Academic journal article Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services

For Inspiration and Information

Academic journal article Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services

For Inspiration and Information

Article excerpt

Three items about public libraries crossed my desk recently--all of them very different, but all of them showing the challenges, needs and opportunities for public libraries worldwide.

The first is a Canadian 24 minute dvd Remote access." distant libraries of the world. This had its Australasian premiere at a well attended meeting in Mackay Qld on 8 August 2006 held as part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Friends of Mackay Libraries as one of Australia's oldest and most successful Friends of Libraries groups. It received spontaneous applause. Why? Because it was warming, informative, entertaining and because it showed how in remote areas of countries as far apart as Kenya and Peru some of the world's 800 million or so illiterate children and adults are having their life chances improved by access to mobile and other public libraries--with the mobility provided by donkeys and camels. It also reminded its audience of the fundamental importance of reading and books--and perhaps led it to reflect on its own privileged access to the fine public libraries in Mackay.

Remote access: distant libraries of the world is a video to show at library staff and library association meetings, workshops, conferences, and to Library Friends--as a break from the serious stuff of meetings and as a reminder to keep them in perspective. It costs $44.95 Canadian including delivery. For more information see the advertisement on the outside back cover of this issue of Aplis and go to www.remoteaccess.ca to order your copy.

By contrast, the second item which is highly recommended is a 400 page book. In Public libraries in the 21st century: defining services and debating the future, Anne Goulding provides a very well researched, thorough and perceptive guide to the discourses of identity, social purpose, value and strategy facing public libraries. The context is public libraries in the UK, but the issues, challenges and outcomes are international. From Ashgate Publishing www.ashgate.com, at 60 [pounds sterling] it is not cheap. …

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