Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 2 2013 Contents 27
Issue 1 2013
Issue 2 2013
The Australian Signals Directorate is
giving parents a helping hand when
they return to work.
Photo: Able Seaman Richard Cordell
A dozen Defence libraries
have closed around
Australia, but personnel
can still access those
via smart phones,
THE Defence Library Service (DLS) has been
rejuvenated and Carl Fitchett, Director Defence
Library Services, is eager to spread the word.
“We’ve worked hard over the past 12 months to
develop services that meet client requirements,
reflect library industry best practice, and are
delivered within current and foreseeable budgetary
constraints,” Carl says.
“We had a challenging year in 2012. A number of
the DLS libraries closed and had their collections
dispersed, and we comprehensively restructured
our workforce. We’ve also improved the coverage
of the electronic information resources collection,
developed a new website and have introduced our
Ask A Librarian interface.”
All this hard work has produced library services
that are now more readily available to Defence
personnel, wherever they are.
“Our services and resources have been tailored
to specifically meet the business requirements
of clients and we deliver them in a sustainable
manner. We’re providing the best possible service
and resources to our clients within budget
constraints,” Carl says.
In February, the DLS launched a new website to
incorporate the Ask A Librarian service.
“It unites services already provided by library staff
into a single point under a banner that is already
familiar to any Defence personnel who have used
university, TAFE and public libraries,” Carl says.
“It also signals the move to a more national
approach to service delivery that gives our clients
access to the wealth of experience of a national
network of professional reference librarians.
“We have provided liaison services to a small
number of sites in the past, now we’re expanding
these services to those bases where libraries were
closed in 2012.”
The reforms and new initiatives that are being
rolled out are the result of an extended period
of consultation with clients and staff, analysis of
service and resource usage, the examination of
best practice by allied military libraries
and the broader industry, and consideration
of the likely reductions of the DLS budget.
“As a result, in 2012 we closed 12 of our
underutilised libraries,” Carl says.
“It was a very thorough process. The criteria we
used in deciding to close a library included the
number of face-to-face interactions, loans of
hardcopy items, and reference requests received
over the previous three to five years. We also took
into consideration the nature of the business of
As each library was closed, stock was dispersed
to remaining DLS libraries and other areas of
Defence. Any materials considered to be tools
of trade were transferred to the most relevant
units. Low-use material that was deemed valuable
to the Department was transferred to the DLS
With fewer libraries to stock with hardcopy items,
the DLS will now focus on using its allocated
funds to maintain its remaining hardcopy
collections as well as to improve the range of
research databases and e-publications available
to clients. These e-resources include the DLS’s
Digital Media Library (DML) which is available to
clients via the internet. The DML enables clients
to download e-books and audio books directly to
their smart phones, tablets and laptops.
Over the next 12 months the DLS will focus
on embedding the Ask A Librarian and other
expanded liaison services.
“We are also working to increase our online
reference collection, move more of the hardcopy
journals to online access, and increase the e-book
collections available on the DRN and the DML on
the Internet,” Carl says.
Further information about the DLS services and
resources is available at the DLS website www.
defence.gov.au/library and http://dls.lib.overdrive.
com or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
To provide feedback about the DLS services and
resources email email@example.com
There are new library services and resources for staff online from
anywhere and at anytime, as 12 libraries shut their doors.
Librarians in your
Coach clients to quickly
and easily find high quality,
relevant and reliable
Discuss requests for
research and other
New DLS website
Improved interface for
clients to access the
library services online
Access to the new Ask A
Clients with the
opportunity to work
collaboratively with library
staff through the
website’s blog and wiki
The facility for clients to
go directly to the research
databases they want to
search from the home
Direct links from the home
page to high demand
Macquarie Dictionary and
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