Libraries and learning: a partnership for life.Abstract: This paper was prepared for consideration by the Council of Australian State Noun 1. Australian state - one of the several states constituting Australia
province, state - the territory occupied by one of the constituent administrative districts of a nation; "his state is in the deep south" Libraries to promote partnerships between the library and education sectors. Such partnerships were discussed by representatives of the three spheres of government who met in Adelaide in May 1997 to discuss 2020 Vision: libraries of the future, the report commissioned by the Libraries Working Group of the Cultural Ministers' Council. To argue that public libraries and learning are not joint entities is inconsistent with their past, and denies their future
Viewing libraries as a part of the learning process is not new. Public libraries in Victorian times were to be the `working man's university'. Andrew Carnegie's commitment to providing public libraries to the English speaking world was accompanied by comments such as
Here is an institution (the library) which
knows neither rank nor wealth within its
walls, which stops the ignorant peer or the
ignorant monarch at its threshold, and declines
to unveil to him its treasures, or to waste time
upon him, and yet welcomes the workman WORKMAN. One who labors, one who is employed to do business for another.
2. The obligations of a workman are to perform the work he has undertaken to do; to do it in proper time; to do it well to employ the things furnished him according to his contract.
according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. his knowledge or thirst for
Galbraith in a paper commissioned by the US Department of Education's National Institute on Postsecondary Education, Libraries and Lifelong Learning Lifelong learning is the concept that "It's never too soon or too late for learning", a philosophy that has taken root in a whole host of different organisations. Lifelong learning is attitudinal; that one can and should be open to new ideas, decisions, skills or behaviors. defines learning as 'a process of transforming experience into knowledge, skills, and attitudes through a variety of processes'. He continues by defining education as 'those processes, events, activities, and conditions that assist and encourage learning. Education from this perspective can be described as deliberate (planned) or unintentional random).'
Learning is not simply confined con·fine
v. con·fined, con·fin·ing, con·fines
1. To keep within bounds; restrict: Please confine your remarks to the issues at hand. See Synonyms at limit. to the four walls of a class room or lecture hall lecture hall n → sala de conferencias;
(UNIV) → aula
lecture hall lecture n → amphithéâtre m
. It never has been. The current trends in education could not emphasise this more with their focus on
* open learning
* flexible service delivery
* recognition of prior learning Recognition of Prior Learning, Prior Learning Assessment, or Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition, describes the set of standards and procedures put in place by educational institutions to assign advanced standing to prospective students.
* lifelong learning
To argue that libraries and learning are not joint entities is inconsistent with our past and denies us a role in the future.
Learning to learn -- information literacy Several conceptions and definitions of information literacy have become prevalent. For example, one conception defines information literacy in terms of a set of competencies that an informed citizen of an information society ought to possess to participate intelligently and `Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where to find information upon it.' So wrote Dr Samuel Johnson to his friend William Strahan William Strahan (1715 - 1785) was a printer who ran a highly important and successful business in the eighteenth century, at one time employing 50 men. Born in Edinburgh and educated at the Royal High School, Strahan was Samuel Johnson's chief publisher and also published the works in 1775. Alan Bundy Alan Bundy, FRSE, FBCS, FAAAI, FECCAI, FAISB, is a professor at the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, known for his contributions to automated reasoning, especially to proof-planning, the use of meta-level reasoning to guide proof search.  asserts that while Johnson's statement was pertinent to the 18th century, it is even more germane ger·mane
Being both pertinent and fitting. See Synonyms at relevant.
[Middle English germain, having the same parents, closely connected; see german2. to the 21St. century where information literacy is the key enabling competency COMPETENCY, evidence. The legal fitness or ability of a witness to be heard on the trial of a cause. This term is also applied to written or other evidence which may be legally given on such trial, as, depositions, letters, account-books, and the like.
2. in our information and learning society. Development of information literacy is being encouraged formally in the school systems of many Australian states. For examples, the South Australian, Victorian and Northern Territory Certificates of Education offer elements of student centred resource based learning. While commendable, these initiatives have in the main proceeded with no real assessment of the availability of resources within school and public libraries to support them. Instead of simply sympathising with angst-ridden librarians and their frustrated frus·trate
tr.v. frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing, frus·trates
a. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart: users there are opportunities that can be seized.
Turning cliches to reality
It is easy for phrases like 'clever country' and 'information society' to come tripping off the tongue. Indeed such terms are no right up there with 'information superhighway' and 'equity of access' as cliches of our profession at this time. Add to these the concept of `lifelong learning' and the challenges for libraries start to look daunting daunt
tr.v. daunt·ed, daunt·ing, daunts
To abate the courage of; discourage. See Synonyms at dismay.
[Middle English daunten, from Old French danter, from Latin . Where, then, does this leave Australian libraries? What lessons are to be learnt from other countries?
Australia is not the only country striving to be seen as `clever'. Nor is it the only place where information needs are escalating against a resource base diminished though economic rationalism Economic rationalism is an Australian term in discussion of microeconomic policy, applicable to the economic policy of many governments around the world, in particular during the 1980s and 1990s. . Singapore and the emerging European Union European Union (EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the
European Community are but two examples of how this world wide trend is being addressed.
1996 was declared the European Year of Lifelong Learning (EYLL) and seen to be a 'great enabler for us [Europeans] to build the global information society and for Europe to achieve its [development] goals in the broadest sense'. The European debate centred on people first and technology second, with technological development in the context of a vision for society. The broad critical issues identified are not unique to Europe and include
* how to deal with universal access to information and services
* how to deploy technology effectively
* how to deliver service to rural areas
* how to include deprived sectors of society
These issues are well known to Australian service providers, not just librarians and other information professionals. Of disturbing note in the objectives for EYLL is the lack of reference to the role of libraries in building Europe's global information society. 'Education' and `training' are mentioned throughout documents outlining the aims, objectives and planned outcomes of EYLL, and these are closely linked with the EU's economic development. It remains to be seen whether European libraries The European Library is a service on the World Wide Web that offers access to the resources of the 47 national libraries of Europe. The resources, both digital and non-digital, include books, magazines, journals, audio recordings and other material. have missed their opportunity to stake a claim in the future of EU development or that the value of libraries is so critical to the Union's success that its role is assumed.
A much more certain and positive outlook for the ongoing role of libraries in the enrichment of the life of the individual and economic development of the nation is evidenced in Singapore. A nation noted for its economic achievement and scarcity Scarcity
The basic economic problem which arises from people having unlimited wants while there are and always will be limited resources. Because of scarcity, various economic decisions must be made to allocate resources efficiently. of specific natural resources other than its people, Singapore has one of the highest GDPs in the world. There is recognition in Singapore that maintaining the enviable en·vi·a·ble
So desirable as to arouse envy: "the enviable English quality of being able to be mute without unrest" Henry James. rate of economic growth and national achievement requires the ongoing development of the island's intellectual capital.
One major way to achieve this development has been through education, with enhanced facilities such as universities and polytechnics and significant support for these institutions to carry out strategic research. Now attention has focused on developing the information infrastructure necessary to help develop and support the intellectual capital. Libraries are considered a key component of this.
Just as the Singaporean government embarked on a systematic plan for information technology on the island (IT2000 Plan: a vision 1992), the Library 2000 report (1994) was commissioned to `undertake a comprehensive review of library services in Singapore and recommend how libraries could better serve Singaporeans. Significantly, the review committee appointed by the Minister of Information and the Arts was headed by senior personnel of the highly influential National Computer Board.
1. A secondary, usually explanatory title, as of a literary work.
2. A printed translation of the dialogue of a foreign-language film shown at the bottom of the screen.
tr.v. Investing in a learning nation, Library 2000 identifies libraries as `one of the key pillars that can support and contribute to the development of a learning nation. Commitment to supporting learning also features in the National Library Board's mission statement 'to expand the learning capacity of the nation so as to enhance national competitiveness and promote a gracious society'.
Library 2000 includes strategies to renovate the country's library system and indications are that the government is committed to their implementation leaving Hepworth and Harvey with
little doubt that Singapore's library system
will be rapidly overhauled to become one
which enables the citizens of Singapore to be
better educated, more flexible and more highly
skilled workers, and even stronger economic
competitors in the Asian (and world) scene.
The library as a 'place' has not been overlooked in the overhaul. Last year, Mr Ho Kah Leong, Parliamentary Secretary A Parliamentary Secretary is a member of a Parliament in the Westminster system who assists a more senior minister with their duties.
In the parliamentary systems of several Commonwealth countries, such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, it is customary for the , Ministry of the Environment opened a new public library branch of the National Library of Singapore in his electorate by commenting on
the crucial role that libraries play in supporting
the entire spectrum of our population in acquiring
new knowledge and skills. Our continued
competitiveness is dependent on a population
which makes a conscious effort to learn
throughout their lives. Opening more libraries is
a positive way to facilitate people to upgrade
The challenge for Australian libraries
It is difficult to imagine Australian politicians This article lists Australian politicians. It includes members of the Parliament of Australia and members of state and territory parliaments. There are also some members of colonial Parliaments before Federation in 1901. promising more and more libraries to facilitate the continual `upgrading' of our people. However, there is political commitment to our becoming a 'clever country'.
The opportunities and challenges for Australian libraries are analysed in the final of three reports prepared by the Libraries Working Group for the Cultural Ministers' Council 2020 vision: towards the libraries of the future. The document outlines a vision for the development of libraries in Australia and offers ideas for creating an agenda for change, suggestions for the directions to be developed, risks to be managed and identifies issues that need to be worked though by the library profession, the community and government.
The document does not purport to have the answers to the issues that are raised. Rather the chairperson of the Libraries Working Group, Tim Jacob, describes 2020 Vision as
...a catalyst towards the articulation of such a
leadership agenda, to formulate the plans that
will carry the best ideas forward -- ensuring
that the vision and the future of libraries is
realised with vigour, courage, sensitivity and
confidence, welI into the 21st century.
The report's author, Colin Mercer lists four key indicators and trends to which libraries must be particularly attentive. These are worth restating here
* The changing demographics The attributes of people in a particular geographic area. Used for marketing purposes, population, ethnic origins, religion, spoken language, income and age range are examples of demographic data. and lifestyle patterns of the Australian population
* The changing patterns of education and training provisions and their implications for libraries
* The rapidly growing cultural and content industries
* The exponential growth Extremely fast growth. On a chart, the line curves up rather than being straight. Contrast with linear. in access to information and communications technology Noun 1. communications technology - the activity of designing and constructing and maintaining communication systems
engineering, technology - the practical application of science to commerce or industry
2020 Vision has not been without its detractors. Possibly the most scathing published attack was from Terence Page who defends the more traditional view of the public library and voices his concerns at how Australians will pay for the library service of 2020. Certainly, there is a business tone to the vision document that will understandably shake some more culturally based beliefs.
There is no crystal ball into which we can peer to see the Australia of 2020. However we can consider current trends and make a guess. Mercer's report cannot be dismissed lightly.
Sometimes an impending im·pend
intr.v. im·pend·ed, im·pend·ing, im·pends
1. To be about to occur: Her retirement is impending.
2. problem has such size visibility and potential that only a small catalyst is required to start the reaction. A head in the sand approach to the Year 2000 problem Year 2000 problem, Y2K problem, or millennium bug, in computer science, a design flaw in the hardware or software of a computer that caused erroneous results when working with dates beyond Dec. 31, 1999. followed by a last minute frenzy of action in 1999 could ruin organisations and businesses who adopt this ostrich ostrich, common name for a large flightless bird (Struthio camelus) of Africa and parts of SW Asia, allied to the rhea, the emu and the extinct moa. It is the largest of living birds; some males reach a height of 8 ft (244 cm) and weigh from 200 to 300 lb like view. Instead, governments and corporations alike have allocated resources to take action now to solve tomorrow's problem.
Let us, then, treat 2020 Vision as a catalyst for future action and consider the trends cited by Mercer and the impact on the future partnership between libraries, learners and learning institutions. What should libraries be doing now?
Two recent papers developed within Northern Territory Libraries outline some aspects of the library/education partnership. The first, prepared for 2020 Vision: the new library, a conference for the three spheres of government held in May 1997, included examples of Territory practices and policies relating to relating to relate prep → concernant
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc intersectorial partnerships. The second builds on Johns' work and discusses formal and informal partnership agreements between the two sectors.
Research for these particular papers has highlighted the need for action on a number of fronts to realise the elements of 2020 Vision influenced by the changing patterns of education and training provisions.
Future actions include
* Investigate the viability of action to offer government realistic targets and strategies for investing in the intellectual capital of the population
* Investigate options for joint action by postprimary institutions, public and state libraries. there needs to be interaction between Casl and Caul and other stakeholders Stakeholders
All parties that have an interest, financial or otherwise, in a firm-stockholders, creditors, bondholders, employees, customers, management, the community, and the government. to derive innovative solutions to the demand on existing resources
* Identify and promote incentives for strengthening the library/learning/ education partnership. These incentives may take the form of joint content development thereby maximising access to materials with low accessibility. Business related sponsorship may be worth pursuing
* Strengthen support for regional centres operating as models of joint service delivery and benchmark these where possible with Singaporean initiatives
* Document existing arrangements, formal and informal, where library/education cooperation exists and highlight best practices
* Explore partnership arrangements and copyright, licensing and intellectual property issues and the options for negotiating across sectors
* Articulate a role for libraries in the achievement of state and federal government vision statements already in existence
The comparison between the European approach to developing a global information society, with no apparent defined role for libraries, and that of Singapore and its commitment to Library 2000 is stark. Action needs to be taken to bring the 2020 Vision into focus if Australia is not to become an underdeveloped un·der·de·vel·oped
Not adequately or normally developed; immature. nation in Asian information policy terms.
The issue highlighted in this paper has been libraries' role in education, be it formal or informal, and the intellectual growth of the nation.
The Northern Territory Library recommends that the Council of Australian State Libraries uses 2020 Vision: towards the libraries of the future as a catalyst to carve our role in the ongoing development of Australians though lifelong learning and undertake the following
1 Establish a working group to refine and
further explore the issues identified
above (Northern Territory Library is
prepared to coordinate such a group)
2 Allocate separate issues to individual
states to explore and report to the
central coordination point. By necessity,
such research will involve stakeholders
other than those in the public library
3 Develop an action plan for
implementation of further
Optically, 20/20 vision is considered clear, focused and highly desirable. Corrective lenses A corrective lens is a lens worn on or before the eye, used to treat myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia. The most common types of corrective lenses are eyeglass lenses and contact lenses. Intraocular lenses are also beginning to become common. are prescribed for those who do not see as well as this and the result for the wearer is startling star·tle
v. star·tled, star·tling, star·tles
1. To cause to make a quick involuntary movement or start.
2. To alarm, frighten, or surprise suddenly. See Synonyms at frighten. . To think that everyone else could always see what they now see is a revelation. Why had they left it so long to take action?
This paper is confined to dealing with some of the educational indicators and trends identified by Mercer as society's gauges that must be monitored to achieve a clear, focused vision for libraries of the future. There are other gauges that are similarly critical to the vision and consequently, considerable scope for further action.
Just as it is important for the myopic my·o·pi·a
1. A visual defect in which distant objects appear blurred because their images are focused in front of the retina rather than on it; nearsightedness. Also called short sight.
2. client to visit an optician optician, filler of prescriptions for and dispenser of corrective lenses. An optician may grind lenses as instructed by the prescription of an optometrist (see optometry) or ophthalmologist (see ophthalmology) or transcribe the instructions for laboratory mechanics. before poor vision leads to downfall, it is important that action be taken to achieve the 2020 Vision for our libraries of the future. The time for such action is now.
Free e-mail See Internet e-mail service. to put the State on-line
All South Australians will be offered free e-mail as part of a revolutionary push to get the State "wired for the future".
In an Australian first, every resident in the State will be offered the service from next month - via a Web page to be co-ordinated by the State's business and government multi-media consortium, Ngapartji.
People wanting to send or receive e-mail will be able to do so from computers in public libraries, from their home or work computer, if linked to the Internet, or from four free terminals on the footpath in front of the Ngapartji building in Rundle St.
Access also will be available through on-street public information kiosks which are to be established throughout the city, for bill paying and other services. including Internet access See how to access the Internet. .
People would be able to send and receive their own private e-mail at any public access terminal because access was provided over the World Wide Web, rather than a conventional e-mail program Software in the user's computer that can access the mail servers in a local or remote network. Also known as an "e-mail client," "mail client," "mail program," and "mail reader," it provides the ability to send and receive e-mail messages and file attachments. , said Ngapartji Multimedia Centre's managing director, Mr Mike Harbison.
The free service would help build an electronic base and help people prepare for the "wiring" of Adelaide.
The Advertiser reported on October 10 that every business and home in the city square mile would be linked by a high speed. fibre-optic network, with two-way access for video conferences.
Mr Harbison said the service was expected to cost the consortium $100,000 in its first year.
Users can access the free service from November 17 by calling up www.hello.net.au and completing the form on the page.
They will be given their user name and a password immediately.
Their address will be www.hello.net.au
 Hendry, J I never thought I'd see the day Public libraries journal 11(6) 1996 pl69
 ibid p170
 Galbraith, M Community based organisations and the delivery of lifelong learning opportunities. Paper presented to the National Institute on Postsecondary Education, Libraries, and Lifelong Learning, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, US Department of Education Washington DC April 1995. http://www.inet.ed.gov/pubs/PLLIConf 95/comm.html
 Bundy, A Redefining remoteness in the learning society in Building a better future for Regional Australia: Proceedings of the first national conference 20-22 April 1994 Whyalla, University of South Australia South Australia, state (1991 pop. 1,236,623), 380,070 sq mi (984,381 sq km), S central Australia. It is bounded on the S by the Indian Ocean. Kangaroo Island and many smaller islands off the south coast are included in the state. Library p230-237
 ibid p233
 Yapp, C Lifelong learning: keynote presentation 1996 EU year of lifelong learning http://www.zynet.co.uk/ info-society/llkp.html
 The objectives of the European year of lifelong learning http://www.dipoll.hut.fi/org/EYLLL/eyll .htmi
 Hepworth, M and Harvey, R Watch out Australia!: information policy in Singapore Australia library journal November 1996 p3l3-321
 Steele, C Library 2000 and the Asian IT tigers Information management report October 1994 p4
 Hepworth and Harvey op cit Op Cit Opere Citato (Latin: In the Work Mentioned) p3l5
 The earlier documents were Bushtrack to superhighway superhighway - information superhighway (1995) and Navigating the economy of knowledge (1995)
 Mercer, C 2020 Vision: towards the libraries of the future Libraries Working Group of the Cultural Ministers' Council 1996
 ibid Foreword fore·word
A preface or an introductory note, as for a book, especially by a person other than the author.
an introductory statement to a book
Noun 1. (unpaginated un·pag·i·nat·ed
 ibid plll
 Page, T Catalogue of catastrophe The Weekend Australian 23-24 August 1997
 Johns, G The hidden partners in the national education system. Prepared for 2020 Vision: the new library, a conference for the three spheres of government held Adelaide I May 1997
 Fitzpatrick, M and Foster, T Agreeing to work together as partners in learning Northern Territory Library 1997
 It is noted that the Alia Tafe Section held its conference in late August with the theme Partnerships in learning -- the creative strategy. The papers from this conference were not available at time of writing. However, the program looked most promising
 For examples, Tasmania's Directions statement was released in April 1997 and the Northern Territory's Turning the track into the information superhighway (1) A generic name for the Internet.
(2) A proposed high-speed communications system that was touted by the Clinton/Gore administration to enhance education in America in the 21st century. Its purpose was to help all citizens regardless of their income level. in August 1997