Hello I’m going to talk about the work Hutt City Libraries has been doing with a couple of community groups – our rationale and where we’re headed.
HCL decided a few years back that working with community groups as a facilitator to them getting collections online was v important. For us, the approach we have taken is strategic:it’s about ensuring libraries are a tangible and useful community asset in the heritage area;about helping community groups to see, understand and use well-tested information management standards; and Helping community groups to present their information in a way that looks and navigates in a professional manner – why should it be second rate?We figure that this approach ensures the investment community groups put into getting collections online, maximises the chances of those items being found, while guaranteeing that they’ll be available for the long term
Hutt’s library catalogue is also its website – and the online platform for all the libraries’ work.
Within the website we have a section dedicated to heritage – local and family history. For community groups this is one of the access points into their collections
I’m going to quickly summarise two examples we have piloted in the past three years.
Three years ago the EHS approached us wanting advice on how to setup their own standalone own database. We suggested they use the library catalogue instead – and after some further discussion it was agreed to run this idea as a pilot and possible blueprint for other community groups in the region.In the 3 years the project has been going, EHS have:created over 1650 records digitized some 300 items (which will go online in the early New Year) with our helpCreated a local thesaurus which was based on the Victorian Museums thesaurus – but have now moved to using the existing Library authority controls for subjects, personal and corporate namesDigitised oral histories and commissioned some more – we will work with them to have those all online in the New Year In turn we have contributed:A PC with the necessary client softwareHooked them onto our public computing system free of chargeProvided technical know-how as requiredProvided a sounding board as requiredThey have been able to use any monies they’ve gained from community grants for projects – instead of spending it on database licences, customisation and maintenance
The HVBGSNZ is another example.Initially the Society was after a space to store their collection and some help to put it online. We offered them space within our Petone Library and set them up with remote access to the catalogue.The Genies now have over 1000 items catalogued and accessible for use in the library.Their collection usage has gone up, the awareness of their Society has also gone up
The benefits of this approach are several – both for the Libraries and the groupsFor small groups – having access to a sophisticated technology which is always up to date and maintained is a big deal. Being able to fill in a template for any format means the records are created to professional standards – without the need for MARC record creatorsBeing able to use the infrastructure while remaining separate is particularly attractive – as is knowing that the records are created in such a way that if parties wish to collaborate further, the base is there to do that easily Being linked to our site has seen awareness of their groups growFor the libraries – its meant we are more aware and real about providing solutions to help empower community groupsAnd because we’ve required records to be done to a professional standard, we know the scope is there to explore how we collaborate on further projects – as well as knowing that because there’s some authority control wrapped into the records, they are discoverable no matter who has entered them.
Hutt is one of six organisations in a public + tertiary library collaboration in the greater Wellington regionWe will be working jointly across the region in 2012 onwards to provide an archival platform which integrates with the library management system – thus libraries and organisations will be able to manage their records on whichever platform suits, while displaying them together or separateThis model outlined today + SMART opens the door to community groups throughout the region being able to house their collections online and showcase them - individually, as groups or regionally. We think this is an exciting way to go.
Communities working collaboratively to preserve heritage in the age of the internet and mobile :: Annette Beattie, Hutt City Libraries
Collaboration OnlineUsing what’s already there
PrinciplesLibraries as facilitators within communitiesProfessional standards for long term flexibilityRatepayers have already paid for itFamiliarity leads to focusing on experience
BenefitsSystem - no cost. no worries.Links - other community, regional & national collectionsHelp - technical expertise on tapSovereignty - Separate / together – some/allPresentation – professionalAccess – instantly online
Where to next? SMART regional collaboration Exhibit archival module More groups Showcasing – individually / by topic / regional etc
ThanksFind more at www.library.huttcity.govt.nzOrAnnette.firstname.lastname@example.org