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11th National Library Technicians Conference

Returning to Ithaca to get on with the mission: Defining value in terms of our contribution to our customers and our profession

Ian McCallum Director, Libraries Alive! P/L ian.mccallum@alianet.alia.org.au

[Keynote speech]

Abstract
The author explores the conference theme 'An information odyssey ... a long and eventful journey' within the context of Odysseus' wanderings, using them as a metaphor for the library profession returning to fundamental customer-centric issues. He presents recent information on library use, technology in libraries, the quantifiable value of library services, and participation in professional activities.

The key points are:

  1. the justification for professional behaviour is the value provided to customers, and
  2. the mark of professionalism is the support professionals provide for each other.

Introduction
Today, the Mission - the Library Profession. Our charge. The place we choose to place our energy.

It's a great conference theme: an information odyssey ...a long and eventful journey.

Since we are all so much like the star of The Odyssey, Odysseus - wise, curious, resilient, shrewd, brave, eloquent, resourceful and courageous, we too can be tempted to wander around in strange places and foreign lands. But because we're information professionals, sooner or later we realise we must return to our Ithaca, and recover our metaphorical home and kingdom.

Ultimately, the justification for our professional behaviour is the value we provide for our customers, and the mark of our professionalism is the support we provide for each other.

But let's consider Odysseus' journey first. What did he do, and what can we learn from his travels?

If you're like me, you might appreciate a refresher ... Here's the condensed version.

Background to The Odyssey
Odysseus was the son of King Laertes of Ithaca, husband of Penelope. Soon after his son Telemachus was born, Odysseus joined the expedition to Troy to rescue Helen, wife of King Menelaus, from the Trojan prince Paris.

In the tenth year of the Trojan War, the Greek fleet sailed away, leaving a colossal wooden horse behind. The Trojans, thinking it a gift, took it within the walls of Troy. That night Greek soldiers under the command of Odysseus emerged from the horse and opened the city gates to the Greek army. Troy was destroyed. Then it was time for Odysseus and the other Greeks to return to their kingdoms across the sea.

Now Homer helps Odysseus account for his adventures.

"My name is Odysseus of Ithaca, and here is my tale since setting out from Troy. We sacked a city first off, but then reinforcements arrived and we lost many comrades. Next we visited the Lotus Eaters, and three of my crew tasted this strange plant. They lost all desire to return home and had to be carried off by force. On another island we investigated a cave full of goat pens. The herdsman turned out to be enormous, with a single glaring eye in his forehead. This Cyclops promptly ate two of my men for dinner. We were trapped in the cave by a boulder in the doorway that only the Cyclops could budge, so we couldn't kill him while he slept. Instead we sharpened a pole and used it to gouge out his eye. We escaped his groping by clinging to the undersides of his goats."

"Next we met the Keeper of the Winds, who sent us on our way with a steady breeze. He'd given me a leather bag, which my crew mistook for booty. They opened it and released a hurricane that blew us back to where we'd started. We ended up among the Laestrygonians, giants who bombarded our fleet with boulders and gobbled down our shipmates. The few survivors put in at the island of the enchantress Circe. My men were entertained by her and then, with a wave of her wand, turned into swine. Hermes gave me a herb that protected me, and Circe told me that to get home I must travel to the land of Death to consult the blind prophet Tiresias."

"I travelled to the land to which all journey when they die, at the furthest edge of Ocean's stream. In the underworld I held all the other shades at bay with my sword until Tiresias had drunk from the sacrificial lamb's blood. He gave me warnings about my journey home and told me what I must do to appease my enemy the god Poseidon, angry because I blinded his son the Cyclops."

"At sea once more we had to pass the Sirens, whose sweet singing lures sailors to their doom. I had stopped up the ears of my crew with wax, and I alone listened while lashed to the mast, powerless to steer toward shipwreck. Next we encountered Charybdis, who swallows the sea in a whirlpool, then spits it up again. Avoiding this we skirted the cliff where Scylla exacts her toll. Each of her six slavering maws grabbed a sailor and wolfed him down. Finally we were becalmed on the island of the Sun. My men disregarded all warnings and sacrificed his cattle, so back at sea Zeus sent a thunderbolt that smashed the ship. I alone survived, washing up on the island of Calypso. I was there for seven years before Zeus commanded her to release me. Even then I was still in trouble, because Poseidon wrecked my boat. Luckily I was able to swim to your island."

When Odysseus has finished his tale, King Alcinous orders him sped to Ithaca. The sailors put him down on the beach asleep. Athena wakes him, warns him of the situation at his home - his mansion is infested with suitors for the hand of his wife Penelope - disguises him as an old man, and instructs him to find his faithful swineherd, Eumaeus.

Eumaeus welcomes the bedraggled stranger and, observing Zeus's commandment to be kind to guests, slaughters a prime boar, and serves it with bread and wine. Odysseus, true to his fame as a smooth-talking schemer, makes up an elaborate story of his origins. That night the hero sleeps by the fire under the swineherd's spare cloak, while Eumaeus himself sleeps outside in the rain with his herd.

Athena summons Telemachus home. He evades the suitors' ambush, and following Athena's instructions, proceeds to the farmstead of Eumaeus. There Telemachus makes the acquaintance of the tattered guest and sends Eumaeus to his mother with news of her son's safe return. Athena briefly restores Odysseus' normal appearance, father and son are re-united, and they plot the suitors' doom.

Disguised once more as an old beggar, Odysseus journeys to his home. At Athena's urging Odysseus begs food from the suitors, but he is abused. He breaks one man's jaw in a fight, and another, Antinous, strikes him with a footstool. This makes the other suitors nervous, for sometimes the gods masquerade as mortals to test their righteousness.

Penelope takes kindly to the stranger, who has not yet revealed his identity, and orders her maid Eurycleia to bathe his feet and anoint them with oil. Eurycleia, who was Odysseus' nurse when he was a child, notices a scar above the hero's knee, and recognizes her master. Odysseus silences her lest she give away his plot prematurely.

Penelope now appears before the suitors. She carries a stout bow left behind by Odysseus when he sailed for Troy. "Whoever strings this bow," she says, "and sends an arrow straight through the sockets of twelve axe heads lined in a row - that man will I marry."

None of the suitors is strong enough to bend the bow to string it. Odysseus asks if he might try, and though the suitors refuse, Telemachus agrees. As easily as a bard fitting a new string to his lyre, Odysseus strings the bow and sends an arrow through the axe heads. Telemachus arms himself, joins his father and with Athena's help they manage to kill all the suitors and unfaithful servants.

The mansion is purged with fire and brimstone. Penelope still won't accept that it's truly her husband without some secret sign. She tells a servant to make up his bed in the hall. "Who had the craft to move my bed?" storms Odysseus. "I carved the bedpost myself from the living trunk of an olive tree and built the bedroom around it." Penelope rushes into his arms.

The next morning Odysseus goes to the vineyard where his father, old King Laertes, labours like a peasant. Meanwhile, the kin of the suitors have gathered at the assembly ground, ready for revenge. Odysseus, Laertes and Telemachus meet the challenge. However, Athena stops the fighting and tells the contending parties to live together in peace down through the years to come. [1]

What are the lessons?

  1. Things may not be as they appear. Not realising this can get you into a lot of trouble (ask the Trojans).
  2. Achieving important objectives can be quite difficult. It may take a long time. You may need luck and the help of others. You may need external intervention, and possibly even divine intervention. Expect many setbacks.
  3. Not everyone who starts a journey completes it. Expect casualties, but cherish those companions who make it with you. Teamwork is very, very important.
  4. Appraising a situation before reacting to it, can be a survival issue.
  5. There are happy endings.

Libraries' operating environment
These are some of the lessons from the world of Odysseus. What about our world? What's it like? Apart from each other, who are we involved with?

The latest data we have, covering the 1999-2000 financial year, comes from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and is based on a census of local government libraries, national and state libraries and archival service organisations. [2] Here's a snapshot.

  • At the end of June 2000, there were 505 local government library organisations with 1510 library locations (twice as many as Macdonalds 'outlets', and approximately 400 more than the 1125 special libraries reported in 1999 [3]), 8 national and state library organisations with 26 locations, and 8 national and state archive organisations with 27 locations operating in Australia.
  • The total library holding stock of these organisations was 54.3 million books and other library materials at the end of June 2000, of which 36.4 million were available as lending stock and 17.9 million as non-lending stock. This holding stock represented a 3 per cent increase in lending stock and a 6 per cent increase in non-lending stock since June 1997.
  • During 1999-2000, there were 99.4 million visits to local government (approximately 5.3 visits per capita (US 4.13 visits per capita in 1996/7)), national and state libraries, which represented an 11 per cent increase in visits since 1996-1997. In comparison, there were 11.8 million visits to botanic gardens and 79.4 million paid admissions to motion picture cinemas during the same period.
  • Libraries and archives are particularly reliant on government funding for their operation with 91 per cent ($725 million) of total income being sourced from government funding.
  • In total, 12596 employees worked for libraries and archives at the end of June 2000, and 5150 volunteers worked for libraries and archives during the month of June 2000 (29 per cent of this workforce are volunteers).
  • Of the 9592 employees working in local government libraries, 4254 worked as permanent full-time, 3013 worked as permanent part-time, and 2,325 worked on a casual basis.
  • Of the total number of employees in local government libraries, 39 per cent (3735 persons) were qualified either as librarians (2422 persons) or library technicians (1313 persons).
  • Female employees accounted for 87 per cent of the employees in local government libraries, with 85 per cent of librarians and 91 per cent of library technicians being females.
  • Of the 2248 employees in national and state libraries, 51 per cent, or 1147 employees were either qualified as librarians (713 persons,) or library technicians (434 persons).
  • Females represented 68 per cent of employees in national and state libraries.

Whilst we need to remember that these statistics describe the public library world, and omit academic libraries, specials and schools, and no doubt other libraries as well, this is nevertheless a picture of a healthy "sector", and a picture borne out by parallel customer satisfaction surveys. We're not in as much strife as Odysseus.

The tide of information technology
Technology? Yes. Lots, and lots more coming. But remember: the tools are easier to deal with than the tasks.

  • At the end of June 2000, local government libraries contained 11510 personal computers, of which 5220 were for public use and 6290 were for library staff use only.
  • At the same time, national and state libraries had 2625 personal computers, of which 454 were for public use and 2171 for library staff use only.
  • There were 2832 internet workstations in local government libraries (173 in national and state libraries), which was a 242 per cent increase on the 827 internet workstations at the end of June 1997.
  • At the end of June 2000, there were 1.9 internet workstations per local government library location with the Australian Capital Territory having the highest number with 3.4 workstations per location and Western Australia being the lowest at 1.3 workstations per location. In addition, local government libraries had 2967 online public access catalogue (OPAC) workstations which equated to 2.0 per location.
  • The proportion of local government libraries with a Web presence at the end of June 2000 was 73 per cent in NSW, 91 per cent in Victoria, 39 per cent in Qld and SA, 27 per cent in WA, 100 per cent in Tas and the ACT, 41 per cent in NT, for a national average of 47 per cent.
  • The proportion of local government libraries with their catalogues available on their website was 16 per cent in NSW, 57 per cent in Victoria, 8 per cent in Qld, 7 per cent in SA, 8 per cent in WA, 100 per cent in Tasmania and the ACT, and 36 per cent in the NT. The national average was 15 per cent.
  • Incidentally, the National Office for the Information Economy has a NetSpots Directory (http://www.noie.gov.au/netspots) of public online access facilities. If your library is not listed, you can add your information over the internet.

Library land, Internet world
What's happening in our world?

I examined the (20) advertisers in the 24-page black, white and red January 1995 issue of ALIA's inCite news magazine with the (27) advertisers in the 44-page full colour August 2001 issue - more than six years on. Only two were the same: Auslib Press and the National Library. Here's how they compared:

Table 1. inCite advertisers 1995 and 2001
Advertiser Jan95 Aug01
Library system software supplier 8 8
Personnel agency 2 2
Training/Conferences 5 1
Publishers/book suppliers 2 4
Subscription services 2 2
Removalists 1 2
Electronic content providers 5
ID cards 1
Consultants 2
Total 20 27

Care to reflect on what's happening in our marketplace? On the free flow of information and ideas? On the need for constant vigilance in defending the first object of our Association: to promote the free flow of information and ideas in the interest of all Australians and a thriving culture, economy and democracy.

Despite ALIA's ad for the imminent arrival of "a full internet connection, available to all members" [4], only four of the 20 advertisers in 1995 listed an e-mail address, and none listed an Internet address. By August 2001, all but three had either an e-mail address or a web site reference, and most had both.

The internet has happened to us. Not simply for database access, but for e-mail - and for commerce. (The net was built on electronic mail; it is still the dominant application, although it no longer accounts for the bulk of the data traffic, the Web does. [5]) It is reckoned that 3.5 million Australian households are connected to the internet, that one third of all homes have Internet access, and that 53 per cent have at least one computer [6]. Home Internet access has grown by over 50 per cent between 1999 and 2000. It is expected that by the end of 2001, every second household will have home internet access. [7] (Incidentally, in May 2001, the top four Australian sites, measured by traffic or visits, were Ninemsn, Yahoo, Telstra and Big Brother.)

The following usage profile emerged from a recent survey of 300 Australian households: [8]

Table 2. Internet activities undertaken
Activity No. Per cent
1. Using e-mail or chat sites 279 91.5
2. General browsing/surfing 238 78
3. Finding information about goods and services 177 58
4. Reading news/information services 160 52.5
5. Finding information relating to work 144 47.2
6. Paying bills and banking 143 46.9
7. Finding information relating to studies 138 45.2
8. Accessing shareware 125 41
9. Playing/downloading games 91 29.8
10. Purchasing/ordering goods and services 86 28.2
Table 3. Duration of internet use
Duration No. Per cent
Up to five hours per week 144 47.2
More than five but less than 10 hours per week 79 25.9
More than ten but less than 20 hours per week 39 12.8
More than 20 but less than 40 hours per week 21 6.9
More than 40 hours per week 22 7.2
Table 4. Frequency of internet access
Frequency No. Per cent
Everyday 169 55.4
Two to six days per week 115 37.7
One day per week 16 5.2
One day per fortnight 5 1.6
"The internet is one of the most remarkable things human beings have ever made. In terms of its impact on society, it ranks with print, the railways, the telegraph, the automobile, electric power and television. Some would equate it with print and television, the two earlier technologies which most transformed the communications environment in which people live. Yet it is potentially more powerful than both because it harnesses the intellectual leverage which print gave to mankind without being hobbled by the one-to-many nature of broadcast television.

"Printing liberated people's minds by enabling the widespread dissemination of knowledge and opinion. But it remained subject to censorship and worse. Television shrank the planet into Marshall McLuhan's 'global village', but the representations it diffused were tightly controlled by editors, corporations, advertisers and governments.

"The Net, in contrast, provides the first totally unrestricted, totally uncensored communication system - ever. It is the living embodiment of an open market in ideas." [9]

And the Net - with a mere 407 million users in November 2000, is very, very young. It wasn't until 1985 that TCP/IP was incorporated into commercial versions of the UNIX operating system. [10]

(Transmission Control Protocol disassembles messages into packets, transmits and reassembles them and checks for anything missing. Internet Protocol locates specific computers and handles the naming, addressing and routing of packets.)

It was only ten years ago (May 1991) that Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Web software was generally released on European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) machines. We owe Tim a lot. He invented the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) which specifies where information is held. He created the Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP) to specify how information exchange between machines should be handled. Then he went on to invent a uniform way of structuring documents using a Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) as a subset of the Standard Generalised Mark-up Language (SGML) which was already used in publishing.

For a language which has become the lingua franca of the wired world, HTML is remarkably simple - essentially consisting of a set of conventions for attaching tags to text. [11]

As Andy Grove, chairman of Intel has said: "we're just a step away from the point where every computer is connected to every other computer ... [12] This means that every computer user will soon be connected to every other computer user.

Our business is the provision of information. How do we position our services when the world's most persuasive marketing machines - and governments - are convincing our customers that they can serve themselves?

A recent survey commissioned by networking company Cisco Systems found:

"Fifty-five per cent of Australian companies are now part of the country's $28 billion a year Internet economy, according to a report launched last week by the Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Senator Richard Alston.

"Internet-related spending at these businesses reached $28 billion in 2000-01 - 4.3 per cent of Australia's gross domestic product, it says.

"The US's comparable figure for 1999 is estimated at $US524 billion ($A1000 billion) or 5.6 per cent of GDP.

"Survey respondents said the most significant benefits to business from using the Internet included incremental productivity. Internet economy companies were 50 per cent more productive per worker than the others.

"A fifth of small businesses estimated that their overall revenue would increase by 20 per cent in the next three years as a result of using the Internet; 62 per cent estimated that it saved them costs ... [13]

The very next page in the same paper warned of the inequities in the digital divide:

"Some people could not get access because it was too expensive - they were on low incomes or were homeless, living in refuges, unemployed single parents or young people.

"Once children from homes without books were considered disadvantaged. Now it was those who came from homes without computers.

"The second group may have access to a computer, but a disability or linguistic or cultural constraints made it difficult to take full advantage of available services.

"Providing hardware and software was the easy part. Training and other measures were required to bridge the divide. [14]

Survival: adding value
Our operating environment has been transformed by technology. How do we continue to provide value? Fortunately, pretty much the same as we always have, by providing people with the information resources they either want or need.

Proving this value is reasonably straightforward for those working in special libraries in government, commerce, and the research and education fields. Here there is a direct connection between the adequacy of information provision and use, and the achievement of organisational objectives.

Many studies have shown that libraries:

  • Improve the quality of work
  • Increase productivity, and
  • Shorten product lead-time from discovery to market.

By calculating the cost of a special library to its supporting organisation, and calculating the cost of researchers finding information for themselves - without a library and library staff, and "factoring in the benefits that would be lost by not having the necessary information, it actually would cost approximately 7.2 times more not to have a library than it does to have one." [15]

In the public library arena, demonstrating economic benefits is not so clear cut. A recent study (January 2001) of public library economic benefits and impacts in Florida found that "patrons believe libraries contribute to their financial well-being, provide economic benefits to local businesses, and support the prosperity of the community."[16]

This same study reports an approach to calculating library value by breaking down each service provided by the library and determining an average retail price for that service. The total of all services is taken as the total benefit, or value received by library users. The cost to the taxpayer of supporting the service is then subtracted from the total benefit, resulting in a total return on investment. The finding (1998/9) was $6.27 for each tax dollar invested. [17]

The researchers concluded: "The economic impact and benefits from public libraries in education, small business development, computer training, support to local institutions and organizations, and directly supporting individuals' well-being ...are clear and profound. The public library also provides important intangible and indirect impacts and benefits, and has become increasingly vital in this era due to the reliance on - and expectation of - public access to networked information services and resources. Indeed, as the world and nation as a whole continue to move into the networked environment with increased access to a broad range of digital information, one may reasonably expect additional economic impacts and benefits to result from public library networked services and programs." [18]

In Australia, it seems that only Brian Haratsis has done the numbers. After listing the direct economic benefits of cost savings from avoiding book purchase, the value added through cataloguing, and the below marginal cost access to library materials, library technology and facilities, he went on to comment: "My broad estimates suggest that for every $1 in operating costs invested in the public library sector there is at least $2 of benefit created." [19]

The profession: us!
Now, let's make all this a little more specific, a little more personal.

The 1996 census uncovered 9567 librarians and 5502 library technicians. At the end of June 2000 3823 or 40 per cent of the librarians belonged to ALIA, but only 414 or 7.5 per cent of library technicians were members of our professional association. [20] It seems that many people - and many more technicians than librarians - who could chose to make their information odyssey in company, chose to do so alone.

And this despite the obvious benefits of belonging: (Here's a few)

  • The company and support of like-minded souls
  • Networking and learning opportunities for professional and career development
  • Access to authoritative and spirited information sources like ALJ, inCite, and the ALIA website
  • Funding for activities provided through an effective infrastructure
  • Expert advice on personnel, industrial relations and copyright issues
  • Recognition: a brand new category of Associate Fellow open to technicians and librarians alike, and conditional, sensibly and credibly, on enrolment in the Continuing Professional Development programme
  • A single advocate for the whole profession, and
  • Great conferences in great locations - like this one!

Perhaps this low participation rate is what makes it so hard for many of our colleagues to score well on my litmus test of library liveliness. Here it is. 20 questions. A list derived from a whole clutch of consultancies. A self-administered health check and reality test.

  1. Who are my customers?
  2. What do they use my library for?
  3. Are they aware of all the services provided?
  4. Do I have the right balance between print and electronic service delivery?
  5. Do my customers get what they want?
  6. Are they treated in the way they want to be treated?
  7. Do I serve equally my customers and those who provide my library with its resources?
  8. What does my operation cost?
  9. What proportion of the organisation's budget is this?
  10. How does this compare with similar libraries?
  11. How do I assess the value provided by my library?
  12. How do I judge its success? What are my key dials?
  13. How do I collect and use customer feedback?
  14. How do I introduce my library to new staff?
  15. What training is available for library staff?
  16. What training does my library provide for its customers?
  17. What is my library's web or intranet presence?
  18. How does my library's web or intranet presence relate to my organisation's web or intranet presence?
  19. What information management role does my library play for its parent organisation?
  20. What relationships does my library have with other libraries?

The pass mark is 13, a credit 15, a distinction 17, and a high distinction 19 plus. ALIA members usually score highest.

I have no doubt that by now the answers to many of these questions will be coursing through your consciousness. If you find your thoughts vaguely unfulfilling, chances are the remedy is a stronger dose of ALIA. But if you found your thoughts downright depressing, it could be that you feel a little isolated - like Odysseus alone with Calypso - that you want to get back into the boat, and with your colleagues, pull in the same direction. It is even conceivable that you are not a current member. If you fall into this latter, tragic category, all is not lost.

For delegates who join ALIA at this conference, special benefits are available. These include:

  • A 10 per cent discount on the membership fee
  • An extremely tasteful ALIA pin exactly the same as that adorning your keynote speaker's lapel
  • A free copy of the Australian Dictionary of Acronyms and Abbreviations, 4th edition
  • A free copy of the ALIA Handbook, and
  • Free web space on the ALIA server for personal use.

All you have to do is visit Phil Teece or Yvette Turner on the ALIA stand in the Trade Exhibition, mention the password, "Odysseus' odyssey is over", and complete the application form. That password again ...

Outstanding issues
At this late stage, immediately prior to concluding, I suppose I should cover the outstanding advertised topics. I can do this quickly.

First, technician's roles. You can lead an organisation from anywhere in the hierarchy, especially when armed with the lessons from The Odyssey, which I am about to re-state.

Second, management effectiveness. My advice here is to be wary of the predominant styles: management by jargon (eg. right-sizing, market testing), management by cliché (eg. maximising shareholder/stakeholder value, optimising returns), management by threat (eg. I feel a restructure coming on, or, we need to cut our cost base - not grow our customer base), and management by ego (eg. if I task you in an area of your weakness rather than your strength, then I'll feel good when you fail). Beware also the siren's sibilant song: structure, staff, services. They're in the wrong order. It must be services first, then staff, and then, if you must, structure.

And finally, appropriate skills and the responsibilities of the profession to its members. As luck would have it, our president's address tomorrow morning [21] deals emphatically with these issues and more. Having read Alan's paper already, I can confidently predict that his delivery, although short, will be yet another event in our journey, together.

Conclusion
Predictably, my conclusion is the same as the lessons of The Odyssey:

  1. Things may not be as they appear. Not realising this can get you into a lot of trouble.
  2. Achieving important, worthwhile objectives can be quite difficult. It may take a long time. It may be a life's work. You may need luck and the help of others. You may need external intervention, and possibly even divine intervention. Expect many setbacks.
  3. Not everyone who starts a journey completes it. Expect casualties, but cherish those companions who make it with you. Teamwork is very, very important.
  4. Appraising a situation before reacting to it, can be a survival issue.
  5. There are happy endings.

And, for good measure, if you want it summed up on a bumper sticker, a la Kinky Friedman:

	Look after your customers
	Look after each other
	...and you can't help but arrive at Ithaca!

Author
Ian McCallum BA (Hons) Dip. Lib. FALIA began his library career in his Dad's library, shelving books in the Central Highlands Regional Library Service in Ballarat in the sixties. He has worked in and with libraries ever since, and along the way has been employed by the Crown and by Mammon. Having proven unmanageable in both contexts, it's a good thing that he now works for himself in his iconoclastic library consultancy company, Libraries Alive! P/L.

Footnotes
1. Sources: Hammond, N G L and Scullard, H H Oxford Classical Dictionary, 2nd ed. (Clarendon Press, 1972): Odysseus, p 746-7
Homer's The Odyssey summarised: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Labyrinth/8657/odyssey.html
Mythweb: http://www.mythweb.com/odyssey/index.html
Homer: The Odyssey, translated by E V Rieu. (Penguin Books, 1967)
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Public libraries 1999-2000. 27 June 2001. Catalogue no 8561.0.
3. According to the ALIA Directory of Special Libraries in Australia (10th edition, 1999), there are 1125 special libraries in Australia.
4. inCite, vol 16, issue 1, January 1995, p 20.
5. Naughton, John. A brief history of the future: the origins of the Internet. London, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1999. p.149
6. http://www.nua.ie/surveys/
7. Centre for International Economics (2001) Save@Home: Valuing the benefits of home internet access, prepared for the National Office for the Information Economy, Canberra.
8. Ibid. pp41-2
9. Naughton, p21.
10. Naughton, p167.
11. Naughton, pp235-238.
12. Naughton, p23.
13. Canberra Times, Monday July 30 2001, p.13.
14. Canberra Times, Monday July 30 2001, p.14.
15. Tenopir, Carol and Donald W. King. Towards electronic journals: realities for scientists, librarians and publishers. SLA Publishing, Washington DC, 2000. p208.
16. Charles R. McClure, Bruce T. Fraser, Timothy W. Nelson and Jane B. Robbins. Economic benefits and impacts from public libraries in the State of Florida. Final report to the State of Florida, Division of Library and Information Services, Florida Department of State, Tallahassee, Florida. November 2000, revised January 2001. p vii.
17. McClure et al, Section 2-10.
18. McClure et al, Section 5-29.
19. Haratsis, Brian. Justifying the economic value of public libraries in a turbulent local government environment. In Public libraries - what are they worth? Proceedings of the 2nd National Public Libraries Conference, Sydney, 1995. Auslib Press, 1996. p 99 and 103.
20. I am indebted to Susanne Bruhn, deputy executive director, Australian Library and Information Association, for these figures.
21. Bundy, Alan. Enabling the knowledge nation: what Australia needs in the 21st century. Paper presented at An information odyssey ... a long and eventful journey. 11th ALIA National Library Technicians Conference Hobart 21-24 August 2001.


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