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Creating Libraries for All in an Evolving World

Creating Libraries for All in an Evolving World

The modern library is no longer defined by the number of books it has on its shelves, but rather it is now about being a living space for the users.

Today, people are more focused on learning activities and they want social interaction together with the possibility to share their knowledge with others. Therefore, the ‘relational library’ is a new development where libraries become a meeting and interaction place for people. The library’s physical spaces and the needs of the different target groups of the library must be highly considered when defining the library’s structure.

By creating flexible, multipurpose spaces equipped with technology and knowledgeable 21st Century Librarians, libraries can go beyond their traditional book-based services, and once again become the hubs of community by supporting the local economy, fostering innovation and aiding education.  

Ahead of the Next Generation Libraries Summit 2019 we take a look at how three State Libraries from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland are transforming and evolving their service offerings in an effort to become 21st Century community hubs. 

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In the Spotlight with Griffith University’s Director of Library and Learning Services:  How Griffith University is Creating Library Services that Meet Modern Student Expectations

In the Spotlight with Griffith University’s Director of Library and Learning Services: How Griffith University is Creating Library Services that Meet Modern Student Expectations

With the expansion of digital media, the rise of e-books and massive budget cuts, the end of libraries has been predicted many times over. And while it is true that library budgets have been slashed, libraries are not exactly dying. In fact, libraries are evolving.

The Queensland based Griffith University for example has been working for the past eight years to provide its 45,000 strong student cohort, spread across 6 campuses – five physical and one digital which offers a range of online courses – with library products and services that meet modern student needs and expectations.

As such they’ve worked to create lean library services that offer on demand content by spending 99 per cent of library resource budgets on digital resources, and reducing the physical footprint of collections across all campuses by 50 per cent by 2020.  

Exploring this transformation is Maureen Sullivan, Director of Library and Learning Services at Griffith University. Ahead of the Next Generation Libraries Summit 2019 Maureen chats to us about the challenges prompting a rejuvenation of long-standing library services, and explores in more detail how Griffith worked to embrace disruption, not shy away from it. 

Libraries Aren’t Dying; They’re Evolving: Insights into Library Service Transformation for the Digital-Age Student

Libraries Aren’t Dying; They’re Evolving: Insights into Library Service Transformation for the Digital-Age Student

With the expansion of digital media, the rise of e-books and massive budget cuts, the end of libraries has been predicted many times over. And while it is true that library budgets have been slashed, causing cuts in operating hours and branch closures, libraries are not exactly dying. In fact, libraries are evolving.

In many respects, today’s campus library bears little resemblance to the quiet, book-filled building of years past. But that doesn’t mean libraries — and their custodians of knowledge — are on the margins when it comes to educating students. Many institutions are finding new tools and new strategies to help libraries stay relevant in the digital landscape.

While I’m sure we can all agree that we won’t be seeing students wading through the Dewey Decimal System in search of a hard cover book any longer, or being shushed by a cardigan clad librarian, the library - as it has for centuries - remains a central hub for any school from K-12 or indeed, any university. 

Today’s libraries differ however in that they’re rich with technology and programs that create excitement about learning. They are offering programs in technology, career and college readiness and also in innovation and entrepreneurship – all 21st-century skills, essential for success in today’s economy.

Ahead of the Next Generation Libraries Summit 2019 we feature insights from Bunbury Cathedral Grammar and the University of South Australia to explore how primary and secondary educators, as well as tertiary educators are redefining their traditional library spaces, and evolving service offerings to become stewards of digital literacy, innovation and academic success. 

Evolving the Library: Creating Modern Community Hubs

Evolving the Library: Creating Modern Community Hubs

The rise of digital technologies has challenged the traditional notion of public libraries. They are no longer institutions that solely offer printed material for literacy and learning. In fact, with the introduction of the internet, the volume of online information now exceeds that available in every physical library in the world.

This, coupled with advances in digital accessibility, not only meant that information was available anytime anywhere, but it also imposed a sense of urgency for libraries around the world to reinvent themselves as “the heart of the community”. In Australia, public libraries evolved to take on diverse roles within the community. They now focus on educational, health, personal, social and digital skill development.

By creating flexible, multipurpose spaces libraries can go beyond their traditional book-based services, and once again become the hubs of community by supporting the local economy, fostering innovation and aiding education.  

Ahead of the Next Generation Libraries Summit 2018 we take a look at how three State Libraries from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland are transforming and evolving their service offerings in an effort to become 21st Century community hubs.