Library looks to the future
THE arrival of the digital age has added, not subtracted, to the importance of libraries in communities. according to the Town of Victoria Park.
The popularity of Victoria Park Library continues to climb, with more than 250,000 physical and digital items borrowed by members in the 2013-14 financial year.
According to the Town’s 2013/14 annual report, more than 103,441 people visited the library during the year, while more than 27,900 people logged on to its public access computers and more than 56,297 free Wi-Fi sessions were activated.
The use of library items is not limited only to those who can physically visit the Sussex Street facility. The Town provides a home delivery service to about 20 residents and three aged care facilities.
The Town’s community life director Tina Ackerman said up to 22 volunteers either selected or delivered the library items fortnightly.
“It’s important to provide these services to residents who can’t make it to the library,” Ms Ackerman said.
There are also a variety of online options that can be downloaded straight to a customer’s home computer or mobile device. The library regularly has up to 400 eBooks and 500 eMagazines downloaded per month.
Other services include eAudio books, IndieFlix, Transparent Language Online (TLO) for learning a new language, Tumble Books, animated, talking picture books for young children and a Story Box Library connecting children with Australian literature through film.
But Ms Ackerman said although digital usage had increased, customers still borrowed printed copies at similar rates as before.
“There seems to be no differences in demographic about who is willing to adopt the new form of technologies either,” she said.
“Young adults are used to getting online content for free so they are willing to use the library resources to satisfy their online reading requirements but there are still many young adults borrowing printed copies of books.
“Baby boomers like printed books but many are early adopters so they’re downloading eBooks and other items like the eMagazines.”
The library was WA’s first
■ to purchase a 3D printer in 2012-13 and since its introduction has been in use for more than 1200 hours, printing more than 130 objects for local artists, businesses, entrepreneurs, university students and residents.
“There have been requests to build a variety of items, including model train pieces, architectural students have built replica houses they have designed, and one customer also printed a new pool filter prototype,” she said
Victoria Park Library statistics 2013-14
Victoria Park librarian Silvia Zanello demonstrates the library’s 3D printer.