On Friday i was lucky* enough to be able to attend the ‘Connecting the dots: people, libraries & technology’ seminar at the State Library of Victoria.

The speakers were:

Mary Todorov: NBN & Libraries


Mary started off by relating her (positive) experiences with public libraries while completing her studies.  As a single mum she appreciated the services that her local library offered.

The NBN (National Broadband Network) is now considered an essential service – it is a government entity (think post office) to provide equitable access to all of Oz.

It will replace the existing copper network (which cannot cope with current, let alone future, use). Mainly fibre, then fixed wireless, & satellite in remote areas.

As fibre is rolled out, copper will be shut down.

Libraries already on the NBN include  Yarra Plenty, Townsville, Kiama.

Christine Mackenzie & Tania Barry: Mill Park Digital Hub.

Digital hub funding  – $390k  – mainly training & equipment such as connections, furniture, tablets etc.

Major partners U3A & City of Whittlesea.

Detailed training plan 0ver 2 years in areas such as health, small business, education etc.

Funding came with strong KPI’s predicating the amount of training, programs etc to be delivered over the length of the project.

The KPI’s include promoting the NBN, availability outside regular hours, 26 group sessions (1 hour/min. 4 trainees), 40 individual sessions (30minutes at least)

There is a program coordinator and 7 staff who deliver 4-6 hours of training daily (what is needed to meet KPI)

Cathy Stone & Rose Taio: Places & spaces for online students.


Open University. Most students mature age & in paid employment

OU (Aust) ran pilot program in  some NSW libraries.

Students could access library resources, learn about services and network. Libraries ran sessions for students and OU trained library staff & promoted libraries to students.

OU student feedback – isolation, networking (lack of), & tech assistance – were common themes.

Expanding the program across NSW in collaboration with more public libraries.

Looking for partnerships with Victorian public Libraries.

Libraries are offering regular drop in sessions, one-off information sessions, online sessions.

Kate Barry: eSmart Libraries.


Goal is to make people cyber smart, safe and responsible.

Roadmap to standardized practices in libraries.

Not a filter.

38% of 14-15 year olds have friended people they have never met and 14% have sent photos to people they don’t know.

Sponsored by Telstra.

1500 schools part of program.

Developed in partnership with library associations.

Will be offered to 1500 libraries.

Pilot program running in over 100 public libraries including Hume & Yarra Plenty.

Takes 1-3 years to complete  – staged program: stages = plan, implement, achieve, sustain.

Available July 2013.

Paula Bray (Powerhouse Museum): Digital Access & community

Top 5 digital content: findable, meaningful, responsive, usable/shareable, available.

Who & What are you providing for?

Want to share stories (the public)

Public want to curate & collect content (think Pinterest for example)

Think outside the box!!!!!!!!!

Take risks!!!!!!!!!!!

Powerhouse have 115K items & 134K items online.

Use Flickr commons to share publicly held images. Many users have accessed the images and created some cool mashups.

Use creative commons licences as much as possible.

Zoomify, HistoryPin.


Phil Minchin: Games, maker-spaces and open catalogues…

Play is key. Digital experience should understand community,  the experience, make content accessible & usable.

Should also be  participation based and be responsive to those involved.

Technology is only one tool in the arsenal.

We still need books, – their access, form, & availability is changing though.

We still need to provide the paper based format (book)

Maker-spaces are usually community spaces  where people work on physical and software projects. Strong community spirit and great opportunity to collaborate.  Likely to produce local content, likely to be worthy of archiving.

Could we open up our catalogues to our users? Could they be used for community type sharing? Book requests become books wanted?

Emphasises local community sharing a la LibraryThing.

Not just books, but events or proposed events, crowd funding,  other community based options.

Food for thought.

Nick Beswick: Online English Solutions

A self paced online language course for those for whom english is not their first language.  More ‘social’ english (bbq anyone?) than IELTS for example.


Over all a great day lots of  great ideas & food for thought.


* I booked intending to attend on my day off but some imp prompted me to ask tptb if i could attend in worktime (the seminar was free) & work said Yes. C is also for colour me surprised.  :-)