Looking ever forward: Australia's public libraries serving children and young people.A 2007 survey of Australian Australian
pertaining to or originating in Australia.
Australian bat lyssavirus disease
see Australian bat lyssavirus disease.
Australian cattle dog
a medium-sized, compact working dog used for control of cattle. public libraries by Friends of Libraries Australia Australia (ôstrāl`yə), smallest continent, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. With the island state of Tasmania to the south, the continent makes up the Commonwealth of Australia, a federal parliamentary state (2005 est. pop. confirmed that they generally place a high emphasis on resources and services for babies, eaters, children and young people as part of their unique remit To transmit or send. To relinquish or surrender, such as in the case of a fine, punishment, or sentence.
An individual, for example, might remit money to pay bills.
TO REMIT. To annul a fine or forfeiture.
2. to meet the needs of people of all ages. It also confirmed that babies, children and young people represent a high proportion of the users of public libraries, but that they are often not attracting teenagers. Usage by children and young people was reported to be increasing by 82% of the survey respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy. . Many of the respondents were 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: at their inability to provide better services and resources to their younger users due to lack of council and state (particularly from the NSW NSW New South Wales
Noun 1. NSW - the agency that provides units to conduct unconventional and counter-guerilla warfare
Naval Special Warfare government) support, funding, staffing, and congested con·gest·ed
Affected with or characterized by congestion.
congested ENT adjective Referring to a boggy blood-filled tissue. See Nasal congestion. libraries unattractive to young people in particular. Other barriers to use identified included poor evening and weekend opening hours opening hours open npl → heures fpl d'ouverture
opening hours open npl → Öffnungszeiten pl , the reluctance of parents to transport their children to the library, poor public transport, poor library parking, and lack of marketing of the library's resources and services. Only 34% of the survey respondents indicated that their local government councils had a strategic policy commitment to supporting children and young people within the council's area. Shortened short·en
v. short·ened, short·en·ing, short·ens
1. To make short or shorter.
2. version of a report to the nation by Friends of Libraries Australia available at www.fola.org See .org.
(networking) org - The top-level domain for organisations or individuals that don't fit any other top-level domain (national, com, edu, or gov). Though many have .org domains, it was never intended to be limited to non-profit organisations.
RFC 1591. .au.
Australia's nearly 1600 local public libraries have a unique multifaceted mul·ti·fac·et·ed
Having many facets or aspects. See Synonyms at versatile.
Adj. 1. multifaceted - having many aspects; "a many-sided subject"; "a multifaceted undertaking"; "multifarious interests"; "the multifarious 'cradle to grave' user range and educational, literacy, reader development, informational, cultural, recreational, technological, social capital and democratic impact. Over 160 descriptors have been attached to them (see www.fola.org.au)
They are the most heavily used public buildings in Australia and the most valued local and state/territory government provision. Nearly all people in Australia now have access to a local public library, and 12 million people--of all ages and circumstances--choose to use them.
Consistent with overseas trends and Australian and international research findings they are increasingly being recognised as the outstanding community investment, an indicator of which is that about 300 new or redeveloped libraries are being built in Australia between 2000-2008. However if public library services are to achieve their full potential for all in Australia, many need more locations, better and more attractive buildings, better opening hours, resources, technology, programs, websites, marketing and professional and other staffing.
This requires a greater awareness by federal, state/territory and local governments and the general population of how relatively poorly local public libraries are funded--a national total of only about $600 million or 8c per Australian per day--and of the now demonstrable de·mon·stra·ble
1. Capable of being demonstrated or proved: demonstrable truths.
2. Obvious or apparent: demonstrable lies. very high quantitative and qualitative return on investment they provide.
Looking ever forward: Australia's public libraries serving children and young people aims to contribute to that awareness.
In the beginning
1. One that arrives or comes: free food for all comers.
2. One showing promise of attaining success: a political comer.
Noun 1. to recognition of the importance and value of free local public libraries compared with countries such as the USA, the UK, Denmark Denmark (dĕn`märk), Dan. Danmark, officially Kingdom of Denmark, kingdom (2005 est. pop. 5,432,000), 16,629 sq mi (43,069 sq km), N Europe. , Canada Canada (kăn`ədə), independent nation (2001 pop. 30,007,094), 3,851,787 sq mi (9,976,128 sq km), N North America. Canada occupies all of North America N of the United States (and E of Alaska) except for Greenland and the French islands of and New Zealand New Zealand (zē`lənd), island country (2005 est. pop. 4,035,000), 104,454 sq mi (270,534 sq km), in the S Pacific Ocean, over 1,000 mi (1,600 km) SE of Australia. The capital is Wellington; the largest city and leading port is Auckland. . The local reliance on the little used--by about 3% of the population--subscription libraries of the mechanics' institutes Historically, Mechanics' Institutes were educational establishments formed to provide adult education, particularly in technical subjects, to working men. As such, they were often funded by local industrialists on the grounds that they would ultimately benefit from having more and schools of arts lasted too long, in some states into the 1980s. Few of those libraries provided any resources for children and young people. Also few schools had proper libraries, with the consequence that many Australian children before the 1960s did not have access to a wide range of reading in their formative formative /for·ma·tive/ (for´mah-tiv) concerned in the origination and development of an organism, part, or tissue. years, unless they were fortunate enough to have such resources at home.
The extent of this deprivation DEPRIVATION, ecclesiastical Punishment. A censure by which a clergyman is deprived of his parsonage, vicarage, or other ecclesiastical promotion or dignity. Vide Ayliffe's Parerg. 206; 1 Bl. Com. 393. was chronicled by American Professor Sarah Fenwick in her 1966 report School and children's libraries in Australia. (1) Whilst there were a few public libraries providing good service to children, mostly in metropolitan NSW and Victoria, she concluded that
... the great majority of children in Australia have no access to public libraries where a professional children's librarian has developed a good book collection and a program of library services to stimulate and guide reading development. (2)
Her contention was that 'an experienced, professional staff makes the library a centre for good reading guidance.' (3)
As Johnson observes in her 2007 book Life after Fenwick: the rise, fall and future of library services for children in Australia
Underlying all Fenwick's comments on the public library service to children was this need for qualified, experienced staff, with a wide knowledge and understanding of children's literature. Guidance available should also be available for parents ... One of the problems she highlighted was the lack of understanding and 'failure on the part of library administrators, association executives, and library educators to recognise the levels and quality of service that ought to be provided'. (4)
Since Fenwick reported in 1966, local public libraries have become available to nearly all in Australia, a significant achievement by local and state governments which has placed Australia among the relatively few nations worldwide which have such comprehensive provision. All of those libraries, large and small, provide at least some resources for babies and their carers, children and young people. However it is evident from data in the Directory of Australian public libraries (5) that there is a considerable difference in the range and depth of resources, services, programs, staffing and access for children and young people between and within the different states and territories of Australia The states and territories of Australia make up the Commonwealth of Australia under a federal system of government.
States and territories of Australia
State Abbreviation Capital .
The extent and quality of the access that a baby, carer carer
a person who looks after someone who is ill or old, often a relative: the group offers support for the carers of those with dementia
carer n → , child or young person in Australia has to the individual and social benefits which public libraries provide depends largely on where, and in what circumstances CIRCUMSTANCES, evidence. The particulars which accompany a fact.
2. The facts proved are either possible or impossible, ordinary and probable, or extraordinary and improbable, recent or ancient; they may have happened near us, or afar off; they are public or , they are born and live.
Take them to the library?
There is now considerable research on why governments should give priority to investing in the early years. It pays off in the long term, both for individuals and society. The role that public libraries can play in improving the life prospects of children and young people is also now well researched.
Much of the recent research has emanated from the UK and is reviewed by Goulding in her 2006 book Public libraries in the 21st century: defining services and debating the future. (6) She quotes leading educationalist Professor K Sylva syl·va
Variant of silva.
Noun 1. sylva - the forest trees growing in a country or region
timberland, woodland, forest, timber - land that is covered with trees and shrubs who, when asked by the UK's Parliamentary Select Committee on Preschool Education preschool education: see kindergarten; nursery school.
Childhood education during the period from infancy to age five or six. Institutions for preschool education vary widely around the world, as do their names (e.g. what single most important thing carers should do for their children's learning replied Take them to the library. (7)
Goulding reviews the research, and identifies that
* early learning is now accepted as central to ensuring all children achieve their potential
* the earlier children learn to read the better they will do in later life
* the early experiences of babies with books and being read to, can have a significant effect on their literacy development if they receive support and encouragement
* preschool children of parents participating in programs to develop their skills of communicating with their children showed greater developmental progress
* early language and literacy activities in public libraries encourage parents
* those activities should focus on social inclusion and improving the life chances, social and emotional development, health, ability to learn and family connections of disadvantaged This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.
Please help Wikipedia by adding references. See the for details.
This article has been tagged since September 2007. children
* young children's learning through library based programs has impacted on their families and prompted parents and caregivers to seek support for their own literacy and learning needs
* such family learning programs in public libraries are a nonthreatening first step to literacy, language and numeracy numeracy Mathematical literacy Neurology The ability to understand mathematical concepts, perform calculations and interpret and use statistical information. Cf Acalculia. programs and other learning opportunities
* encouraging young people to become enthusiastic learners and readers requires that they should be given access to
** the library as the space in the community for young people
** inspiring, relevant reading including creative reading activities
** the chance to be involved in and shape the library service
** the library as their Third Place, the place to participate in the wider community and in democracy
** the library as the independent place for information and study support.
Much of the UK research confirms and illustrates how public libraries contribute to children's development by helping them to grow intellectually, socially and culturally. However one major investigation reported a challenge with which public libraries in Australia, and worldwide, are still too familiar.
This is that
... although many of the parents, children, librarians and teachers interviewed endorsed the important role of libraries, decision makers responsible for educational and literacy initiatives often ignored the role of the public library or did not fully understand its potential. (8)
A UK report which is particularly relevant to the challenge often not well met by Australian public libraries and their funders is engaging young people, in particular teenagers. Fulfilling their potential: a national development programme for young people's library services (9) analyses consultations with young people, research and trends. It concludes that public libraries can improve the life quality and socialisation of all young people, particularly those who are at risk. The premise is that that a child engaging with society from a young age is more likely to engage with society as an adult, and that a modern accessible and welcoming public library is one of the best investments which society can make towards this end.
The young people interviewed for Fulfilling their potential had strong views about the image of public libraries, views which have been expressed in studies in Australia. The negative images included
* dull, boring
* dark, never open
* 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
* old, too small
* not enough new books
* computers are too busy
* sometimes the staff are not nice.
However despite these views, the consultation groups were also enthusiastic about what public libraries could offer. They had a vision of their ideal, which included
* a separate space for different ages and activities
* a library which sits alongside other facilities
* a high quality environment in terms of design and furniture
* a welcoming atmosphere, open more often and at convenient times
* walking distance from home, school or a bus stop
* a cafe area where they can read, talk, play music, without disturbing others
* wide choice of relevant reading material
* listening posts listening posts,
n.pl in craniosacral therapy, the places on the body from which the therapist can perceive the flow of cerebrospinal fluid or energy in the patient. The ankles or the occiput (i.e., the base of the skull) are the standard listening posts. for music and talking books talk·ing book
A recorded reading of a book, designed for use by the visually impaired.
Trademark a recording of a book, designed to be used by the blind
* computers with internet access See how to access the Internet.
* quiet spaces and areas where people could chat and read
* more men, young people and friendly staff who move around helping people, not sitting behind counters
* involvement in the design of their libraries and services, including staff appointments and training. (10)
The best libraries in Australia, as in the UK and elsewhere, are already responding well to those expectations. Many still are not. Because of their locations, buildings, funding and staffing levels they often cannot.
To inform the extent to which Australian public libraries are now able to provide for their younger users, in May 2007 FOLA undertook a national survey of them.
The Friends of Libraries Australia survey
A one page survey with nine questions was mailed to all Australian public library services, a total of 532 services with nearly 1600 branches. The questions focused on identifying the policy commitment of local government councils and their libraries to supporting children and young people; the extent to which babies, carers, children and young people use their local libraries; the services, resources and facilities available to them; and the barriers to improved support.
Responses were requested by 16 June 2007. Follow up of libraries not responding to the survey was not attempted. The response rate was 28%. By comparison the 2004 FOLA survey had a 27% response, the 2005 survey 33%, and the 2006 survey 29%.
This level of response to a single request was expected, as many individual public library services are still small rural libraries with no or very limited professional staff, particularly in Queensland Queensland, state (1991 pop. 2,477,152), 667,000 sq mi (1,727,200 sq km), NE Australia. Brisbane is the capital; other important cities are Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Townsville, Rockhampton, Cairns, and Ipswich. and Western Australia Western Australia, state (1991 pop. 1,409,965), 975,920 sq mi (2,527,633 sq km), Australia, comprising the entire western part of the continent. It is bounded on the N, W, and S by the Indian Ocean. Perth is the capital. . The 2008 consolidation of councils in Queensland should, in some cases at least, provide a stronger base for better library services in that state.
About 9% of Australian public libraries are now joint use libraries in partnership with formal educational providers, the majority with high schools but also with Tafe colleges and universities. This is most common in regional and rural areas, notably in 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. where nearly 40% of public libraries are joint use. Consequently 6% of the survey respondents were doing so as libraries which support children and young people formally and informally.
All of the questions were answered by most of the respondents. The following summarises those responses as percentages, complemented by examples and commentary.
1 Does your council/s have a policy statement on its support for children and young people?
Commentary Although the number of positive responses is encouraging, the number of negative responses indicate that many Australian councils do not have an overt Public; open; manifest.
The term overt is used in Criminal Law in reference to conduct that moves more directly toward the commission of an offense than do acts of planning and preparation that may ultimately lead to such conduct.
OVERT. Open. commitment to identifying and responding to the needs of children and young people in their communities. This suggests a need for the Australian Local Government Association The Australian Local Government Association is a national body representing local governments across Australia. The President of the Local Government Association also sits on the panel of the Council of Australian Governments. and the state/territory associations to encourage their members to consider what they can do to work through their libraries with community agencies in the interests of children and young people.
2 Does your library service have a policy statement on its support for children and young people?
Commentary The number of libraries with a policy statement is higher than that of the councils. This probably reflects their direct and regular engagement with a diversity of young users, something less likely in most other parts of council services. However it is surprising that more public libraries have still to articulate articulate /ar·tic·u·late/ (ahr-tik´u-lat)
1. to pronounce clearly and distinctly.
2. to make speech sounds by manipulation of the vocal organs.
3. to express in coherent verbal form.
4. their rationale rationale (rash´nal´),
n the fundamental reasons used as the basis for a decision or action. , policy and priorities for supporting children and young people as a distinctive part of their clientele. One library reported that its council had a policy but had not developed its own. Another observed that 'It is time we had formal policy statements in all of these areas, and we have now started on them'.
3 Have you ever formally surveyed the satisfaction of children and young people with your library services?
Commentary Several negative responses indicated that children and young people were included in their general user satisfaction surveys. However, as with the 2006 FOLA survey, the very low positive response rate to this question suggests a difficulty for public libraries in convincing funders of the extent to which they are used by children and young people, and of their satisfaction with what the library is able to provide. Although there are privacy and other issues in surveying library users and nonusers, public libraries and councils need to invest in more systematic ways of identifying how and why children and young people are using and as importantly, not using--their local libraries.
4 Estimated use of your library service
Very high High Moderate Low Babies and carers 29% 39% 26% 6% Preschoolers 38% 41% 17% 4% Primary age 22% 41% 32% 5% Secondary age 7% 26% 35% 32% Postschool teens 0% 18% 49% 33%
Commentary None of the respondents stated any formal statistical basis for their estimates. This was anticipated given the difficulty in correlating library usage--in all of its lending, inlibrary and online manifestations--with specific user ages. The results seem to be broadly consistent with library experience worldwide, in particular the low library use by teenagers. One library explained a factor in this low use as being 'Postschool teens tend to leave our area, so there is low representation in library use'.
5 Overall, is library use by babies, carers, children and young people increasing, steady or decreasing?
Commentary As with the 2006 FOLA survey on student use of public libraries, a few responses noted that factors in increasing use included new and refurbished buildings, and longer opening hours. Population growth, the growing number of attractive and spacious libraries in Australia, greater internet access and online resources, and better opening hours especially at weekends were all identified as increased use factors. The few libraries in the survey reporting decreasing use by children and young people were all in rural areas, which may have static or reducing populations.
6 Features of your library service which encourage awareness and use by babies, children and young people
* attractive modern building
* central location
* specialist staff in all branches
* designated areas for age use
* teens lounge
* long opening hours
* weekend opening
* bright and welcoming areas
* staff with a high level of children/youth skills
* storytime sessions at night
* dynamic programs
* Great Books Festival
* good marketing
* appealing collections eg music, graphic novels, dvds
* baby bounce/rhyme times
* Bookmania Book Club(primary)
* participation in Australian Library and Information Week
* involvement in National Simultaneous Storytime Day
* liaison with local playgroups, creches and primary schools
* playstations and xboxes
* online homework tutoring
* homework centres
* special displays
* junior bookclubs
* HSC HSC - High Speed Connect collections
* parents come with babies to collect their school children(school community library)
* staff visits to health clinics, schools, community centres
* quiet study areas
* excellent support by Friends of Library group
* take home storytime boxes
* closeness to kindergartens
* Mothers Day gifts to all playgroup playgroup
a regular meeting of infants for supervised creative play
playgroup n → jardín m de infancia
playgroup play n mums
* children/young adults newsletters
* youth focused interactive website
* toy library
* listening posts
* lots of pcs
* school visits
* family fun days
* modern building
* funky funky - Said of something that functions, but in a slightly strange, klugey way. It does the job and would be difficult to change, so its obvious non-optimality is left alone. Often used to describe interfaces. furniture
* large screen TVs
* bookstart program (books for babies)
* Manga maNga is a popular Turkish nu metal/rapcore band. Their music is mainly a fusion of alternative metal and hip hop music, with a touch of Anatolian melodies; with heavy use of turntables, invoking comparisons with modern American nu metal bands. workshops for teens
* parent resource area
* local newspaper and TV promotion
* reading challenges
* program focused on single mothers helping their children
* author visits
* school holiday programs
* wireless access
* Young Friends of the Library group
* young people help select resources
Commentary The responses indicate that some Australian public libraries, by international comparison, are responding broadly and well to the needs of babies, carers, children and young people. Particularly noteworthy were the number of respondents now providing bookstart or books for babies programs as part of state/territory wide schemes in the ACT, South and Western Australia, and Tasmania as well as a number in other states doing so as individual libraries. However the majority of respondents were still not providing this arguably ar·gu·a·ble
1. Open to argument: an arguable question, still unresolved.
2. That can be argued plausibly; defensible in argument: three arguable points of law. basic public library service. Also of note were the several respondents providing xboxes and playstations as marketing attractors to young people--especially males--to explore the resources and services of modern libraries. Disappointingly, one library indicated that it had not been permitted to do this by its narrow visioned council.
Although no responses were received from Queensland's developing system of local Indigenous Knowledge Centres The State Library of Queensland established Indigenous Knowledge Centre's (IKC's), serve as information hubs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Queensland. , it is reported that these, and other such centres in Australia, are achieving some success in engaging young Indigenous people with the public library resources they provide.
7 Barriers to awareness and use of your library service by babies, children and young people
* patchy PATCHY - A Fortran code management program written at CERN. resources
* no money for needed resources
* no cool space for teens to hangout hang·out
A frequently visited place.
Noun 1. hangout - a frequently visited place
haunt, stamping ground, resort, repair
* very small children's area
* too small space for storytimes
* shelves high for some children
* no time for visits to schools etc
* lack of space
* poor opening hours
* not enough internet pcs See network computer and Internet appliance.
* young adults section is aimed at only 12-16 years
* no dedicated staff members for these age groups
* unattractive and complicated building
* high school students working in library(school community library)
* poor location
* young people just don't seem to like libraries
* when we visit schools the children often tell us that their parents will not take them to the public library because of work and time reasons
* low staffing levels
* history of lack of welcome to young people
* some staff not keen on teenagers
* poor parking
* poor public transport
* doors hard to open for pushers
* lack of xboxes etc
* no lending of videos
* parental backgrounds(low educational levels)
* books for babies program only funded for one year
Commentary The barriers listed most frequently were lack of space--especially for different age groups--limited or no specialist staff, poor hours and collection limitations.
8 Do you formally identify the library needs and wishes of carets, children and young people in your community?
Commentary Examples given by libraries doing so included surveys, feedback forms, young representative on library board, focus groups, outreach Outreach is an effort by an organization or group to connect its ideas or practices to the efforts of other organizations, groups, specific audiences or the general public. programs contacts, through council social plan, suggestion boards in libraries.
A high percentage of the respondents appeared to have no mechanism for formally identifying the needs and wishes of children and young people. This suggests that many libraries have no fully informed local basis on which to advocate with their councils and state/territory governments for greater library investment in children and young peopled
9 Is there awareness by funding decision makers of the contribution which public libraries make, or can make, to meeting the needs of babies, children and young people?
Commentary Several respondents used strong words in indicating their frustration at library funding levels, the most polite of which was 'a resounding re·sound
v. re·sound·ed, re·sound·ing, re·sounds
1. To be filled with sound; reverberate: The schoolyard resounded with the laughter of children.
Observations by the survey respondents These included
* The biggest issues we confront are 1) no staff designated to run programs, so they are done in an ad hoc For this purpose. Meaning "to this" in Latin, it refers to dealing with special situations as they occur rather than functions that are repeated on a regular basis. See ad hoc query and ad hoc mode. fashion 2) insufficient space to create good teens area 3) limited hours for teens access.
* We are about to embark on Verb 1. embark on - get off the ground; "Who started this company?"; "We embarked on an exciting enterprise"; "I start my day with a good breakfast"; "We began the new semester"; "The afternoon session begins at 4 PM"; "The blood shed started when the partisans a comprehensive strategic planning Strategic planning is an organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people. process which includes a large component of community consultation, as we are one of the lowest funded library services per capita [Latin, By the heads or polls.] A term used in the Descent and Distribution of the estate of one who dies without a will. It means to share and share alike according to the number of individuals. in (state).
* (As a joint use library), our library is caught three ways between stakeholder stakeholder n. a person having in his/her possession (holding) money or property in which he/she has no interest, right or title, awaiting the outcome of a dispute between two or more claimants to the money or property. bodies--the (state/territory) government, local council and high school/Education Department. It's a real tug of war tug of war
n. pl. tugs of war
1. Games A contest of strength in which two teams tug on opposite ends of a rope, each trying to pull the other across a dividing line.
2. , with their aim not be the body left funding the library ... but we do have very strong community support.
* In our joint use library there is a great deal of passing costs by the school to the community to get any real improvement in facilities etc.
* The recent literacy program launched in (state/territory) did not involve public libraries in the research. It totally disregarded dis·re·gard
tr.v. dis·re·gard·ed, dis·re·gard·ing, dis·re·gards
1. To pay no attention or heed to; ignore.
2. To treat without proper respect or attentiveness.
n. literacy services provided without additional funding as a core library service.
* Support in recent years by Public Libraries SA has been terrific for our country school community library, with programs such as The Little Big Book Club, Baby Bounce 1. bounce - (Perhaps by analogy to a bouncing check) An electronic mail message that is undeliverable and returns an error notification (a "bounce message") to the sender is said to "bounce".
2. bounce - To play volleyball. The now-demolished D. C. and Rhyme rhyme or rime, the most prominent of the literary artifices used in versification. Although it was used in ancient East Asian poetry, rhyme was practically unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans. , Storytimes etc. Parents and children have been very responsive and appreciative of our initiatives.
* Early literacy needs broad community understanding.
* Through marketing the libraries we have a high profile and very supportive council. Our monthly reports are commented on by council, and three branches are being renovated.
* Until we have a formula to show the $ value of what a library brings to its community, it makes it very difficult to gain better funding.
* There are some on council who are very supportive of libraries, but a few very vocal people are very anti free library service and anything cultural. We do quite well, but we can always do better.
* There is still not a high level of awareness by senior management and government about the very positive contribution which young peoples services@the library have on literacy levels and the development of young people. Young peoples services provided by public libraries are often overlooked by funders and governments, where the emphasis is always on schools and education departments. Instead, there should be a joint public library and education focus.
Opportunity and challenge
The aggregated contribution made by Australia's public libraries to early learning and socialization socialization /so·cial·iza·tion/ (so?shal-i-za´shun) the process by which society integrates the individual and the individual learns to behave in socially acceptable ways.
n. of future generations is already considerable, if largely still unrecognised. That contribution is tending to increase but there is still little indication that public libraries and those agencies with the main responsibilities for public library advocacy have succeeded in convincing funders of the value of higher investment in public libraries.
Indeed, in one state in particular the opposite seems to have occurred, with NSW's 2007/2008 funding subsidy subsidy, financial assistance granted by a government or philanthropic foundation to a person or association for the purpose of promoting an enterprise considered beneficial to the public welfare. for local public libraries now at an all time and risory low of less than 7% of their total annual cost. Apart from its impact on public libraries and the many people in NSW who use them, this sets a very poor lead for improved NSW local government investment in public libraries. It also risks the unproductive surfacing of the direct library user pays issue.
Nonetheless, the FOLA survey confirms that some Australian libraries are working at a sophisticated level of proactive innovation in meeting the developmental needs of babies, children and young people. They are the exemplars which set the benchmark for better public libraries for all children and young people in Australia.
Further confirmation of this was evident at the March 2007 transTasman Learning futures conference held in Adelaide. (11) This conference showcased many Australian and New Zealand examples of public library initiatives and excellence in serving babies, carets, children and young people. However it also profiled one area of government and public library support for young people which remains a significant challenge.
One of the respondents to the FOLA survey observed that 'young people just do not seem to like libraries'. This self defeating generalization gen·er·al·i·za·tion
1. The act or an instance of generalizing.
2. A principle, a statement, or an idea having general application. is invalidated in·val·i·date
tr.v. in·val·i·dat·ed, in·val·i·dat·ing, in·val·i·dates
To make invalid; nullify.
in·val by the reality that young people do like, use heavily and appreciate libraries which are bright, attractive, welcoming, friendly, accessible and meet their aspirations aspirations npl → aspiraciones fpl (= ambition); ambición f
aspirations npl (= hopes, ambition) → aspirations fpl and needs for connection, spaces, resources and services. That much has been the experience overseas, and of those Australian councils and states/territories which have had the foresight (graphics, tool) Foresight - A software product from Nu Thena providing graphical modelling tools for high level system design and simulation. to invest in such libraries.
Nonetheless, there remains a major issue for funders and public libraries worldwide in connecting young adults, especially teenagers, with the unique socialization potential of the public library as their Third Place, after their home and school or work.
That challenge was described by US authority Patrick Jones at the Learning futures conference
Strong communities tend to have strong schools and libraries. We know this. We know that young people with assets are more likely to contribute to, rather than take from, society. We know the cost to the community of kids without assets, in social services, correctional and other institutions. We know that libraries can and do build assets. Libraries thus build communities. Assets create positive outcomes and positive outcomes create stronger communities. We serve teens because libraries build community. Connecting young adults and libraries is not about treating them as special, but it is about serving them uniquely just as services to other market segments of the public library do toddlers, genealogy, seniors, college students and small business people. Each group of users has different demands upon libraries due to different needs based on what they are trying to accomplish. Above all, teens are trying to accomplish one thing--form an identity. If we believe that libraries are good things for a community, then does it not follow that we want teens, as they are forming this identity, to recognise this value? If we believe our work has value, then we will want teens to learn that by our deeds and action. If we believe that our work has value, then we need to know that it matters. If we believe that libraries should be supported by the community, then we need to show and prove to the community that matters. Communities allocate resources based on what they value. So, we are poised to make a choice. We can lock the doors and shut out a generation of library users. Or we can unlock the creativity, excitement, energy, and passion of both those teen users and the librarians that serve them. (12)
A challenge is thus for councils, and their public libraries, to reassess reassess
to reconsider the value or importance of
Verb 1. reassess - revise or renew one's assessment
reevaluate their strategic priorities. Too often, services to teenagers do not appear to be high in those priorities at present.
The leadership issue
Even more of a challenge, however, is to identify how and which--Australian governments will provide leadership for better, more accessible, libraries for all in Australia.
In the responses to the FOLA survey one respondent In Equity practice, the party who answers a bill or other proceeding in equity. The party against whom an appeal or motion, an application for a court order, is instituted and who is required to answer in order to protect his or her interests. noted the apparent determination of the four 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. in her joint use library to minimize their contribution to it, despite its high level of community support. It has similarly been observed that public libraries nationwide have been one casualty of Australia's complex three level system of government, given that system's proclivity pro·cliv·i·ty
n. pl. pro·cliv·i·ties
A natural propensity or inclination; predisposition. See Synonyms at predilection.
[Latin pr for leadership avoidance and towards financial buck passing Buck passing or passing the buck is the action of transferring responsibility or blame unto another person. It is also used as a strategy in power politics when the actions of one country/nation are blamed on another, providing an opportunity for war. .
The outcome is that something used by 60% of Australians of all ages and circumstances operates at an annual total cost of only $600 million--about 75% from local government, 25% from most state/territory governments (except NSW at less than 7%), and nothing directly from the national government. This is far less than 1% of the quantum expended ex·pend
tr.v. ex·pend·ed, ex·pend·ing, ex·pends
1. To lay out; spend: expending tax revenues on government operations. See Synonyms at spend.
2. annually on Australian institutional education. It needs to be at least doubled in real terms if public libraries across the nation are to contribute what some of them have already shown is possible.
This would represent an increase from about 8c per Australian per day, to the 16c per day already received from taxpayers by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is Australia's national public broadcaster, known previously as the Australian Broadcasting Commission. The ABC provides television, radio and online services throughout metropolitan and regional Australia, as well as . There should be no doubting that there would be broad community support for that increased investment. Evidence of this support is to be found in research commissioned by the Library Board of Victoria and the Victorian Public Library Network in 2004.
The findings of that quality research have Australia wide Australia Wide is a rural-focused half-hour soft news programme produced by the ABC in Sydney. The programme was, up until mid-2007, produced by the Corporation's New Media and Digital Services division in Brisbane. It is shown weekdays on the digital-only channel ABC2 at 4.00pm, 7. , indeed international, applicability. Published as Libraries/building/ communities (13) the findings of the study derive from the views and ideas of nearly 10,000 Victorians about their public library services. Those findings provide hard, incontestable, evidence about just how important public libraries are to individuals and community life throughout Australia, the high value that people place on them, and their desire that public libraries should be better funded.
Respondents to the study valued a small library with 20,000 registered users at $20 million a year. This figure ranged upwards to $730 million a year for a large library with 150,000 registered users. Such a large library would be currently operating on an annual budget of only about $8 million. Children's programs alone, such as school holiday programs and storytimes, were respectively valued at $20-$30 per child and $10-$16 per child. (14) There was overwhelming support for public libraries remaining free at the point of use.
The Libraries/building/communities study shows, with case studies, that some of Australia's public libraries are able to innovate in·no·vate
v. in·no·vat·ed, in·no·vat·ing, in·no·vates
To begin or introduce (something new) for or as if for the first time.
To begin or introduce something new. and achieve excellence in addressing the diverse needs of all people. However it also confirms that local public libraries lack funding appropriate to their broadening role, increasing expectations of them, their extremely high return on investment, and their potential contribution to the learning and life quality of all in Australia, young and old. A wealthy country like Australia can, and should be, doing much better, as countries from Finland to Singapore have demonstrated.
Friends of Libraries Australia therefore considers that an Australian public libraries strategy, (15) informed by a review of the issues and options for funding of better, more accessible, libraries for all in Australia is long overdue--and now requires national government leadership.
1 The Australian government initiate the development of a national public library review and strategy for Australia in association with state/territory and local governments.
2 The Australian Local Government Association and state/territory local government associations encourage local government councils to develop strategic policies for the support of babies, children and young people in their communities.
3 Public Libraries Australia, the Australian Library and Information Association The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is a professional organisation for the Australian library and information services sector. Based in Canberra, its membership is open to individuals and organisations, the only membership requirement is an interest in the and state/territory public library services units encourage public libraries to develop policy statements on services to babies, children and young people.
4 Public libraries develop formal methods to identify the needs, and barriers to greater library use, of babies, children and young people in their communities.
5 Friends of Libraries groups consult with their libraries about the support provided for babies, children and young people and how they may contribute to advocating for, and improving, that support.
6 Friends of Libraries groups and public libraries promote consultation with children and young people about their library needs, and support the development of Young Friends of the Library groups.
(1) Fenwick, S School and children's libraries in Australia: a report to the Children's Libraries Section of the Library Association of Australia Cheshire, Melbourne 1966
(2) ibid p4
(3) ibid p37
(4) Johnson, V Life after Fenwick: the rise, fall and future of library services for children in Australia Adelaide, Auslib Press 2007
(5) Bundy, A and J eds Directory of Australian public libraries. Seventh edition Adelaide, Auslib Press 2006
(6) Goulding, A Public libraries in the 21st century: defining services and debating the future Aldershot UK, Ashgate 2006 pp269-285
(7) ibid p270
(8) ibid p271
(9) Fulfilling their potential: a national programme for young people's library services The Reading Agency UK 2004 www.readingagency.org.uk
(10) ibid p22
(11) Bundy, A ed Learning futures: public libraries for the new generations in Australia and New Zealand Adelaide 9-10 March 2007 conference proceedings Adelaide, Auslib Press 2007
(12) Jones, P Connecting young adults and libraries in the 21st century, in Learning futures op cit Op Cit Opere Citato (Latin: In the Work Mentioned) p22
(13) Libraries/building/communities: the vital contribution of Victoria's public libraries Library Board of Victoria, Melbourne 2005 www.slv.gov.au.au/about/information/publications/policies_report/ plu_lbc.html
(14) ibid Report 2 Logging the benefits pp43-44
(15) countries which now have such strategies are numerous. They include the UK's 2003 Framework for the future www.culture.gov.uk/global/publications/archive _2003/framework_future.htm, and New Zealand's 2006 Public libraries of New Zealand: a strategic framework 2006 to 2016 www.lianza.org.nz/library/files/stde_011/Stra
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. President Friends of Libraries Australia
Dr Alan Bundy AM was foundation university librarian (1) A person who works in the data library and keeps track of the tapes and disks that are stored and logged out for use. Also known as a "file librarian" or "media librarian." See data library.
(2) See CA-Librarian. and initiator and director of the Bob Hawke Robert James Lee (Bob) Hawke, AC (born 9 December 1929) was the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia and longest serving Australian Labor Party Prime Minister.
After a decade as president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, he entered politics at the 1980 elections and Prime Ministerial Done under the direction of a supervisor; not involving discretion or policymaking.
Ministerial describes an act or a function that conforms to an instruction or a prescribed procedure. It connotes obedience. Library of the University of South Australia 1992-2005. He previously held positions in public and academic libraries in WA and Victoria and is now a consultant specialising in public, joint use library and library collaboration Working together on a project. See collaborative software. feasibility studies The analysis of a problem to determine if it can be solved effectively. The operational (will it work?), economical (costs and benefits) and technical (can it be built?) aspects are part of the study. Results of the study determine whether the solution should be implemented. and reviews. He became president of Friends of Library Australia in 2005. Address: PO Box 622 Blackwood blackwood, name for several trees, especially an acacia. SA 5051 tel 08 82784363 email@example.com