NSW.net Digital Engagement and User Experience Seminar

The continuing evolution of web based technologies has enabled public libraries to expand services and connect and engage with clients beyond the physical library branch in new and exciting ways. Today public libraries across the state are providing their clients with 24x7 access to an ever increasing array of curated digital content in a diversity of formats including eBooks, eMagazines & newspapers, still images, video and music collections. The use of social media provides opportunities for libraries to engage with the community in their preferred channels and to promote services and connect clients with valuable collection assets and staff expertise.

Our communities visit our virtual presence with expectations based around their interaction with other innovative government and commercial online websites. Whilst developing an engaging ‘virtual space’ has many challenges it also offers many benefits to the library and the client, offering a more rewarding experience to the latter and helping the library fulfill their core mission.

The Digital Engagement and User Experience seminar aims to examine and evaluate how public libraries can strategically design and implement successful and sustainable digital engagement strategies.

Presentations will focus on:

  • developing digital engagement strategies
  • measuring digital engagement
  • user experience design principles for library websites
  • comparative analysis of Australian and International public library websites 
  • Social Media, risk  management
  • web scale discovery and how to maximise the use of eResource collections


Presentation Video Recordings:



Presentations by:

Michael Lascarides (keynote) 

Michael Lascarides is the manager of the National Library Online team at the National Library of New Zealand in Wellington. Prior to joining the NLNZ, he managed the web team at the New York Public Library, arriving in library-land after a decade in the for-profit world. He is the author of Next-Gen Library Redesign (2011, ALA Press) and a contributor to Crowdsourcing Our Cultural Heritage (2014, Ashgate Press, edited by Mia Ridge). 
Presentation: AND, not OR: Shaping the library experience for the Everything Future.  
"It is an axiom in cultural evolution that technologies once invented are never uninvented." -- Kevin Kelly.
Within a generation, digital technologies have turned information from something relatively scarce into something so abundant that some of the biggest companies in the world are the ones who purport to help us sift through it. This shift from scarcity to abundance has made libraries more important to the communities they serve than ever, while redefining where those communities begin and end. This talk will explore what happens when we have it all: Patrons in our reading rooms and on the other side of the globe; books and e-books; deep research on paper and the internet—and how our collections and services must be designed for this world, and how we can do so without leaving anyone behind.

Michael Parry (keynote)

As Director Programs & Engagement, Michael Parry is responsible for the Museum’s public facing activities including programs, on line and commercial activities. He will be a key driver in building audiences.
Michael was previously Deputy Director at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne, Australia. He led strategic planning and operations of ACMI’s diverse program and business initiatives. He was responsible for Commercial, Visitor Experience, Finance & Governance, Facilities and Technology.
His career has spanned public and private enterprise, leading diverse projects across organisation change, exhibition and program design, media production, and many facets of systems integration and technologies working for a variety of cultural institutions across Australia and North America.
Michael has been a Project Director and Systems Architect for a variety of major exhibitions, redevelopments and digital projects for Ontario Science Centre- Canada, Melbourne Museum & Scienceworks – Melbourne, Australian Center for Contemporary Art – Melbourne, Shedd Aquarium – Chicago, Museum of Science – Boston, American Museum of Natural History – New York and Lincoln Park Zoo – Chicago. He has consulted for a wide variety of cultural and arts institutions on digital strategy, business systems integration and innovation.
He was Project Director for ACMI’s major redevelopment project, culminating the opening of the permanent exhibition Screen Worlds in September 2009 –described by The Age as “ground-breaking”. Prior to that he was Head of Technology and led a multi-disciplinary team consisting of Information, Telecommunication, Audio Visual and Cinema technologists responsible for the creative and strategic use of all types of technology across ACMI.
Michael’s work with Museum of Science (Boston) was recognised in 2002 with the American Association of Museums, Media and Technology Committees’ Gold Muse Award. In the same year, his work on the hybrid online/exhibition based ‘AstroBulletins’ project for the American Museum of Natural History (New York), won Silver. More recently, ACMI’s Generator online project won the Museums and the Web’s top prize: Best of the Web.
Michael is immediate past President of the Victorian Board of the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA); he chairs the Humanities Networked Infrastructure (HuNI) Virtual Laboratory board; and sits on the Advisory Panel for Arts House, Melbourne. He is part of the Program Committee for the Museums & the Web, and Museums and the Web Asia conferences. He regularly presents both within Australia and internationally.
Presentation: Presenting a  survey of a series of digital strategies from around the globe. We will explore the commonalities across these strategies to see what is the current face of ‘best practice’. This will be an interactive session where participants are encouraged to share their own current or planned digital strategies.


Martin Boyce

Martin Boyce is the E-Services Librarian at  Sutherland Shire Council.  Martin built the first Sutherland Shire Libraries website in 1999. Five versions later he is still trying to improve the digital experience for library customers and ensure that wherever possible the web and other online services support the library's strategic objectives. 

Presentation:  Measuring Digital Engagement 
Apart from circulation and visitor numbers, libraries have traditionally found it difficult to measure the engagement of people who visit our physical spaces.  Fortunately, the data generated by our online activities leaves a trail that makes it easier than ever before to measure digital engagement. In this presentation Martin will discuss how Sutherland Shire Libraries use web analytics to track user interaction with their website and associated digital services. 

Colleen Giles & Jennifer Wilson

Colleen Giles started first started working in libraries in 1977 and has held positions in public, school and special libraries and has held a diverse range of positions including Children’s, Cataloguer, Branch librarian and reference librarian. Her current role is as Systems Co-ordinator for Fairfield City Libraries. Colleen was a founding member of the NSW.Net Content Evaluation Working Party and has served in this role for a number of years. Colleen has a strong interest in eresources.
Jennifer Wilson has been working in libraries since 1994 and held positions in public, government, university, TAFE and special libraries. She has worked as a reference librarian and consultant as well as on a number of digital projects. Joining Fairfield City Libraries in 2001 as the Learning and Development Librarian, her current role is as Technology Librarian, encompassing all e-products at Fairfield and both staff and public training. Jennifer is a member of the NSW Reference and Information Service Group steering committee and Sydney Institute of TAFE Course Advisory Committee for Library & Information Studies.
Presentation:  Implementation of a web scale discovery solution.


Dr Diane Velasquez

Diane is the program director of the Information Management program and lecturer at the School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences at University of South Australia. She teaches readers’ advisory, management, project management, and supervises the placement of her students in for the capstone project course and practicalexperiences. She was previously an assistant professor at a university in the Midwest of the United States. Her research interests include website evaluation and assessment, digitallibraries, research methodology, management and e-government in public libraries, reader’s advisory and librarians’ perception of readers of genre fiction but especially the romance genre. Dr Velasquez has a PhD in LIS from the University of Missouri, an MLS for the University of Arizona, an MBA in management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, and a BA in political science from San Jose State University. She spent over 20 years in corporate America before switching careers to librarianship and academe.
The presentation will be about research that has been conducted by Dr Velasquez’s students on the assessment and evaluation of public libraries in Australia and Canada over the last two years. The main focus will be on Australian public libraries and on the findings of the research. Dr Velasquez will also discuss some findings on the state levels and some comparisons between them. She will also compare phase one of the Australian study and phase 1 of the Canadian study that has been completed so far.


Mylee Joseph

Mylee Joseph is a consultant, Public Library Services, State Library of New South Wales
A library industry specialist with a diverse background working in research and public libraries in New South Wales. Key interests include repositioning and re-imagining libraries to meet the changing needs of their communities; building digital engagement skills in library teams using social media tools; integrating mobile technology into delivering library services; exploring the impact of digital scholarship and digital collecting for libraries.
A whistle stop tour of social media risk management.


Kathleen Alexander

Kathleen Alexander is the NSW.net senior Education Officer.


In January 2015 NSW.net released the eResources Toolkit.  This toolkit aims to assist NSW public libraries to promote and maximise the use of their eResources. The toolkit is in four sections: eResources Health Check, Access, Promotion and Skills.  It is based on the New Zealand EPIC (eResources Purchasing In Collaboration) eResources Toolkit (http://www.epic.org.nz/) which was developed by Craig Cherrie, EPIC Training Coordinator until 2009. Kathleen will provide a brief overview of the eResources Toolkit. 

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