Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Search begins for SA’s most innovative library

The search to find South Australia’s most innovative library service has commenced with nominations now open for the prestigious Jim Crawford Award for Innovation in Libraries.

The award offers public libraries the chance to showcase their leadership in providing modern and much-needed services to communities across the state.

LGASA President, Mayor Dean Johnson emphasised the changing role of libraries and the range of activities and programs they offer for all. 

“Today’s libraries are vibrant community hubs, offering activities such as free art lessons to storytelling for pre-schoolers and diverse school holiday programs,” Mayor Johnson said.

“They are much more than places to borrow books. The aim of the Jim Crawford Award is to recognise the valuable work libraries do in connecting residents to modern services, while supporting reading, curiosity, and lifelong learning.

“Our state’s libraries have around 6.5 million in-person visits each year, with a further 10 million visits online – and this award celebrates and recognises their incredible work,” he said.

The award’s previous recipient (pictured) – the Copper Coast Council’s library project – Always Open was developed for the community to allow access to library services outside of normal working hours. 

Copper Coast Council’s Mayor, Roslyn Talbot said winning the Jim Crawford Award in 2022 was a wonderful way to acknowledge the work of library staff and the steps the council had taken to meet community needs.

“The Always Open project provides an accessible 24/7 library service – much like a 24/7 gym – where residents can step into a socially inclusive space whenever it suits their needs,” Mayor Talbot said.  

“Winning the award in 2022 was an honour and helped raise attention on breadth of our library services to the community while also being able to recognise the dedication of our passionate library team.”

Public Libraries SA President, Pepper Mickan said the award aimed to demonstrate the way libraries are changing to meet community needs.

“Libraries are for all who seek. They continue to innovate and adapt to support communities, including delivering new services and programs which help residents from a diverse range of ages and backgrounds.”

“This award shines a light on the inspirational and innovative services and projects which libraries are leading across the state to enrich and strengthen communities,” she said.

The award, which was started in 2002, is held every two years and is named after Jim Crawford – a former Mayor of Brighton.  

Mr Crawford was instrumental in developing a library network that was inclusive of all South Australians to access books, information technology and other beneficial learning tools from a local library, regardless of where they lived. 

This year’s winner will receive a $10,000 bursary to support ongoing library initiatives.   

Nominations can be submitted on the LGA website by Friday 26 April 2024.

Latest Articles