Watch out for Library closures at both Goodwood and Unley

If you are a Library user please read below a press release from our Libraries concerning temporary closures  in order to install RFID technology.

The City of Unley will temporarily close both its library branches to complete the installation of a new collection management system that takes advantage of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, giving customers greater flexibility and efficiency when borrowing and returning library items.

Goodwood Library: closed from Monday 2 May until Monday 9 May, 2016
Unley Civic Library: closed from Monday 16 May until Monday 29 May, 2016

Unley Libraries Manager Hanlie Erasmus said alternative arrangements will be in place to minimise the impact on customers.

“At no time will the entire library service be closed – when one branch is closed the other will be open extended hours. The after hours return facilities will still be in place at both libraries,” she said.

Each year over 200,000 people use the Unley Library and over 90,000 people use the Goodwood Library, so the new RFID technology will significant improve the libraries service provision.

“With over half a million loans each year, providing an easier and more efficient system for our users is critical. The new system will give our customers more options and enable our staff to direct more time and energy to intensive queries, such as assistance with digital technology,” said Ms Erasmus.

The improvements are part of a state-wide implementation across the SA library network.

Unley Libraries will officially launch the new system on Monday 30 May 2016. Extensive support will be available to assist customers in using the new technology.

For further information, please contact the Unley Libraries on 8372 5100 or visit

Eastern Courier wrong again on Goodwood Library Backdown.

The Goodwood Library backdown heading shows this week again the Eastern Courier is again spinning an inaccurate storey about Unley Council.

For the second time it concerns Council’s intentions for the Goodwood Library.  And this on the back of an apology for getting the original storey wrong.


So once again I find I must try to put the record straight. There has been no Goodwood Library backdown on closing the Library. There has been no Goodwood Library backdown on converting space for commercial lease.

The original Eastern Courier storey on the Goodwood Library was incorrect on a number of counts. They focused not on the motion we passed on the night which went against our administration suggestions. They picked up in lieu on comments made in the report from our administration suggesting what “may” be included in a review.

To their credit they apologised for this in the next edition. All too late though as the damage was done. On the back of that article we experienced a community backlash of significance. Rate payers were incensed over us wishing to do something we actually had not planned to do but which everyone believed we did. Some of that  backlash was quite hostile too. All because they believed what was written by the press.

This week we see a storey that continues to perpetuate the original myth by claiming we have backed down on the decision to close the library, you know, the decision we HAD NOT taken.

Back down we did though, but on what.

In my opinion what we did do is back down on what the legislation that governs us indicates we must do. We backed down on doing a full and thorough review of our library services. We backed down on responsible government.

The reason for the back down. Because we don’t want to alienate rate payers with a perception that is not correct.

This I view as an irresponsible decision. A decision made to placate those who do not know the facts. A decision that, although made for the right reasons, abrogates our responsibility to our community to ensure they are getting the best value for the services we provide.


Goodwood Library remains a hot topic

Since the Council meeting in March Goodwood Library has never been far from people’s minds.


Many in the community are convinced that Council is looking to close the Goodwood Library. Many are also of the belief that we intend to lease off the front section of the library. I have now been made aware that some also believe that we are about to close the Goodwood Community Centre.

There have been some quite pointed jibes at Council over this. There has also been a petition delivered to Council which I commented on in my blog post of 23 May.

It all started when the Eastern Courier incorrectly reported what had transpired at that Council meeting. They reported an observation on the night by one of our members, Deputy Mayor Bob Schnell, that the administration’s motion would ultimately mean the closure of Goodwood Library. I agreed with Bob. Whether or not that was the intention of our administration that was the likely consequence. But it was not what we approved notwithstanding what the Eastern Courier had to say.

At that meeting Council refused the proposed administration motion on reviewing our library services. We, the elected members of Council mindful that we must regularly review our services, drafted an entirely new motion. You can check my blog post of 8 April to see what we did direct admin to do.

At our meeting on Monday night coming Cr Luke Smolucha will be putting a motion on notice to further direct our administration on what to and what not to review. Whilst it is a motion that I will support it should not be necessary and I refer to my many blog posts on this top is for the reasons why, least of all yesterday’s blog post on a recent community survey we undertook.

His motion reads:

 “Council commits to maintaining the building facilities at Goodwood as a community hub, including a library service. No further action be taken to separate and lease out a portion of the building to a third party for commercial purposes.”

As Cr Smolucha has indicated that the purpose of his motion is to remove the fear that is beginning to ferment in the Goodwood community about the future of the Goodwood Library.

Administration I might add supports his motion believing  it brings clarity to the current situation at Goodwood Library.

Goodwood Library Resonates with Locals

Goodwood Library is a treasured community facility. This is evident from a 1400 strong petition from our community which will be tabled on  Monday night at Council.

The petition calls for Council to maintain the current space and service at Goodwood Library. It also calls for Council to reject any proposal to diminish the size of Goodwood Library through leasing floor space for commercial purposes.


This petition clearly shows that the local community cherish the services currently offered by the Goodwood Library. The resident behind this petition Mary Kolusniewski presented a deputation to the last  Council meeting and with passion she has sought 1400 others to back up her plea.

This all started as I indicated in previously blogs with the community believing we were about to close the Library. It then changed to we were going to remove Toys from the Library to now we are going to lease space out. And this because of a media report that was factually incorrect. A report I suggest that many in our community believe to be accurate however because it easier to believe the press than to believe the Council.

I again find I have to reiterate that Council back in March only endorsed an undertaking to INVESTIGATE a number of possible options.

There has been NO decision to close any book  library.

The truth of the matter is Council is on a program of, as they must, reviewing all their services, one by one. It is currently the turn of our libraries to undergo a review. It is my belief that all current services offered to the community will retained and that we will be enhancing the service to accommodate the needs of our future community.

Please also remember that we have to undergo the research into possible ways of achieving the best possible service before going out to the public for their input. As I have previously indicated we are unlikely to have anything to put to the public until September and that this will help inform Council when they are likely to be faced with decisions on where to from here in March of next year.

From Closure to Carving up Goodwood Library

As reported in the Eastern Courier this week Council received a delegation from a resident incensed at Council plans to carve up the Goodwood Library. As I did earlier this month I find I have to again reassure residents and rate payers this too is not the case.


The delegation is a follow on from the inaccurate reporting in the same paper about three weeks ago where it was claimed we were closing the Library.

In spite of two articles on this blog site from me and efforts by Council’s administration the horse has definitely bolted and truth is finding it hard to be heard. The lady who made the deputation is firmly of the belief that we are going to do what she understands and that we are ignoring our residents.

She has claimed that what we are proposing is “rushed” and “ill-advised”. She also claims we “did not consider library’s regulars”.

Readers please be assured, as with the claims of closure three weeks ago, Council is not proposing as she believes and what we are doing is far from being rushed or ill advised.

Certainly our administration did make both suggestions after a long review into our library services. Library staff have conducted an exhaustive review themselves before Council became familiar with the proposal. This review did involve users of the service.

As reported in my blog post of 8 April Council DID NOT accept our administration’s recommendations and opted that they investigate a number of alternative service delivery models and to consult with the community before presenting a new report to Council in January of next year.

And that is what is going to happen. We are investigating how best our Libraries can serve our people. A number of options have been requested to be part of this review and our community WILL be consulted as part of that process. The process, far from being rushed, will take another 10 months to complete.






Just What does the Library Review mean to me


Following up my blog about the Goodwood Library yesterday our administration has joined in on the public conversation about the headline storey of the week, the so called closure of the Goodwood Library. Here is their answer to those questions we think would be the most likely asked.

Library Service Review fact sheet



Library Service Review fact sheet3

Library Service Review fact sheet2

Goodwood Library Closure Front Page News

If you read the headlines in this weeks Eastern Courier we (Council) is about to close the Goodwood Library. This is not the case. We are, as we are with all our services, reviewing the Library service we are providing our community.

After Council debated reforming our library services at last Mondays council meeting I find in reading this weeks Eastern Courier that we have decided to close the Goodwood Library. The article left me feeling I was not part of the debate on the night.

I was and I contributed to the debate. My understanding of what Council is looking to do is make our library services more relevant to the needs of today’s people. And part of the process of investigating this will be to come up with a number of models and to ask the community what they think.

For the benefit of those with an interest in our library services here are the motions the were approved on the night.

1   The Fullarton Park Library continue as a service point whereby library members can order resources on-line, and collect and return borrowed library materials from 1 July 2015. The Fullarton Park Library service point will no longer offer the small library collection for customer perusal.

2   Council supports the shift from “Community Computing” to a “Knowledge Hub” that includes the education in smart and specialist technologies that encourages sharing, creation and learning.

3   An investigation be undertaken to determine the feasibility and benefits of one service point for a Toy Library Service within the City of Unley, and discussions occur with the Goodwood Community Centre Board to explore potential efficiency gains and cost savings by September 2015.

4   An investigation be undertaken to determine the feasibility and benefits of one service point for a Toy Library Service within the City of Unley, and discussions occur with the Goodwood Community Centre Board to explore potential efficiency gains and cost savings by September 2015.

5   Administration investigate a number of alternative service delivery models to the current Library Service. This could include (but not be limited) to the provision of a new purpose built library at an appropriate location within the city, modifications to the existing library in the town hall, the provision of small library outlets in partnership with other organisations and the provision of additional pick up/ drop off facilities at locations across the city. As part of the investigation process, consultation occur with the community regarding the options investigated. A report of findings be presented to Council for consideration in January 2016.

So I ask are our libraries as we knew them when we grew up relevant to today’s’ society. With the technological world of today I think it is fair to say they aren’t. I am guessing many reading this would suggest they are obsolete and they should therefore be closed.

The author of the report has written a followup article after being challenged on factual inaccuracies and this is up on the Eastern Courier website if you are interested.


Libraries in Unley Showing the Way

Last Thursday 17th January the Unley Libraries held two ‘hands-on’ digital literacy workshops with young children and families at the Goodwood Library.

In both sessions families had fun in the 2 hour blocks to create and publish their own e-books using a combination of text, drawn image, photo images and sound recordings using iPads owned by families – as well as using a number of iPads provided by the library.

Sue Nicholls from Magill Uni – a lecturer in early literacy with a special focus on digital literacy with families worked with us and the workshop attendees in the library so that all children had the chance to publish their own books and focussed on using the App – My Story Book Maker for Kids.
Both sessions had full attendance which was great for a first off event for the library using Ipads and offering publishing – for young children.

A total of 49 children and carers participated in the day’s sessions. The first session was attended by young children aged 3-6 years and mostly grandparents (as well as parents/carers), and the second session was with children aged 7-12 and their parents/carers.

The children definitely had lots of fun writing, drawing, making their own sound effects for their characters, and taking photos of themselves, toys and family members which became part of their stories and completed e-books.
One of the boys who attended the second session – was a keen writer and thanked us at the end of the workshop saying this was something he’d really wanted to learn, and if he hadn’t come to the workshop he wouldn’t have been able to work out all the functions – and he was so excited to publish his own books he didn’t want to leave!

Statewide Library Access

Unley Libraries will be joining the SA public library ‘one card’ network.

The ‘one card’ network is connecting more than 130 public libraries across SA and will enable Unley Libraries members to borrow and return items wherever they are with their current library card.
The new service will also give members 24/7 access to an online catalogue where millions of books, DVDs, CDs and magazines in libraries across SA can be looked up and reserved with a click, either from home or in the library.
When items become available, they will be delivered to Unley Libraries for collection or other libraries that members nominate.
Social media (e.g. Facebook), online databases, e-resources and the digital holdings of SA’s public libraries are also planned to be integrated into the new statewide online catalogue.
The new system is shared between SA’s councils and is expected to result in improved efficiencies.
The ‘one card’ network will be rolled out over approximately 3 years across SA’s metropolitan and regional public libraries.  Unley Libraries will be joining the network on 14 February 2013.
Information has already been disseminated to library customers and staff with further promotion planned.
You can view the ‘one card’ promotional video at