ALIA Information Online 2017 Conference, 13-17 February 2017 Sydney: Data Information Knowledge
This conference paper examines the thinking and planning behind the re-imagined SLV, including developments to the physical spaces, external drivers for change, and the impacts these changes will have both for people using the Library as well as for the staff working in it.
Abstract: State Library Victoria (SLV) has a proud history of innovating and adapting to change throughout its 160 years. In the latest reinvention, SLV has embarked on a major 5-year building redevelopment project. The $83m capital works project will see key heritage spaces transformed, restored and in some case reopened to the public for the first time in decades. The project will see the development of new library spaces, services and programs targeted at specific user groups, including children and families, and start-ups and SMEs. Running concurrently with the capital works project, SLV is redesigning its strategy, operations, service model and workforce plan. This organisational transformation is responding to shifts in community expectations of 21st century libraries, powered by the growing focus on the knowledge and creative economy, and ongoing digital disruption.
This paper will look at the opportunities and challenges in refreshing an established and well-loved institution to ensure it is relevant and contemporary for a diverse range of users and stakeholders now and in the future. We will give a behind-the-scenes view into running a project of this scale, from getting it off the ground and securing funding, through to the competing priorities given consideration in the planning and design stages, and initiating project management and procurement. We will delve into some of the pragmatic issues we are tackling to prepare for operating a reimagined library service.
While still in the middle of the project, we have many useful reflections and learnings to date that will give an insight into the many facets of a project of this scale and complexity. At the ALIA Online Conference 2015, we shared our findings from our Future Service Model project. This paper builds on those findings and takes them to the next stage of implementation. The State Library Victoria is on an exciting path of setting its future direction and exploring new frontiers. This paper will share some of our journey so far.