Library Board Award for Innovation and Excellence

The Library Board of Western Australia Award for Innovation and Excellence promotes innovation and excellence in the library sector by any person, library or organisation in Western Australia. The Award is open to all areas of the library industry, including academic, public, school and special libraries, as well as to other individuals and organisations that have an impact on the promotion, provision and support of library services in Western Australia.

This annual Award reflects the Library Board's leadership role in guiding and encouraging the promotion of all library services throughout the State. It is awarded for a particular service, event, program, piece of research or partnership. The Award is judged on the following criteria:

  • Innovation - how innovative, original, relevant and new is the nominated achievement to library services in Western Australia?
  • Creativity - how creative, novel or unique is the nominated achievement? Does it solve a problem, is it a new way of working to deliver a library service or program, or is it something new in Western Australian libraries?
  • Implementation - how the nominated achievement was planned, managed and implemented and how was the achievement evaluated?
  • Impact - evidence of the extent and impact of the nominated achievement, and how it has contributed to the promotion, provision or support for library services in Western Australia.

The Award is for recent activity, rather than long and meritorious service.

Prize money of $5,000 is awarded to the winner.

The Award recognises a broad spectrum of library related work and is not restricted to libraries and librarians. The Library Board encourages nominations from all areas of the library industry and related sectors.

Past winners:

2018 - City of Armadale Libraries for its ConnectivED project

ConnectivED tied in with the launch of the NBN in the Armadale area, City of Armadale Libraries ran a pilot project with Telstra to provide free portable Internet access to local, disadvantaged Year 11 and Year 12 students with aspirations to higher education. Students who did not have a viable device to access the internet at home were also given the opportunity to borrow a smart device for the duration of the project.

Links with Curtin University also helped promote engagement opportunities for these prospective higher education students.A core library purpose is to provide free access to information. In our digital society, much of that information is accessible exclusively via the Internet. Without cheap and reliable access to the Internet, many people find it hard to access services, government support, education, banking, and employment. This project directly targeted at-risk youths and helped level the playing field in terms of education and opportunity.

The project also demonstrated the power of working with the business and the education sectors to deliver positive outcomes for our communities. The Judges commended City of Armadale for an initiative that removed social barriers, provided information access, allowed knowledge creation to flourish, and most of all, gave opportunity where it was most needed.

ConnectivED also has widespread application to other library services, not just those in local governments.

2017 - Shire of Irwin for its public library in Dongara

The public library in Dongara has taken an innovative approach to capturing and disseminating local history in the form of oral histories that record the stories of people in the community. The Shire of Irwin community have embraced the initiative and stories are now being shared via traditional library collections, social media and ABC Open.

Also Commended was the City of Wanneroo for the It’s All About the Play in the Library early childhood development program. The program provides the community a unique play environment for children and assists parents and carers to better understand the importance of play in early childhood development.

2016 -  City of Cockburn for its Success Library

An innovative business model was developed after co-locating and partnering with a number of health and community services to deliver programs to its customers. Partners have included Curtin University, Centrelink and two not-for-profit job assistance programs to deliver programs to targeted demographic groups such as the Indigenous community, seniors and migrants. These accessible and affordable services include adult reading groups, free health checks and English conversation groups.

2015  - Curtin University Library for their Curtin AHEAD in School game-based learning activities.

The program was designed as part of the federally funded Curtin AHEAD (Addressing Higher Education Disadvantage) in School education program, which aims to introduce high school students from low socio-economic backgrounds to campus life and encourage them to aspire to a university education.

The learning activities use game based learning and augmented reality technology to teach high school students digital and information literacy skills. The program involves library staff assisting students to use a variety of educational apps and technologies which encourage students to engage with the library's collections and resources, while improving their information searching, evaluation and referencing skills in an enjoyable way.

2014  - The Grove Library for the local heritage mobile apps, 'History in your Pocket' and the 'Peppermint Grove History Trail'.

'History in your Pocket' showcases a sample of the local history collection, allowing users to listen to interviews with local people or view images and read stories describing life from the late 1800s through to modern life. The 'Peppermint Grove History Trail' uses the libraries archival material to provide users with historic images and narration about points of interest viewable along the heritage trail.

Both apps showcase how libraries can utilise new technology and software to create a digital presence and allow the community to interact with heritage material in a new, innovative way. 

2013 - Curtin University Library for their Virtual Bookshelf Technology.

The University's Virtual Bookshelf technology provides Curtin clients with a convenient browsing experience combining both physical and virtual book collections into one seamless display. As libraries purchase more digital books, while decreasing the number of physical books, it is difficult to promote these new resources to clients. This technology enables the library to showcase all collections in a bright, attractive way.

The Eaton Community Library was also recognised with a Highly Commended Certificate for their Books Alive event, which promoted the value and pleasure of reading and sharing stories with children of all ages.

2012 -  City of Fremantle for their Outdoor Reading Room project. 

This program helped transform Kings Square (adjacent to the Fremantle City Library) from an area known for anti social behaviour into a social hub with a lively atmosphere. It was the venue not only for Fremantle's launch of the National Year of Reading, but for many other library activities including author talks, children's story time, the library's quarterly book sale, and a poet's breakfast.  It had such a positive impact on community spirit that due to popular demand, use of the outdoor reading room was extended to the end of April.

2011 -  City of Wanneroo with their 'Books in a Bag' program.

The program provides sets of resources that book clubs can access, including book clubs in remote areas and from other library systems. The sets contain multiple copies of selected titles, an audio book where available and a resource sheet that contains discussion questions and further information about the author and the book.  By providing a convenient and comprehensive service, 'Books in a Bag' has reduced the barriers involved in starting and maintaining a book club, encouraging participants to share the experience of reading. The program also contributes to the public library structural reform outcomes of a literate and learning community and provides a highly valued and utilised community service.

Last updated on: 25 May 2018