Launch of new multilingual library app to assist readers in Western Sydney

(20 April 2016, Sydney)  A new multilingual library smartphone app for Fairfield City Council has been launched today, to help non-English speaking residents in Western Sydney.

The Fairfield app is the first in Australia to be deployed on the Civica Spydus platform, which is used to manage collections and services in thousands of libraries around the world.  Civica is a local market leader in specialist software and business process services that helps organisations to transform the way they work.

The app, which will provide all readers with around-the-clock access to library services, will allow search and list items in languages such as Vietnamese and Chinese upon launch.  A full Chinese  language online catalogue will also be available later this year as part of the initiative. The smartphone app will offer extensive library services to all borrowers, including English speakers in Cabramatta, Bonnyrigg, Fairfield, Wetherill Park and Smithfield branches when it is made available in early May.

Readers will be able to search, reserve and renew library items at any time, whilst the accompanying web version can also be used to view upcoming events, access accounts and contact librarians via the app.

Fairfield City Council, 32kms west of the Sydney CBD, is one of Australia’s most culturally and linguistically diverse regions. More than half of the population were born overseas, including 49 percent of residents coming from non-English speaking countries.

Paul Scully, Library Manager, Fairfield City Council said the launch of the app was part of the council’s commitment to increase accessibility to public services.

“The library service plays a vital role in supporting the life-long learning aspirations of the Fairfield City community, where many different cultures are valued and respected,” Mr Scully said.

“This new app is part of the Council’s Open Libraries program, our commitment to modernising all Fairfield libraries with improved access to technology and applications. We are delighted to work with Civica to help share this important community resource with the people of Fairfield,” he said.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, almost one-third (28%) of residents born overseas in non-English speaking countries recorded the lowest level of literacy skills. More than 22 percent of the Fairfield library collection is in Languages Other Than English (LOTE) and the library provides many other English learner resources and services.

Richard Fiddis, Managing Director, Civica International said the project underscored the changing digital nature of library services.

“Civica has developed a platform that helps better meet changing community expectations in the delivery of a critical public service. This new application reflects the needs of a diverse and vibrant local community,” Mr Fiddis said.

“In addition to its multilingual capability, services such as SMS alerts and resource scheduling will help reduce operating costs and improve service delivery. The new Fairfield City Library app is a forward-looking technology that will deliver long-lasting community benefits.”

Other app functions include:

Search for items, and reserve the ones that interest you

View your loans, reservations, and payments

Download e-books, e-audio books, and magazines

“Discover” – reading lists, featured items, recommendations for you

Use your phone camera to scan an ISBN in a bookstore to check if your library has copies

To download the app visit the Apple App Store or Google Play store in May or visit the Fairfield City Council libraries website: http://www.fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au/library  for more information. Information about Civica’s Spydus platform and other library services can be found at: http://civicalld.com/

The announcement is here.