Log in
member update

Autumn Cooperative Update

October 26, 2012
Greetings Cooperative members,
Last week was National Co-op week. The occasion was marked across Canada by the Cooperative community and, since this is the International Year of Co-operatives, was recognized by politicians across the spectrum. On Friday, I attended a Co-op community event featuring guest speaker Adrian Dix, BC’s NDP Opposition Leader. Mr Dix shared his views on the issues of the day and in particular, the significant role Cooperatives play in the economic and social development of British Columbia. Mr Dix’s big picture emphasis on issues of equality and empowerment, accountability and leverage, fiscal restraint and innovation were also echoed by the Prime Minister’s comments on Co-op week.
As I’ve remarked before, much of what can be said about Co-operatives and the environments in which they thrive is equally applicable to libraries. In this season of library visioning and planning, I am particularly interested in the themes that unite us, and the opportunities that advance us together, for these are the levers that will enable us to make the biggest differences in the communities we serve.

Some autumn updates:

Open Data Hackathon
Thanks to all who attended the Open Data Learning Summit – a summary video of which is now available. As a next step, the Coop has been working with a few agencies to partner on a library/community open data hackathon. Date, venue & theme(s) are all still TBD at this point, and the door is wide open to additional partners. We have buy in from several significant agencies outside of the library community and have fleshed out a few ideas. We will certainly keep you posted as planning progresses this winter and look forward to hearing your ideas for such an event.

Connectivity update
Some months ago we conducted a connectivity survey with a segment of the membership. The results confirmed our long-held suspicions that many of our member libraries simply do not have access to quality broadband.
Still, we felt we needed more granular detail to inform strategy, and so – when the opportunity presented – we embarked with BC’s North Coast Library Federation in a pilot Information Technology Assessment initiative that includes a holistic information technology inventory, on-site analysis and recommendations for each member library in the Federation. Some of the goals of the assessment initiative are: to ensure network best practices across the Federation; to identify opportunities for procurement savings and shared connectivity strategies; to make the entire initiative repeatable and applicable in other systems, Federations and jurisdictions. Many thanks to the North Coast Library Federation for partnering with us on this initiative. As we work through the remaining phases of this and other related connectivity initiatives this winter, we will provide updates.

The Sitka community is now 65 multi-type libraries strong, with member libraries in two provinces and across three time zones – not bad for a Canadian non-profit! For libraries contemplating a new ILS in 2013 or later, know that Sitka offers a comprehensive hosted Evergreen solution that leverages local, Canadian and international development expertise. We would be pleased to provide a demonstration for your library and to discuss options. You might also consider attending the Evergreen International Conference in Vancouver this coming April.

Many of you will know that we continue to expand the range of exclusive products we offer to BC’s public library community. With the Zinio implementation nearly complete, we are now exploring pricing for new products like Axis 360  and CollectionHQ.

Strategic Planning
In November, the Cooperative Board will reconvene for a strategic planning session to help guide the work of the organization over the next few years.

As always, please feel free to contact me with questions, comments, concerns or suggestions.
Ben Hyman
Managing Director | BC Libraries Cooperative