Community Services















Tuesday 12 August 2008










Administrative Centre 30 Frances Street Randwick 2031

Telephone: 02 9399 0999 or

1300 722 542 (for Sydney metropolitan area)

Fax:02 9319 1510













Community Services Committee

12 August 2008





5 August 2008


Community Services Committee



Notice is hereby given that a Community Services Committee of the Council of the City of Randwick will be held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, 90 Avoca Street, Randwick, on Tuesday, 12 August 2008 at 6:30pm.



Committee Members:           The Mayor, B Notley-Smith, Belleli, Hughes, Matson, Nash, Procopiadis (Deputy Chairperson), Woodsmith (Chairperson).


Quorum:                           Four (4) members.


NOTE:    At the Extraordinary Meeting held on 28 September 2004, the Council resolved that the Community Services Committee be constituted as a committee with full delegation to determine matters on the agenda.


Apologies/Granting of Leave of Absences 


Confirmation of the Minutes  


Community Services Committee – 10 June 2008


Declarations of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests


Address of Committee by Members of the Public


Urgent Business

Community Services Reports


Library Reports

L1/08        Randwick City Library Service Annual Report 2007/08  


Closed Session




Notices of Rescission Motions





Ray Brownlee

General Manager


Community Services Committee

12 August 2008




Library Report No. L1/08



Subject:                  Randwick City Library Service Annual Report 2007/08

Folder No:                   F2004/08383

Author:                   Barbara Todes, Manager Library Services     




Randwick City’s three libraries are a hub for all age groups and backgrounds, where they can relax, participate in a range of activities as well as the traditional function of research, information queries and borrowing books and other items. Overall usage of the Library Service has increased across all areas, with active marketing of the resources available. The 1,000 events held in 2007/8 aimed at all ages and cultural backgrounds, increased awareness of the library and attracted more people to join and use its facilities and services.




Randwick City Library Service has experienced an overall increase of 15.9% in circulation as well as a steady increase across all individual Library locations. This is consistent with the four year trend shown in the graph below. Our target for the next financial year is to reach a circulation of 1 million items.


1.         Randwick City Library Service : 4 year trend






2.         Circulation statistics


The following table shows the breakdown of circulation statistics for the three libraries for 2007-2008 financial year.




2006-2007 Financial Year

2007-2008 Financial Year

Increase / Decrease

Adult books




Children’s / Young Adult books








Audio Visual




Toys & Games












2006-2007 Financial Year


2007-2008 Financial Year


Increase / Decrease

Adult books




Children’s / Young Adult books








Audio Visual




Toy & Game











2006-2007 Financial Year


2007-2008 Financial Year


Increase / Decrease

Adult books




Children’s / Young Adult books








Audio Visual




Toy & Game











2006-2007 Financial Year


2007-2008 Financial Year


Increase / Decrease

Adult books




Children’s / Young Adult books








Audio Visual




Toy & Game









3.         Membership Statistics


During 2007-2008 financial year 7621 new patrons joined Randwick City Library Service. Comparison between 2007-2008 and 2006-2007 financial years membership statistics would not be representative of the real situation as over 14,000 inactive borrower records were deleted from the system in 2007-2008 financial year. Current customer profile is presented in the chart below:





Randwick City Library customer profile




RCLS membership in relation to Randwick LGA population





4.         Children and Youth Services


In the 2007-2008 financial year, Children and Youth Services staff successfully delivered the following programs on a regular basis: Pizza and Pages, Babies Love Books, Kids Club and various school holiday programs.


5,906 children and young people altogether have attended 170 events and activities for the last 6 months of the past year. These activities included a wide range of various functions, hands-on workshops, informative talks, educational seminars, such as multilingual story time sessions for kids, play workshops for parents with babies, The Eco Heroes Club children’s environmental program, recreational workshops and HSC talks for young adults including Ride the HSC Wave (in cooperation with Botany, Waverley and Woollahra Libraries) and Str8 Talking for Year 10. .


Special events such as Book Week, National Simultaneous Story time and Science Week are regular features of the events calendar.


The Summer Reading Program is a major event at the Libraries. In the 2008 January school holidays, participants read 1143 books. For every 10 books read, we pledged to plant a tree in Randwick. The initial 75 trees were planted by children in May 2008. The remainder were planted on World Environment Day on 5 June 2008.


The Lionel Bowen Young Writers Award was a highlight of the Library calendar with a 600% increase in the number of entries. Winning entries were compiled in a book which was sold to the public and placed in the Library’s collection.


In 2006 Randwick Library Service received a grant from the State Library of NSW to create a dedicated library space for young people. This project was successfully completed in December 2007. Young people can now enjoy reading, socialising and playing a variety of games on computers and Play Station in an area specifically designed for them.


5.         Multicultural Services


The highlight of 2007 event for library customers from culturally and linguistically diverse background was the week-long Carnivale celebration in November. Over 20 events were planned. More than 1000 patrons enjoyed an array of multicultural activities including film festivals, story time and craft sessions for children, sushi making classes, music and dance workshops and a photographic competition. 


A Chinese book fair was organised in December for the Chinese speaking community. Participants helped select materials they would like the Library to purchase. This was the first time the Library invited local community involvement in book selection. The response was overwhelmingly positive.


6.         Seniors’ Services


The Next Chapter. In March 2007, Randwick City Library Service launched The Next Chapter an ongoing program targeting senior members of the community. The program supports lifelong learning through the provision of workshops, information sessions and events that inspire and challenge the mind. Due to the success of workshops such as CyberWise classes, around 400 participants are now computer literate. The Half Time Sports Club attracts male seniors who are a minority in libraries. Through networking events such as Showcase, local artists were able to share their work with like-minded people. The success of this program was demonstrated by the overwhelming popularity of the events, one of which is the Coffee and Chat session every Thursday morning at Bowen Library when speakers and seniors shared their passion on all aspects of life experiences, from book talk, gardening, sports, arts to literary appreciation. The Next Chapter won the 2008 NSW Seniors Week Achievement Award in support of lifelong learning.


During Seniors Week 2008, over 100 seniors attended the Step into Fitness program which was funded by a grant from the Department of Ageing , Disability and Home Care.


CyberWise workshops. CyberWise program was launched in May 2007. It is a series of workshops designed for mature adults who are interested in exploring the internet for the very first time or those who wish to extend their Internet experience to enrich their lives. Participants are mostly seniors. The program begins with Silver Surfer’s Internet Basics and First Step to Email. Intermediate and advanced workshops include Using Internet Smartly in Everyday Life, Google Demystified and Email Plus. By June 2008 more than 400 people had attended at least one or more of the five workshops. The Library received an Adult Learner’s Week Grant in 2007 to provide USB devices loaded with learning resources for participants who attended the workshops in September.


7.         Home Library Service


Randwick Home Library Service (HLS) officially commenced in October 2007. This service had been previously run by Waverley Library on behalf of Botany and Randwick Libraries. Randwick HLS is currently servicing 160 library patrons who due to various reasons are unable to visit the library themselves. From October 2007 16,696 library items were loaned to HLS customers. The HLS is run by two library staff and a driver.


8.         Volunteer program


In 2007 Randwick City Library Service launched its volunteer program, The Library Lovers. The program was implemented in 2008, with over 20 volunteers regularly contributing their services in areas such as Home Library Service, Local History, collection development, Toy and Game Library, English conversation classes, marketing and events and more. 


9.         Collection Development


The main achievements in the Collection Development area for 2007-2008 financial year are:

·      review of the Collection Development Policy

·      extensive weeding of the Randwick Branch collection in the anticipation of the upcoming refurbishment

·      statistical analysis of the collection performance based on the circulation

·      exploring digital content options as one of the emerging trends in collection development. E.g. Overdrive – collection of e-books, audio books, video programs and musical albums

·      successfully running of one history and three fiction book clubs. 440 people have attended 11 book club meetings in Bowen Library and Randwick Branch Library

·      9 author talks have been organised throughout the year with 314 people attending. Authors invited to the library included: Bob Carr, Nigel Marsh, Eileen, Slarke, Sue Howard, Sarah Benjamin and others.

·      6222 Inter-Library Loan requests were processed during 2007-2008 financial year


10.      Technology


Randwick Library Service has demonstrated a number of significant achievements in the area of technology in 2007-2008 financial year.  These include:


·      implementation of SMS notification of customer reserves and overdue items

·      implementation of remote online library registration feature through the library catalogue

·      review of the existing Library Technology Plan and preparing a draft of a new Plan covering 2009-2011

·      upgrade of the Discovery Centre PCs for children to enhance their computer gaming experience

·      research into the implementation of Radio Frequency Identification system (RFID) has been carried out. The system has been selected and the new technology will be introduced in 2008-2009 financial year in all three library service points

·      public PC upgrade (in cooperation with the State Library of NSW) to ensure uninterrupted and fast customer access to the Internet

·      implementation of the Security Monitoring at Bowen Library

·      implementation of Syndetics which offers a descriptive information and cover images relating to all types of materials held in the library


11.      Information Services


A new Information Services Librarian commenced her work in late 2007. She has brought vast corporate library experience to RCLS.


Consistent with the increase of the number of overall library visits by 4.4%, the number of information enquiries has also risen by 2.4%.





2006-2007 Financial Year


2007-2008 Financial Year


Increase / Decrease

Library visits





Information enquiries






The main highlights of the Reference and Information Service include:


·      active participation in the implementation of the new Content Management System across the Council and development of a new Library web page

·       evaluation of the existing library online resources

·       development of the Library Training Plan. The Plan covers all the major areas of the library operations and is aimed at existing and new staff. The Plan will be implemented in 2008-2009 financial year

·       creating a plan for the development of the Corporate Library. The plan focuses on the providing services and professional development resources to Council staff. The plan also includes conducting focus groups with Council staff to gauge their information needs

·       creation of the Reference Collection development guidelines and weeding the collection in line with the new guidelines


12.      Local Studies and Family History


Local Studies staff have enjoyed a busy year in the lead up to Randwick City Council’s 150th anniversary celebrations. Library staff have been steering the efforts of the Council’s 150th anniversary working party. This committee has developed an ambitious celebratory program of events to mark 150 years of local government in Randwick. The committee will be responsible for delivering these events for the City’s residents in a timely and cost effective manner.


Pauline Curby, professional historian, has been a regular client throughout the year as she has been undertaking her research into a “new” history of Randwick City. Ms Curby has also been a guest speaker at several Library and historical society functions throughout the year, promoting her historical research for this publication.


Highlights of the year:


·      Events: Seven local heritage themed events attracted more than 320 people

·      Exhibitions: Two major local history exhibitions have been staged at the Bowen Library: “The History of Our Homes” and “Dive’s Brickworks”.

·      Grants: Library staff were successful in acquiring funding from the National Library Community Heritage Grant Scheme. Over $9000 funded a conservator to conduct two preservation surveys of both the Bowen Library Local Studies Collection and the Randwick and District Historical Society Collection. Further funding has been applied for in the 2008-2009 round.

·      Customer Service: 1397 Local Studies and Corporate Information Requests were answered for the 2007-2008 financial year representing a 189% increase in requests on the previous financial year.

·      Oral History Project: To support Pauline Curby’s research, two oral historians were employed to undertake oral history interviews with older residents of Randwick. This project will continue into the new financial year. Recordings will be kept in the local history collection for the benefit of current and future researchers, and local residents.


13.      Toy and Game Library


Over the past 12 months the Toy Library has been active in outreach projects in the community. Toys were provided for a number of local community events including the Coral Sea Fair, Council Nursery Open Day, the Eco Living Fair and the Coogee Family Fun Day. The main highlights of the Toy and Game Library for 2007-2008 are Play Workshop Series for parents and their children. 10 sessions for babies from 6 to 24 months old were run throughout the year with each session booked out well in advance. A new session for parents with children aged between 2 and 4 years with an emphasis on child development and behavioural issues was successfully trialled in April. Over the year a total of 204 people (parents and children) participated in the workshops.


·      Toy and Game Library staff supported and contributed to a new Council initiative – the Parenting Workshop Calendar, This has been an excellent way to reach local parents who may not use the Library.

·      A UNSW PhD study on the Toy Library continued and was completed this year. A two hour focus group was held at the library to look at what constitutes an ideal Toy Library. The group consisted of eight Toy Library members, library staff and UNSW facilitators. This was a unique opportunity to get feedback and suggestions about the service from our customers.

·      Planning for the physical layout for the proposed Toy Library at Randwick Branch Library began this year.

·      The Toy Library continues to be a very popular and well used section of the Library. 2007-2008 circulation statistics have increased by 24.2% compared to 2006-2007 year.


14.      Marketing and promotion


During the past year Randwick City Library Service produced a regular quarterly newsletter, Radar, which informed customers and stakeholders about Library news. A What’s On brochure was also produced on a monthly basis which outlined all the activities, events and programs run by the Library. Other regular means of promotion included press releases, direct marketing and advertising on the Council website.


During the 2007-2008 financial year, an unprecedented number of events, activities and programs were organised and delivered by Library staff to cater for the needs of various customer groups.


Events statistics for RCLS for six months (January’08 – June’08)











Seniors (computer classes)







Play readings and dramatisations are regular and popular features of our calendar. The Actors Forum stage regular play readings for the community at Bowen Library. The Alex Buzo Company staged a reading of Buzo’s The Marginal Farm for International Women’s Day. Other play readings and dramatisations are offered throughout the year utilising local talent.


Special “days” such as International Women’s Day, Refugee Week, Sydney Writers Festival, Library and Information Week, Law Week, Local Government Week, World Environment Day and many more are celebrated. In addition to this, the Libraries’ exhibition spaces are utilised by many community groups, artists and schools throughout the year.


15.      Other highlights of 2007-2008


Randwick Branch refurbishment

Extensive planning for the physical layout of the new Randwick Branch Library continued throughout the year. A number of consultations with CK Design took place in 2007-2008 to incorporate new RFID technology and cater for the needs of various customer groups. Construction is expected to begin towards the end of 2008, or early 2009.


Renovations in the Bowen Library

A grant from the State Library of NSW was used to give the Bowen Library a fresh look. Internal walls of the Library were painted in new colours creating an atmosphere of comfort and calm. Positive feedback has been received from Library customers.


Relationship to City Plan


The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:


Outcome 5:       Excellence in recreation and lifestyle opportunities.

Direction:            Library programmes, resources and facilities provide innovative and inspirational opportunities for education and leisure.

Key Action:       Our libraries will continue to be central to community involvement and interaction.


Financial impact statement


There is no direct financial impact for this matter. The Randwick City Library Service operates within the allocated budget.




Randwick City Library Service is a thriving community hub where the information, cultural and social needs of the community are met, with a range of events and activities targeting all ages and cultural backgrounds. The excellence of the program for seniors, The Next Chapter, was recognized with a NSW Seniors Week Achievement Award. The Malabar and Bowen libraries have been refurbished and the redesign and refurbishment of the Randwick Branch Library is underway. The upward trend in circulation and usage continues and the target of circulating one million items is likely to be met in 2008/09.





That the report be received and noted.