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new research report from Pew Internet on mobile messaging and social media 2015

Pew Internet has just released a new research report on mobile messaging and social media.  

You can read the report hightlights and the complete report via this link.  This report, while the data is from the USA, still has some implications for Australia. It can help you work out how frequently to post the the different social media tools your library is using.

The report is also interesting to read because of how easy they have made it to tweet specific parts of if (look for the twitter icons through out the text).


World is changing but public libraries here to stay

The State Library of NSW's latest futures report has confirmed “loud and clear” that public libraries are here to stay and will continue to adapt to whatever future we face, the State Library of NSW announced today.

According to NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive Alex Byrne: “The State Library led an innovative and influential project in 2009 called the Bookends Scenarios, which provided a stimulus to thinking about the future of public libraries across this state and beyond.

“The latest Building on the Bookends Scenarios report tracked how we have been travelling towards the scenarios developed in 2009.  Interestingly, no single scenario has become dominant, but some of the trends have developed faster than was expected five years ago.”

Four scenarios were developed by Australian futurists at the Neville Freeman Agency in collaboration with public librarians and the users of public libraries. They were shaped around the impact of information and communication technologies and how the public values libraries.

The latest findings show that some trends have emerged quicker than expected:

- Internet usage in NSW public libraries doubled between 2009/10 and 2013/14 to 7.8 million sessions, largely due to free WiFi offered by libraries where people can use their own devices
- re-emphasising the “local” and the value of libraries as public spaces.

“Public Libraries are vigorously responding with innovative programming and services, such as the Imaginarium which was recently launched at Port Macquarie-Hastings Library,” says Dr Byrne.

The full report is available on the State Library website, along with the original 2009 report

A media release is also available.


E-book and e-audio books at Sutherland Shire Libraries

Collection Development of eBook and eAudiobooks


Sutherland Library OverDrive eBook and eAudiobook usage increased in 2014/2015.

31,151 checkouts were recorded for OverDrive titles which represents a 25% increase in loans from the previous year.  eBook loans (22,182) outstripped eAudiobook downloads (8,969), and downloads onto mobile devices such as phones and tablets were the preferred method of use.  As at 30 June 2015, there were 4,135 eBooks and 2,690 eAudiobooks in the OverDrive collection and 7,430 library members used the service from July 2014 to the end of June 2015. 1,154 of these were new registrations on OverDrive. Selection of titles is done by up to 4 staff to get a good selection and as it is time consuming checking for duplicates.


Sutherland Library has recently taken up a subscription to BorrowBox mainly due to the content offered by Bolinda.  Customers are increasingly asking for recently published best sellers which is problematic due to publisher’s reluctance to develop an adequate library lending model.  The launch of BorrowBox is due within the next few weeks to give staff time to become familiar with the downloading process.  Access links for customers will be available on the library website very soon.   Publicity for this new service will include an article in the library e-newsletter, local press if possible, Facebook posts and vendor promotional material on display at each library as well as staff promotion directly to customers.

One Click

The Sutherland Library One Click subscription was purchase mainly for use by Home Library customers. In the 2014/2015 year 3,262 titles were downloaded from One Click.  Of this total 2,044 of the downloads were to Navigators for use by Home Library customers.  One Click is listed on the library website next to Overdrive but non Home Library downloads remain about only 1/3 of total One Click loans.


Sutherland Library has a collection of eReference books and databases.  Selection is based on having a general suite to cover a wide range of subjects 24/7 with remote access.  Promotion of these resources is via the website, in-house flyers and by staff promoting directly to customers.


While not really an e-book the uptake of zinio digital magazines has been pleasing. During the first year of taking a subscription in 2013/2014 loans were 16, 747 rising to 26,414 in the 2014/2015 year.  Staff promotion has played a large part in the success of zinio.

Concerns about eBook and eAudiobook subscriptions continue to be content, an in adequate library lending model, multiple platforms and contractual arrangements.

Audio and eBooks links and information on library website

Information and links to download points are on the library website. For examples of what this looks like see here and here.  The vendor Help link is also on the library website as well as information on how to get a library card to use resources and library contact details for help. 

Titles accessible in library catalogue

Titles are searchable in the catalogue and there is a link to the relevant platform.

The library buys the catalogue records if they are not included in the price.

The Link to downloadable version takes customers to the Borrow page for the resource.

Customers then use the relevant app to download the title. There is also a Need a library card link to information on how to get a Sutherland Library membership card.

We hope in the future to enable a direct download link in our catalogue but this is a paid add-on in our Library Management System.

eBook 2015

Models of influence : 50 women who reset the course of fashion / Nigel Barker

Barker, Nigel,

Link to downloadable version

Staff Training

Sutherland Library have ipads and android tablets available for staff use at 6 of our branches. Staff are also able to salary sacrifice a tablet for personal use and time to explore how library resources are accessed is encouraged during work time. Over time is has become evident that each branch has champions who are willing to help other staff and customers to use online resources.  Staff training sessions are organised on a regular basis though it is not possible to free up all staff at one time so there is usually a degree of ontraining by those who attended training. Staff from Sutherland are able to visit any branch that needs extra help or doesn’t have time to explore. 


Promotion of audio and e-Books is done by in-house flyers, showcasing resources in our monthly e-newsletter, in Council’s Our Shire magazine delivered to residents electronically or by letterbox drop, at events and by staff promoting directly to customers in the library.

Customer training

Many customers are able to access resources with no staff intervention. The library runs monthly technology sessions on various topics including e-resources. Staff at all locations are able to help customers with e-resources at most times of the enquiry being made.  Sutherland, Menai and Engadine Librarys offer one on one computer help on designated days. Customers are able to book a half hour session with staff to help them with any device and this includes help downloading e-resources. 

In summary – let staff play to get comfortable with devices and resources, use your champions to help and promote to customers at any opportunity. 

This is a guest blog post by Angela Livingstone, Coordinator - Learning, Literacy and Leisure, Sutherland Shire Libraries


Digital Collections @ LakeMac Libraries

The decision to consider our digital titles as part of the mainstream library collection was made at the outset. 

To achieve this, we identified that:

  1. Our borrowers needed to see the collection – catalogue integration
  2. Our staff needed to understand the collection – training
  3. We needed to sell the collection –  marketing
  4. We needed a big enough collection to provide choice for our customers – investment

Due to the age of the LMS at LakeMac Libraries, the cataloguing of the digital collection was a manual process.  Our suppliers, Bolinda (Borrowbox), James Bennett (Axis360), and Wavesound (Zinio) worked with us in providing Marc records that were then manually uploaded into our system.  This meant that our borrowers could find both our print and digital holdings via the netOPAC.  It required significant staff hours to achieve, but was successful in that it exposed our total collection through a simple OPAC search.  The current LMS is at the end of its lifecycle, and catalogue integration and a single discovery layer are top priorities in specifications for a new LMS. LakeMac Libraries also has a subscription to Freegal music, which does not form part of the catalogue.

Staff training was identified as key to the success of the digital collections.  Wavesound provided a trainer for Zinio, and all staff attended hands on training before the collection went live. With Axis360 and Borrowbox, the library Technology Officers undertook in-depth training using the supplier provided training notes and webinars.  They then developed a training package for each product.  This package consisted of a hands on training session for all staff; a set of staff training notes for each branch; an FAQ and cheat sheet for each branch; and a set of training notes for on-training the public.  The same notes package was developed for Zinio after the supplier provided training session. 

On the library website, there are comprehensive User Guides on the ecollections page for every digital product.  These guides include how to download via PC, or via tablet or smart phone.  There are links for Adobe, Blio reader and to the Apple and Android Apps page for each product.  We have tried to provide all the information that a novice would need to self-start with digital collections, both in user guides and FAQs.

The library also provides hands on lessons at every branch.  Borrowers can book for a one-on-one with a staff member, and there are regularly run small group lessons.  To ensure that the user gets the most from the session, several questions are asked at the booking stage to determine the borrower’s level of understanding of their device, of the digital environment, and any specific goals they might have for the lesson.  The library Technology Officers are available to support staff with this training.  They also monitor upgrades and update the staff with new training notes when required.  Innovations by suppliers, such as moving to a new app, are advertised to all staff, and via the library website to our users. 

The library website is heavily used to market the collection, with ecollections having a tab on the home page; news and updates appearing as banner news stories; and small group training sessions listed in the library ‘What’s On’.  The library has also branded all the notes for the public training sessions, so if they are passed from hand to hand in the community, it is obvious where they are from, and where more assistance can be found. These pages can be downloaded from the library web page at any time. 

There is no doubt that there are several barriers to success in digital collections.

  • Staff can become disengaged with the digital collection as loans generated are not linked to their individual branch location, and current network issues are making it extremely hard to demonstrate the products within branches (can take up to an hour to download as eBook to a device).  A planned network and telecommunications upgrade by March 2016 should address this issue.
  • The lack of bestseller and popular fiction available in eBook for libraries diminishes the collection as a whole, and dissatisfaction from staff and borrowers needs to be managed.  Promoting gems in the digital collection is very important.
  • Visits to the virtual library collection are not recorded in statistics. A borrower walking into a physical branch to browse counts as a visit, but a visit to browse the digital collection is not counted. There has also been a decline in visits to the library website, as most customers use each product app as their preferred method of access to the e-resources.  The only measure of engagement we currently have for our customers and these resources are loans.
  • Aging, or limited library management systems do not provide the ability to analyse digital collections or their usage.  Libraries are reliant on vendors for that information, which is an issue for independent analysis.

These barriers exist, but by providing access to digital titles via the catalogue; staff that are confident in using, and in training others to use the collection; and letting the community know about collection highlights, the barriers can be diminished.  A well-functioning digital collection has provided our library with a new set of users and greater engagement with our community.

This is a guest blog post by Anne Moten,  Collection Development Librarian, Lake Macquarie City Council.

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