Friday, August 28th, 2009
COCKBURN Libraries has picked up a Civica Innovation Award for developing an online system that can mirror a reader’s experience during a physical visit to the library.

The brainchild of librarians Lawley Yukich, Adrian Chester and Linda Seymour, the library website now allows library users to see what other members are borrowing by linking to items recently borrowed or returned.

“The aim is to provide online users with a similar experience to that of library users who physically come into the library and browse the recently-returned shelves,” Library Service Manager Duncan Furphy said.

Inspiration came after a library conference in March where Cockburn Libraries staff learnt more about maximising the use of online services from a presentation by Toronto-based keynote speaker Beth Jefferson, founder of BiblioCommons.

“Using the Spydus Library System’s ‘new items’ search function as a model, our staff modified it to use ‘today’ as a search term, querying the last sighted date,” Mr Furphy said.

“This function was then setup to search for different collections staff thought would be popular, which were then placed as links on the library’s website.

“Essentially, it has created a useful and efficient tool that helps people find what they’re looking for more effectively when they use our online services.”

Spydus Library System users throughout Australasia voted the system a winner, scoring Cockburn Libraries a $1000 gift voucher.

The Cockburn Libraries website can be found at

Lawley Yukich, Linda Seymour and Adrian Chester from Cockburn Libraries scored an award for developing an innovative online system to help library users.

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City of Cockburn

The City of Cockburn celebrates its 30th birthday in 2009, regarded as one of Perth’s fastest growing and culturally-diverse local governments.

With a population of about 80,000, it has grown into one of Perth’s most dynamic and successful areas. The population is made up of a large percentage of children, families and seniors, and a large percentage of people born overseas (28.8%).

As a developing city, Cockburn has a good mix of residential, rural and conservation areas and has more than 2000 businesses. The City of Cockburn, as a council, has a continuing mission to make the area the most attractive place to live, work and visit in the metropolitan area.
Chris Thomas
P: (08) 9411 3551


WA library developes innovative online system


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