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Smart Libraries

Smart libraries are libraries with aim to provide advanced services to its users.

Like most parts of the western world South Austalia has an ageing population experiencing greater growth within the Metropolitan areas alongside a decline in the population in rural areas.

New migrants account for 15% of this growth and speak a language other than English. Over 50% of the state’s Aboriginal population lives outside Adelaide. For a significant period of time governments have worked on plans for the community.

Priority on increased community engagement has been a key aim. Public libraries play a big role in community engagement and education. The tech industry has seen a large rise in South Australia and is home to a number of innovative entrepreneurial technology based small businesses.

The nature of labour has changed significantly with new jobs appearing as a direct result of this changing landscape.

Climate change has meant that South Australia is warmer than it was 15 years ago.

The government has built ‘Ice boxes’ to provide a welcome, cool environment. This has helped the vulnerable and as acted as a sustainable way to minimise energy use.

Libraries have become a key part of this scheme. Mixed-use development such as this bring together housing, jobs, transport services, recreation and leisure.

Modern smart libraries seek to use sustainable technologies to keep utility costs down. Just as importantly they should also look to be a welcoming environment and a library network should always be interconnected and interdependent. The future lies in strengthening this via service delivery. Nothing within the dynamic library ecosystem should be in isolation.

A modern library network should deliver an integrated library system.

Systems for the Network of the future will be streamlined. This includes the ability to enable online collaboration via sophisticated platforms for sharing resources. These should make administrative tasks more efficient.

A libraries network must be dynamic, interconnected and play a central role similar to community hubs. Ideally they will also collaborate with other sectors including schools, businesses and community groups. Long term success is dependant on skilled staff, atmosperic physical and virtual library spaces. Also content that stimulates imagination.

The services and spaces should encourage innovation and learning through technology. Partnerships and interactions at a localised level is vital. Knowledge is a major driver of productivity and economic growth. This has resulted in a focus on data, technology and learning.

Knowledge access and the creation of innovative ideas and solutions to new problems are all connected. Libraries play a key role in delivering information, technology and learning for people and communities.

Public libraries have had a comparatively basic service delivery model for the last fifty years. It was the centre of knowledge to which the user had to visit to gain that information. Digital technologies and globalisation have meant that libraries now have to adapt.

Library services in the next five years will be delivered to people both physically and online. In a complete change from the past, these smart libraries now needs to come to the people.