Different or the Same?

Sometimes being different is all about being the same. Take the state of South Australia for instance. Not too far, I hear they like where they are. They’re rolling out a program to connect all the public libraries on the one library system with all the punters using the same card. Here is the news item:

http://www.libraries.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=499

So it might take three years, but it’ll connect almost a million SA residents with nearly five million items across more than 130 libraries and they’ll soon be three years ahead of the rest of us.

It is more than time we looked at doing this as a nation. If we were as clever as we think we are, we’d have done it ages ago.

Thanks to @edwardshaddow (from WA) for alerting me to this.

Discuss.

BREAKING: @carolgauld advises that Tasmania has already done this, with their state, all public and all school libraries already on the one system. Anyone noticing a trend here? MMB

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4 Responses to Different or the Same?

  1. I once asked to a vendor: “If I offered you 1 million dollars to offer all university libraries acces to all of your resources would you take it? We would do all of the administration, all you need to do if flick the switch and cash the cheque” – The answer? “Yes!”.

    The sad thing is that Libraries have the capacity, structures administration to do this, the issue? We can’t agree on the terms – having been involved with this sort of negotiation for 3 years – It frustrates me to see how close it is, yet so far away…

  2. bookgrrl says:

    In Victoria, the SWIFT consortium offers a collaborative LMS across 22 public libraries and councils (http://www.mav.asn.au/policy-services/transport-infrastructure/Pages/swift-library-consortium.aspx). From my knowledge (husband works in a SWIFT library and has been quite involved in meetings) it has taken years to establish and to have all libraries on the same standard. While you don’t yet have a single library card, you can borrow from any of the 22 libraryies’ collections.

    It is a worthy goal to work towards- one library card for any public library. It’s not just the libraries who have to agree, but funding bodies such as local government, or state libraries which may have some control over public libraries.

  3. snail says:

    Ubiquity of access. As a citizen of Oz, I want access to whatever libraries in my area have, or rather: I want access to everything regardless of where I am.

    The reality of that seems more dependent on politics than technology. We don’t all need the same systems and our systems don’t necessarily have to talk to each other. We probably do need some sort of universal authentication and some way of accessing the resources.

    The NZ example (EPIC) was, and remains, dependent upon individual libraries contributing their own budgets to aid collective bargaining.

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