah Sass, Director of the Omaha Public Library and Librarian of the year 2006 in the US. Rivkah will be speaking at the Australian Public Library Conference this weekend, and has expressed real interest in coming to NZ later in the year. Rivkah’s areas of professional passion centre around having the right library for a community and the role that libraries play in a democratic society. If we are able to bring Rivkah to NZ there would seem to be a real opportunity for her to travel around the country speaking to libraries and at the same time seeing how NZ operates its systems. If anyone is interested in exploring this further please contact me before you go home so I can begin a negotiation with Rivkah.
North Shore Buildings
The appeal by a small band of residents against rebuilding the Birkenhead Library on the Nell Fisher Reserve spent a week in the Environment Court in May, with a judgement expected in August. While it was an interesting experience, one might observe that there appears to be a mismatch between the rights or wishes of the vast majority of the local community and the powers that the RMA gives to a small number of appellants each with a different objective. I hope that in six months time I will be able to give a more positive report.
The proposed expansion of the Devonport Library, also on a reserve has been exposed to widespread public consultation and progress will be slow and measured.
Planning for our next major building, Albany Central which is scheduled to be completed 2011/2012, has already begun.
The most interesting exercise currently scheduled is the recarpeting of Takapuna Library while still keeping it open, at least one floor at any one time, later this month. The current wool carpet is almost 20 years old and has withstood the footsteps of six million visitors. The $250,000 replacement programme will see the laying of more versatile carpet tiles – but obviously not made of wool as they can be recycled.
Urban Fibre Network
Formally the MUSH network, is almost ready to be hooked up to the libraries. Initially this will simply give NSL super quick computers, but is expected in a while to play a significant role in the improvement of our digital services. Currently I am working on a business case to establish a digital team that will allow the maximum use of the network. The owners of the cable, Vector, are planning to install WIFI capability in each library and are working on a proposal that will allow Council to provide not only free Internet but also free WIFI access in all its libraries.
The draft North Shore Libraries strategic plan has been completed by John Truesdale and Sue Sutherland. It is an excellent document and is already being used to reinforce the proposed library service. Because of local body elections the plan will not be presented to the new library committee until early in 2008. By that time the high level strategic document will be supported by a more detailed network plan, which in time will be supported by the library business plan.
North Shore Libraries Foundation Events.1
The beginning of the year has been relatively quite, but soon in the space of a month the Foundation will be hosting events with Paulllina Simons, Kathy Reichs, Michael Palin and Ian Rankin.
30th July 2007
1 Last of the MetroNet reports before the group wound up to be replaced by APLM