1.0 Key Things to Note

  • At the Advisory Committee on Public Libraries meeting of 8 December Anne-Marie Schwirtlich announced that Vicki Williamson and Greg Hywood would be stepping down from the Committee and their replacements would be new Library Board of Victoria member John Cain, and Kevin Quigley. Vicki will also be resigning from the Board, having accepted a job in Canada.
  • Registrations are invited for the 2006 Open Road Conference (closing date for ‘Early bird’ discount is 16 December). Email to secure your spot.
  • Applications from public libraries are sought for the Libraries Building Communities Demonstration Projects. The guidelines are available at Applications close 25 January 2006.
  • Launch of at the Immigration Museum on 25 November. SA, NT, QLAD and ACT have also hosted separate launches.
  • 150 public library staff attended the professional development seminar ‘Around the World in a Day’, held at the State Library on 17 November.
  • MyLanguage, PictureVictoria and Libraries Building Communities projects have been nominated by the State Library for this year’s Arts Portfolio Leadership Awards, with the winners to be announced by Minister Delahunty on 13 December.

2.0 State Library of Victoria – Update

Advisory Committee on Public Libraries

The ACPL met on 28 October 2005 and on 8 December 2005. The 28 October meeting covered:

  • Formation of the Statewide Project Workgroups
  • Draft Guidelines for the Libraries Building Communities Demonstration Projects and approval to proceed with the call for applications
  • Draft three-year ACPL Communication Strategy
  • Process and timeline for review of the Framework for Collaborative Action
  • Presentation from 2004 Barrett Reid Scholarship winner, Gayle Rowden from Yarra Plenty library service, on the findings and outcomes of her tour of public libraries in Canada and the UK to study strategies for delivering services to the aged
  • Updates on the development of the Council of Australian State Libraries Information and Access Plan and on the activities of the Ministerial Advisory Council on Public Libraries, Viclink and the Country Public Libraries Group
  • Reminder of important forthcoming events, most notably the State Library’s Library of the 21st Century Symposium and Forum on 23 and 24 February 2006
  • ‘For Information’ items about the:

- Ross Trust funding of $10,000 for the Strengthening Librarianship in Papua New Guinea and East Timor scoping project;

- Winthrop Estate funding of $30,000 for the Libraries For All research project into improving disability access;

- reallocation of $70,000 from the Statewide Network Infrastructure Support Project, administered by Vicnet, to Wired for Sound, an initiative to improve access to newspapers and magazines and to the catalogue of the National Information and Library Service for people with a visual impairment.

The ACPL met again on 8 December to commence the review of the Framework for Collaborative Action. ACPL Chair Vicki Williamson led the review. The process for the review is:

  • Mid December 2005: Committee meets to review Framework
  • Mid January 2006: Revised Framework emailed to Committee for endorsement
  • Mid February 2006: Viclink/CPLG provides feedback on and endorses revised Framework
  • Late February 2006: ACPL considers feedback and finalises Framework for recommendation to the Library Board of Victoria
  • Early April 2006: Revised Framework presented to Library Board of Victoria for endorsement
  • Early May 2006: Revised Framework published and distributed to stakeholders


Lost and Found is an exhibition in the State Library’s Murdoch Gallery from 18 November to 12 February. SLV Creative Fellowship recipients, artists John Wolsley and Peter Lyssiotis, showcase text and images in the State Library’s collections and present their creative responses to these items in the form of journals, paintings and an artist’s book.

Mirror of the World is the State Library’s stunning new permanent exhibition showcasing many of the rare, beautiful and historically significant books held in its collections. Items include illuminated manuscripts, a clay tablet, horn books, the first Penguin books, graphic novels and artists books. This exhibition can be found on the fourth level of the Domed Reading Room.

Ramsay and Reid Scholarships

The 2005 Ramsay and Reid Scholarships were presented by Advisory Committee on Public Libraries Chair, Vicki Williamson, on 18 October. The Margery C Ramsay Scholarship was awarded to Shirley Prescott from Yarra-Melbourne Regional Library Corporation. Shirley will undertake a study tour in the UK to research training for public library staff in reader development and best practice in reading services. The Barrett Reid Scholarship was awarded jointly to Lorraine Seeger and Bernadine Nolen from Eastern Regional Libraries. They will undertake a study tour of public libraries and public library projects in the UK that have addressed issues of social inclusion and its importance in building strong communities.


The State Library had two visitors from the Nanjing State Library for 6 weeks in November. Two new project officers have been appointed into the Community Projects and Public Libraries Unit, Adel Sarkozi to work on the VOMA project and Bill Petrdis to work on the Federated Search Portal project.

3.0 Current Activities Progress Report

Cultural Broadband Network ( CBN) - Country Football Living Memory Demonstration Project

Vicnet has received approval for the Country Football Living Memory Demonstration Project from the CBN. This is one of 20 content projects funded by the CBN through Arts Victoria. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the process for enriching resources available through the CBN using the PictureVictoria repository and the production of a small number of digital video stories. The subject focus is the living memory and documentary heritage of country Victoria Australian Rules football. Through the project, PictureVictoria will gain new membership of a number of Country Football Clubs and the addition of images and records to the PictureVictoria database. The project will commence in February 2006 and is a partnership with the CBN and VCFL.

Disability Working Group

The Department of Human Services Disability Services Division/Vicnet working group on ICT and disability met on 7/12/2005. Debra Rosenfeldt presented on LBC project.

Multilingual Senior Surfers Project

Multilingual Senior Surfers, funded by the Office of Senior Victorians, has
been a great success to date. The training has nearly been completed and the formal evaluation of the project to feed into a final strategy document from Vicnet for the Office of Senior Victorians is due for competition in January.

MyLanguage Portal

Stage One of the MyLanguage portal development was launched at the Victorian Immigration Museum by Minister Pandazopoulos and Sam Lipski on 25 November. This now contains 65 languages and over 4.5 million links to websites and information resources. Work has begun on the development of a post June 2006 business plan.

Statewide Network Infrastructure Project (SNIP)

Grants have been finalised for the 2004-2005 financial year, with the last projects submitting reports. Production of a simple guide to networking is at final proofreading stage. The LIBTEL project now known as ‘Wired for Sound’ is proceeding smoothly.

Statewide Public Library Development Projects

Statewide Training Project

  • Under direction of the Viclink Statewide Training Committee a training needs survey of both branch and library managers is being undertaken for the purpose of drafting a training program for 2006/2007, so that library managers can organize their budgets in advance.
  • Meetings are being held with trainers for courses such as Managing Bullying and Harassment, Customer Service Excellence and OHS Law for Managers – last courses for the financial year being organized now.
  • Negotiation with Libraries Alive! is ongoing regarding the possibility of running workshops in Rewarding Reading at a reduced charge to make it affordable to public libraries.
  • The following courses are currently advertised:
  • Customer Service Excellence
  • Peak Performance: Maximising Your Work Potential
  • Library Display
  • Finding Families
  • Equal Opportunity Harassment & Bullying Awareness
  • Time & Workload Management
  • OHS Law for Managers
  • Several successful training programs have been run – VLA 2001: Know Your Award, Dealing with Difficult Frontline Situations, Career Planning & Interview Skills

Libraries Building Communities Research and Development Project

  • The Libraries Building Communities Demonstration Projects grants program guidelines and application form has been distributed to every public library service. The closing date for applications is 25 January 2006. It is anticipated that the Board will be asked to approve the successful application in April and that the grants will be made in May.
  • The Brief for development of the online survey has been completed. Expressions of Interest will be sought from seven companies and it is anticipated that the successful applicant will be selected in late January. The online survey will be developed and tested over February, March and April, it will roll-out to all public library services during May and reports will be provided during June.
  • Development of a Brief for the advocacy component of the LBC Project is in process.

Collections and Access Project

  • Expressions of Interest were invited from ten companies to undertake the audit of the State’s public library collections. The successful candidate will be known by Christmas, to commence work in January, with the audit reports to be delivered by the end of April.
  • A detailed Brief is being developed for the work to deliver the collections and access blueprint. It is anticipated that the blueprint will be delivered in May.
  • Detailed project planning for implementation of the federated search portal is occurring and a technical officer (Bill Petridis) has been appointed, commencing 12 December. Research into the technical situation of each public library service and planning for information sessions in January is underway. It is anticipated that the call for tenders for the portal will occur the week beginning 20 February 2006, with piloting of the portal in May and a ‘soft launch’ of the portal in mid-June.
  • The Travelling Treasures Workgroup agreed that it needed re-naming to avoid confusion between the existing State Library Travelling Treasures program and the new components of the program being funded through the Statewide Projects. The workgroup opted for the name Memory Victoria and elected Peter Mansfield to be its spokesperson. It has been agreed that in 2005/06 Memory Victoria will focus on delivering significance assessments of the local history and other heritage items held in public libraries, with reports providing advice on priorities for managing each collection and sources of funding assistance. Expressions of Interest to participate in the program of assessments will be sought from public libraries in late January 2006. The Public Libraries Unit with the State Library’s Storage, Preservation and Conservation Manager will broker the assessments with freelance curators/conservators. Conservation workshops for public libraries staff and for the community, and an extension of the State Library’s existing Travelling Treasures program will be scheduled in years two and three of the program.

Workforce Sustainability Project

  • A Brief for Workforce Sustainability and Leadership research has been developed and Expressions of Interest sought. An appointment is expected before Christmas, with the work to begin in mid-January and the final report to be presented by mid-May.


Nothing to report

Websites managed by the PLU including Victoria’s Virtual library


User sessions (visits) for the PLU web sites in the July-August 2005 quarter (1) were:

Site / Sept. / Oct. / Nov. /

TOTAL / 22,508 / 24,972 / 20,864 / 68,344 / 2,007 / 2,273 / 3,073 / 7,353 / 3,618 / 3,767 / 3,529 / 10,914
/ 8,117 / 8,977 / 11,303 / 28,397 / 4,131 / 16,051 / 22,528 / 42,710