Academic journal article Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services

Hervey Bay Joint Use Library: Lessons for Tomorrow

Academic journal article Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services

Hervey Bay Joint Use Library: Lessons for Tomorrow

Article excerpt

The Hervey Bay library in Queensland opened in 1997 as Australia's first joint use library involving just a local authority and a university. Reviewed are the origins of the library, policy and operational issues, and human factors in its early and longer term success. The detailed memorandum of understanding for the library is included as an appendix

By definition a joint use library is one in which `two or more distinct groups of users are served with equal priority in the same premises, the governance of which is cooperatively arranged between two or more authorities'.[1]

As part of the development of the civic precinct site, a joint use library facility to service a population of 200 internal University of Southern Queensland (USQ), Wide Bay Campus students and staff, 200 external USQ students and 44,000 community members was established. This joint use library is a unique endeavour in Australia and unusual worldwide. While there are examples of joint Tafe/university, Tafe/public, and school/community libraries, apart from a tripartite Tafe/university/public library in Rockingham, Western Australia, there is no other university/public library in Australia. The Hervey Bay Library, incorporated in a complex that also houses the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery, is adjacent to the USQ Wide Bay Campus and is in close proximity to the central business district.

The university

The USQ Wide Bay Campus was constructed during 1996 and occupied in February 1997 in time for the new academic year. The Hervey Bay Library was completed and opened in March 1997 at which time the Hervey Bay City Council (HBCC) Public Library relocated from its premises approximately 500 metres away. From the commencement of the academic year until the opening of the library, the campus librarian established a temporary service in the campus building using the university materials transferred from the joint collection originally located in the Hervey Bay Senior College Library.

Apart from USQ Wide Bay personnel, clientele for the library includes primary, secondary and tertiary staff and students as well as members of the public (including tourists) requiring recreational and research materials and access to email, internet and word processing facilities. Apart from supporting USQ students studying by the external mode, the Wide Bay Campus conducts first year undergraduate courses in arts, education, business, commerce, sciences and engineering. In 1998 this has been expanded to include select second year education subjects. Also in 1998, for the first time, some students will be participating in teleconferenced lectures from the main Toowoomba Campus, with local tutorial support.

The local authority

The existing HBCC Library Services staff of executive officer, three librarians, four full time and eight part time staff is augmented by the USQ appointed and funded campus librarian who is responsible for collection development, user education, and client and reference services to USQ personnel. The campus librarian reports to the university librarian but liaises with the Wide Bay Campus principal, the HBCC Library Services executive officer, and staff from the main Toowoomba Library. Circulation activities on behalf of the university are contracted to the HBCC Library and Gallery staff but USQ materials acquisition and processing are undertaken at Toowoomba. The executive officer Library Services reports to the HBCC executive manager, community and recreation and is responsible for the staff and the daily operation of the library.

The existing HBCC collection of some 90,000 titles has been supplemented by 3,000 USQ rifles (previously housed in the Hervey Bay Senior College Library) and 1,000 new acquisitions. Presently the HBCC serials collection contains 101 subscriptions to which USQ contributes an extra eight titles. While a moratorium has been placed on the purchase by USQ of further print serials, the Wide Bay Campus library is conducting a trial in the use of electronic media for research and study purposes. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.