Going public in WA

Alison Oliver, Rockingham Central Library

It’s something we haven’t done before.

For almost 20 years, Rockingham Central Library in Western Australia wore two hats. In partnership with Murdoch University and Challenger Institute of Technology, it operated as a joint-use library, serving both the academic community and the public.

But last year, all that changed. Following the withdrawal of the university and institute of technology from the partnership, Rockingham Central Library reopened in February 2016 as a sole-use public library.

That meant a whole raft of changes to staff, layout, services and programs, says Alison Oliver, Manager of Rockingham Library Services.

And that wasn’t all. Previously, the Rockingham Central Library had used the Sierra library system managed by Murdoch University. With the move to being a sole-use public library, it and the three other libraries managed by the City of Rockingham switched to a new management system—Spydus. 

‘Subsequently, the need arose to create and maintain our catalogue records independently,’ says Alison. ‘It’s something we haven’t done before.’

The four libraries are now working on improving and tidying up their catalogue records with a view to contributing them to the Australian National Bibliographic Database (ANBD), meaning that other libraries across Australia will be able to discover their collections.

‘It’s an exciting prospect.’

Image courtesy City of Rockingham