In September 2012 we launched our community consultation process to provide an opportunity for Victorians to share ideas about the State Library's future.
Our consultation process
Over two months we canvassed your opinions from across the state. We heard from people who use the Library, people who don’t use the Library, community service providers, and primary school students.
A dedicated website hosted an online survey that generated 1340 responses, including 946 people who use the Library and 394 people who currently don’t or never have used the Library. In the survey, we asked you to rank the importance of the Library’s collections, facilities and services. We also posed open-ended questions like, 'I would be more likely to use the Library if …' and 'What I would miss about the Library if it ceased to exist is …'.
Our Learning Services team visited government, independent and Catholic primary schools to consult with 150 children aged between eight and twelve. The cross-section of ages and schools gave us a terrific vision of the kind of library our young Victorians want.
Additionally, we conducted in-depth interviews with five key service providers who work with children and families, multicultural communities and regional Victorians:
- The Smith Family
- Centre for Multicultural Youth (MYAN)
- Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV)
- Adult Multicultural Education (AMES)
- Association of Neighbourhood Houses and Learning Centres (ANHLC).
This has given us insight into what we can do to better serve our diverse communities.
The consultation process has given us a broad and useful range of opinions, feedback and ideas for the future. We've enjoyed a significant level of support from all the groups consulted, with 83% of people saying it is very important for Victoria to have a state library. Here are some of the other main thoughts and views you’ve shared with us.
The most important collections are:
- Victorian collections of rare, unique historical material (including photos, letters, diaries and maps)
- information on Victorian history and culture
- a comprehensive collection of books and reference materials
- family history and genealogy resources
- newspapers, periodicals and magazines.
The facilities you would like to see more of are:
- individual workspaces for research, study or pleasure
- computer and wireless access to the internet
- galleries and exhibitions
- group workspaces for research, study or pleasure
- spaces for families with young children.
The services that are most important to you for the future are:
- help to find the information you need
- collections available online
- programs and resources for school students and teachers
- public lectures, seminars, debates, film screenings and performances
- items you can borrow.
The main barriers to people using the Library are:
- no immediate need
- nothing of current interest
- unaware of what is available
- not enough resources available online.
The key priorities for children include:
- more books for children
- computer and wireless access to the internet, as well as access to new technologies (for example an app for borrowing books and taking tours, and iPads for onsite use or to borrow)
- programs, activities and spaces for children
- places to eat and drink
- galleries and exhibitions
- a resident musician, a time machine, a zero-gravity transporter and a mind-reading machine!
The key priorities identified by community service providers include:
- English and digital literacy classes
- access to computers and the internet
- spaces for multicultural activities
- resources and programs for culturally diverse communities.