Unlocking the Potential of Open Library Services for Public Libraries

Public libraries have always served as anchors of our communities, offering access to knowledge, culture, and learning resources. However, the full potential has yet gone untapped due to the constraints of regular opening hours. This presentation seeks to shed light on an innovative solution that reinvigorates libraries and addresses this limitation, allowing patrons to benefit from library spaces beyond traditional operating times. By introducing Open Library services, we can make libraries more vibrant during the day and around the clock. This expansion of access time not only enriches the lives of individuals who may find it difficult to visit during traditional hours but also capitalises on libraries’ untapped potential to be hubs of community engagement at all hours. This presentation will explain how Open Library services can be a game-changer, fostering a more inclusive and dynamic library environment for everyone. Our libraries have effectively increased opening hours by 84 without increasing staffing overheads. This service has increased visitation by almost 13,000 and over 2000 members. In 2023, Yarra City Council was awarded the LGPro Awards for Excellence within the Service Delivery Initiative for the Open Libraries.

Natasha Savic

Coordinator Library Resources Technology & Operations, Yarra Libraries

Author Bio

Currently serving as the Coordinator Library Resources, Technology and Operations at Yarra City Council, Natasha has overseen the execution of essential projects, including the successful Open Library (Un-serviced hours) initiative. Beginning her library career as a Library Technician and working in public libraries for over 23 years, Natasha spent 15 years with Yarra Plenty Regional Library and the last eight years with Yarra Libraries (Yarra City Council). An adaptable professional with a diverse background in program management, training and development, resource coordination, technology management, and library operations. With a deep commitment to operational excellence, Natasha has consistently demonstrated her ability to lead, mentor, and communicate effectively in various roles.

Peter Hyunh

Team Leader Information Technology, Yarra Libraries

Author Bio

Peter Huynh is a professional with a diverse career path that highlights his versatility and passion for technology and community engagement. Beginning as a Library Officer and System Administrator at the Melbourne Athenaeum Library, Peter honed his skills in library operations and systems management for three years. Seeking further knowledge, he pursued a Master’s degree in IT, expanding his expertise. Peter then explored opportunities outside of libraries, working as a Business Analyst for Australia Post for two years, utilising analytical skills to drive business improvements. However, his passion for libraries drew him back and he joined OCLC as a system consultant, providing software support and solutions for three years. Eager to work with the community, Peter joined Yarra Libraries as an IT Officer, contributing to some high-profile projects, where he is now IT & Projects Team leader.