Australia's libraries run the gamut from bustling modern Central libraries to smaller distant libraries in less populated regions, such as the North Western Library Service co-operative in rural NSW, 120 kilometres west of Dubbo.
Here the librarians (described as "knowledgeable, patient people") are beginning to lose their patience when it comes to out of date computers.
The libraries of Warren, Bogan, Coonamble and Gilgandra in a cotton and wool-producing region used to run library cataloguing software on four separate 486 servers - one in each library - with the main one housed at Warren. To connect the sites, librarians had to email their database to Warren at 12:30pm every day. "Every lunchtime, three libraries would email their collection and borrowing data via dial-up and the girls in Warren would do the consolidation through an old version of Libero (library management software). They would input the emails, create an updated file and email it back to the libraries. It used to take up to an hour a day," says Darren Arthur, manager of finance and administration, Warren Shire Council.
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