02 Dec 2013. The most extensive review of public libraries ever undertaken in Victoria has concluded, with the Ministerial Advisory Council on Public Libraries (MAC) handing over their report and recommendations to Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell.
Tomorrow's Libraries: Review of Victorian Public Libraries Stage 2 Report is the culmination of almost two years work involving extensive community consultation, more than 3,400 public submissions, meetings with representatives from all 79 local councils and all library services across the state.
The MAC's recommendations include six statewide initiatives, which together comprise the Victorian Library concept:
- the establishment of a statewide single library card enabling users to borrow from any public library across the state;
- the statewide movement of library collections and inter-library loans supported by a courier system for moving materials between libraries;
- Radio Frequency Identification tagging of books to enhance the movement and tracking of resources between libraries and improve handling and sorting efficiencies;
- a centralised statewide Library Management System to support all public libraries;
- a platform for digital resources, including ebooks, emusic and emagazines; and,
- a Languages Other Than English (LOTE) collection available statewide providing better access to more resources in a greater number of community languages.
The MAC is a bipartisan committee, including the chairman and Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government David Morris, Member for Macedon Joanne Duncan (deputy chair) and Member for Mildura Peter Crisp, and representatives from local government peak bodies, libraries and councils. The committee commenced reviewing the role and operation of Victorian public libraries in January 2012, supported by Local Government Victoria at DTPLI.