Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke said the Ipswich Library and Information Servicedelivers a wide range of library and information services and products to the Ipswich region.
Cr Pahlke said the libraries housed much more than just books.
“These days our collection is home to a wide range of DVDs, CDs, audio books, a growing downloadable book collection and an impressive array of information resources such as Newsbank and Choice magazine.
“We have a total collection of 268,064 items spread across three branch libraries and our mobile library.
“There were 30,038 items added to the collection in 2009 and this steady increase will continue as the collection size grows.
“The library’s downloadable e-collection also continues to grow as more titles become available.”
Cr Pahlke said while the library continued to provide a physical collection for the community, an increasing range of collection resources were offered via the virtual library.
The resources available include the World Book Online Reference Centre, the Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, the History Resources Centre, the Health and Wellness Resource Centre, subject databases, Oxford Music Online and reference materials such as encyclopaedias, dictionaries, biographical information and culturegrams – a junior resource covering the history, customs and lifestyles of over 190 cultures of the world.
“Access to many of these resources is 24 hours a day, seven days a week for library members.”
The virtual library can be accessed via
Cr Pahlke said the number of loans processed by the library annually had jumped to 1,191,064 items in 2009 compared to 1,138,257 in 2008, an increase of more than 52,000 loans.
“There was also a total of 305,228 visits recorded by the library website, an increase of nearly 8000 since 2008.
“A service available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, usage continues to increase in popularity, averaging 836 virtual visits each day of the year.
Cr Pahlke said Ipswich’s mobile library had travelled approximately 18,000 kilometres in 2009 to deliver library services to the city’s remote and rural communities.
“During 2009, the mobile library was visited by a total of 32,031 patrons as it travelled throughout the city.”
Cr Pahlke said while the library service actively promoted self-help, a number of library patrons required the assistance of a professionally trained researcher to find the information they need.
“The library’s reference service has again performed well in 2009 with a total of 71,023 reference and research questions successfully answered.”
Cr Pahlke said the role of the library branches as a focal point of the community was also highlighted by the many community displays it hosted during 2009.
“A total of 195 significant static displays were housed within the libraries across the service in 2009.
“A number of these were created by community groups and schools within the region and the topics of the displays were supplemented by a showcase of the Library’s collection of books, videos, DVDs, CDs and magazines.
“A number were prepared and organised by library staff to promote the library service or support particular events and activities.”
Cr Pahlke said a number of co-operative partnerships across council continued in 2009 with a highlight being the recycled Christmas decorations competition organised by Ipswich Waste Services and on display at the Ipswich Library.
“Other key Library events that were promoted via a significant display were Children’s Book Week, the Ipswich Festival of Children’s Literature, Library and Information Week, World Literacy Day, the Ipswich Poetry Feast and Adult Learners Week.”