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Digital Presentation to Socitm Birmingham 19 June 2013. West Midlands Society of Chief Librarians. Society of Chief Librarians. The SCL is a national organisation whose members represent every library authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
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DigitalPresentation to SocitmBirmingham19 June 2013 • West Midlands Society of Chief Librarians
Society of Chief Librarians • The SCL is a national organisation whose members represent every library authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland • The society leads the debate on the future of public libraries, advises Government and advocates for continuous improvement of library services • The SCL President has regular meetings with Ed Vaizey MP, the minister with responsibility for libraries
SCL West Midlands Regional SCL groups meet regularly and report to the national executive The 14 West Midlands members are: • Birmingham • Coventry • Dudley • Herefordshire • Sandwell • Shropshire • Solihull • Staffordshire • Stoke-on-Trent • Telford and Wrekin • Walsall • Warwickshire • Wolverhampton • Worcestershire
Regional libraries WM SCL survey 2012 • 269 libraries and 31 mobiles in the region • Library use rising in the West Midlands • More than 25 million real visits a year • 7.8 million virtual visits a year • Free public computers and internet access in every library • The majority of regional library authorities now offer a free e-books service • Many also offer free public wifi, Reference Online and Enquire
Getting people online • West Midlands libraries offer free access to the internet on nearly 3,500 public computers • They are actively supporting Government ambitions to be ‘digital by default’ by 2015 • Regional library staff and volunteers helped more than 347,000 people get online last year • That’s 6,675 a week or 950 a day on average Libraries are crucial to the success of Go ON UK’s objectives. The thousands of digital champions in libraries and millions of new internet users are to be commended. UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox
Race Online case study • In Walsall Mrs Brooks, who lives alone and far from family, took part in a library course to help her confidently use the internet • After the eight-week course she could shop for food online and order things she could not find locally • She now uses Skype and email to keep in touch with her family, including her grand-daughter who is at university • Before help from the library, Mrs Brooks only used her laptop, bought for her by friends, to play solitaire
Digital Promise SCL national offer 2013 - minimum standards • Free access to the internet for every customer • Clear and accessible online information about library services • Staff trained to help customers access digital information • 24/7 access to services through a virtual library presence • Customers can join the library online • They can be contacted online/via email for answers to enquiries • Loan items can be reserved and renewed remotely via an online catalogue
Doing more SCL national offer 2013 - encouragement to provide: • Free wifi • Library ‘app’ for full access to digital services from mobile devices • Digital services that work with a range of assistive technology • Assistive technology to ensure digital services are accessible to all • Tailored digital information for each customer • Digital training for customers and staff both locally and remotely • Time-relevant, quality-checked digital content • Support for communities to create their own content • E-lending of digital books, audio and video with remote access • Loan of digital devices for those without other access • Access to digitised local archive and local history resources • Social networking interaction/engagement opportunities • Federated searching of locally-held online resources • Online learning opportunities - eg citizenship, driver theory test, languages
SCL digital ambitions Partnership working towards: • A single point of digital contact for all public libraries in the UK • A portal or landing page for common access to national digital services • A national catalogue of resources for loan, referring to online, or which can be accessed in a designated location • Single standard of library customer authentication adopted nationally - to allow collaborative access to digital resources • Local delivery of resources to the customer including via remote lending of digital titles
Digital innovation West Midlands libraries leading the way • Library websites, apps and social media • Twitter and web-based reading groups • Digital events and activities for annual DATFest • Online Book Doctor for recommended reads • Kindle project with six city schools • Iguana online platform - personalised user experience
More examples Getting people into libraries - and online • Volunteer IT buddies in libraries • Hosting IT courses and running taster sessions • Helping job seekers find vacancies and apply online • Staff-run sessions on e-bay, family history, citizenship • Volunteer-led sessions for older IT novices • Digital archives for use on library large screens, slate bars and digital tables
Case study 1 Digital Inclusion - Birmingham • Birmingham gave 50 home library customers a reconditioned computer or laptop for six months • Initial training of 10 one-to-one sessions with staff in the first month • Follow-up support was provided as required “The home library service pilot is testing the role that ‘trusted intermediaries’ can play in supporting predominantly older people to take their first steps online. Being digitally included allows older people to learn new skills, reduce isolation, make new friends ......”
Case study 2 Telford and Wrekin recruited 11 volunteer Digital Champions to help nervous novices join the digital age • Comments from people the volunteers have helped: • “I really wanted to learn how to do email so that I could surprise my sister in Australia and send her one.” • “I’ve had this laptop for three years and what I really want to do is save some photos on it from a memory stick. The IT volunteer has just given me that confidence to have a go and try different things like trying to pay my phone bill. Previously I was too worried thinking I’d do something wrong. Haven’t quite got it yet but I’m more willing to try now.” • “So pleased I’m doing this as I just want to be able to do something on the computer and keep my mind going.”
Case study 3 Health and welfare reform - Coventry • More people using IT facilities in libraries - especially for online welfare assessments and health information • Library service investigating lower printing costs for health and welfare information • Free public internet and wifi time allowance doubled • Working with National Careers Service and Adult Education to provide tutored guidance for staff • In readiness for when the Government goes ‘digital by default’ next year
Case study 4 ITs Your Life - Walsall • Working with Walsall Housing Group • Helping their tenants to access computers • Course centres on money management • Prepares people for online benefit applications • Ready for changes due in October 2013
Practical technology To develop real library services • Effective use of technology in real libraries • Self-service equipment for loans and returns • And not just in libraries ...... • Book vending machine - first of its kind in the UK
Digital issues to consider Shrinking budgets and other problems • Ongoing funding and investment is essential • Reduced staffing - volunteers can help but there is still a capacity issue • More training for staff and volunteers will be needed as technology advances • Customer confidentiality and data protection • Techno limitations - broadband is not available everywhere yet
Not all doom and gloom West Midlands library services continue to look forward • Regional library authorities continue to face financial pressures • Some are losing a significant chunk of their budget • But despite the recession new libraries are opening and others are getting makeovers
Contact details • Ayub Khan • West Midlands SCL Chair • Tel: 01926 412657 • Email: email@example.com Any questions?