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.

 

5 Comments

  1. Paul Andrew   •  

    The phrase “Community Computing” to a “Knowledge Hub” seems meaningless at first site. Is it just a new council member attempting to be “new” or what, this needs to be explained. There are numerous, numerous ways of finding knowledge on the web without the library trying to take over.

    • Don Palmer   •     Author

      Please Paul do not see this as driven by any “new” elected member. It is very much staff driven and when I staff I mean not councils senior management but the library staff themselves.

      As I see it Paul the whole point is that Libraries, like most organisations in the world today are having to adapt to the digital world or die. I think it would be fair to say that we have all seen, including library staff as an organisation that just loans books when in fact it has always been an organisation that helps you find knowledge.

      Understanding that allows the library model to change and adapt to ensure it is as relevant to the people looking for knowledge today as to the people who were looking for knowledge yesterday.

      Whilst we can simply Google it these days can we rely on the information we have sourced. Would it not be great if we had a community organisation out there cataloging that which is important for increasing our knowledge, directing us to the right “book” as it were.

      This requires libraries to re-invent themselves which I note they have been over the years.

      As the years role on this probably will mean more access to digital information that we are helped to access rather than access to hard copy books.

      So when we we move toward to such a model we are criticized not for changing the emphasis but closing the library because we move away from focusing on books as the answer to knowledge.

  2. Michael   •  

    Don, the Goodwood Library is valuable resource that is used by locals of all ages. The idea that Council can save money by cutting or scaling back this service is very sad indeed. Surely there are other services that could be reeled in to save costs so that the young, elderly and less well off are not disadvantaged.

  3. Don Palmer   •     Author

    Thank you Michael for your input on this. Your points are appreciated and exactly why council have taken the stance they have.

    Please note that all services are reviewed at regular intervals and they have to be under state statute.The savings that have been put to council by our administration as a result of that review are savings that will actually enhance the service not detract from it.

    The investigations we have approved as promoted in my blog are a far cry from what our Administration were advocating. If my blog has left you in doubt of this I apologise.

    For more information you might wish to check out my later blog post on the library review here at http://www.donpalmer.org/just-what-does-the-library-review-mean-to-me/. Or maybe even more tot he point for better clarification check out what our Mayor has had to say. He has put it well on his web site here at http://mayorclyne.com/2015/04/12/on-goodwood-library-read-the-minutes-not-the-agenda/.

    Suffice it to say that whatever options admin put before Council later this year they will be put to the community so please do not give the Eastern Courier storey that we are scaling back services any credence.

  4. Pingback: Cr. Don PalmerFrom Closure to Carving up Goodwood Library

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