Two options

An online community for our chinese speaking residents – we have many chinese speaking residents but few chinese speaking staff. I would want the initial community to be set up and administered by staff while gradually handing over the administration to a team of volunteers (with staff liaison also) who would maintain the cultural aspects of the program.

A online community for aged care facility residents. Taking the library to those who can’t get to the library under their own stream but till enjoy robust discussions and interesting events.

Community Creator

I would like to create an online community for the residents of the aged care facilities in our municipality.

I have chosen Hedley Sutton aged care facility as the prototype for our virtual community.

Reasons for choosing Hedley Sutton.

– the activities co-ordinator is keen to provide a range of different activities and when able to access the facilities bus has brought the more mobile residents to library events.

– the activities co-ordinator has previous approached the library about outreach opportunities and possibilities

– the activities co-ordinator is already showing residents how to use ipads and would like to set up an ipad library at the facility for residents.

What library resources does this group use already and how could they be augmented in a custom virtual space?

Previously the acitivities co-ordinator has contacted the library about sharing resources and outreach.

The facility has a computer room with 6 desktop PC’s (running Windows 7) and several of the residents have ipads, ereaders and laptops.

The facility receives monthly book deliveries from the library and runs an in-house discussion group on a set topic (the library delivery includes books on whatever the monthly topic is)

I would envisage podcasting & vlogging the regular library booktalks and author events which could be streamed live to the facility or played & watched later (the facility has a state of the art wide screen tv)

Residents would be able to take part in the event remotely (ask questions etc.)

Library staff could conduct online book discussion groups with residents or just chat with them about new books, ebooks, what else is happening in the library. (I would soooo love to run a regular – what’s new at the library – type podcast/vlog.

A sort of this month we added 7500 new eBooks to the catalogue, we’ve got these events happening, we’ve launched this eMagazine and so on.

What resources could they benefit from that they may not know about?

The wide range of services that the library offers to ‘in house users’ that could easily be adapted to an outreach scenario.

With no limitations, how would I create this virtual community and what resources would I need?

Video camera & tripod (library already has)

sufficient bandwidth to allow the streaming at the facility

capture software to allow storage & replaying of events

agreement and permission from speakers to live stream and re-broadcast their event

a computer dedicated to being used as a media server (windows 7 at least)

staff to enable all of the above.

What technologies would be a good platform for this group of users?

a computer dedicated to being used as a media server (windows 7 at least)

media server software (such as pogoplus pc)

What skills do I have that I can pull on to create this virtual community?

Staff are being on-trained in using the video camera and related software & technolgy

I run seven blogs for myself and contribute to four others

I have set up several online discussion groups and forums and regularly facilitate discussions on two of them (the others I set up, got running and handed over to others to continue although i still contribute as a member)

I deliver booktalks and host author talks in the library.

I consider myself to be ‘tech savvy’ with good communication skills and i already have regular email exchanges with the activities co-ordinator.

Engagement Plan

Internal (Library) stakeholders.

Online Services Librarian (responsible for provision of all the Library’s online services)

Community Outreach Librarian (responsible for the Library’s presence in the wider community)

Adult Services Librarian (me) (responsible for booktalks and author events)

External stakeholders.

Facilities Co-ordinator @ Hedley Sutton. (Jo Bryant)

Residents of Hedley Sutton.

A strategy such as this would build on the already established relationship  between the facility and the library and, if successful, could be expanded to include other aged care facilities in the municipality.

Swinburne University’s School of Psychology has recent undertaken a loneliness pilot program where psychology students worked with local medical clinics to identify individuals who are isolated within the community. The students set up an online network and trained the individuals in how to use an ipad to access the network so that they could interact with others people and not be so isolated (or shut in).

Once the Hedley Sutton trial has been completed then perhaps that network could be linked with the Swinburne network to provide a wider range of services.

This would increase the number of external stakeholders as we would add in a representative from Swinburne’s School of Psychology and also from various Council departments.

Community engagement along these lines would strengthen the role of the library in the community as well as providing a support network for residents. Residents would be able to interact with staff to suggest programs and events and would feel a part of the community  – they would be taking part in events and discussions that normally would only take place face-to-face in the library.

A virtual community such as this would be a valuable part of our existing library services. People who for whatever reason can’t make it to a booktalk or author event will be able to catch up on it later.

Archived sessions would be useful for book groups as well.

An initial pilot program with Hedley Sutton would be a way to gauge the potential of such virtual communities –  and would provide community links not just between Hedley Sutton residents and the library but between Hedley Sutton residents, the library and residents of other aged care facilities in the municipality.