I was very excited this week to see some new technology rolled out across our libraries aimed at improving the customer experience at the facilities. The technology roll-out included the release of a new library app, new website and the addition of self-checkouts at our branches.
The library app is a great addition to the electronic services our libraries already provide. Once downloaded to your smartphone, you can use the app as your library card to borrow items, track your loans, search the catalogue of 600,000 items, access eBooks and audio books and even, use your phone camera to scan the barcode of any book to see if our libraries hold it. I think it will be a fantastic resource for the more than 64,000 library members across our City who will now have access to more online services and an improved customer experience.
Our libraries are just like a good book - they are hard to put down once you're hooked. I'm always surprised by how many services and events they provide, especially once you begin exploring their catalogue, which is now much easier with the Lake Mac Library's new website. The website is mobile friendly to start with, which is essential nowadays, and the new events function makes it easier to see what is coming up and to book your spot.
I have always seen our libraries as essential community facilities that offer more than just books on a shelf. They provide an outlet for our community, no matter your age. The service provision has definitely changed, particularly as library e-loans have grown significantly, however the opportunity for learning and connection with people across our City remains the same.
We are so lucky to have many strong women leaders throughout our community and last week we were able to celebrate some of their achievements as part of International Women's Day. I attended two events last Friday and was fortunate to hear from a number of amazing women who have excelled in their individual fields.
One of the highlights was meeting Kupakwashe Matangira who was the guest speaker at an event in Charlestown. She is a Youth Ambassador for Save the Children and is passionate about human rights and reducing violence against women. It was lovely to hear from such an inspiring young woman from the Hunter who has achieved so much. Her story shows that we can help instigate change and make a difference for all women in the region and the world.