- 7 August 2006 15:09
Sh-sh-sh!!…the satellite might hear you
Municipal Libraries now take to the sky to link their remote services by satellite
The cliché of a library as a solid, old edifice with acres of card-file catalogues and reservation black holes is long gone, with the modern library positioned as an information centre for the community. Now through the use of satellite technology, the mobile library service is catching up, enhancing the services it provides throughout rural and semi-rural Australia.
Harnessing the latest satellite technology, municipal libraries are embracing mobile satellite connectivity for their roaming services.
The heart of the service is addressing the situation where a Council is providing a mobile library service to its remote or incapacitated community members.
Typically, today, one or more mobile library van(s) travel around, distributing and collecting library books. To be effective and efficient librarians need on-line access to the library's central database from any stop along the mobile library’s journey. Email and telephone contact is required.
But, until recently, the mobile library could only connect to the central database at limited times and from limited locations. The mobile library's version of the database was therefore constantly out-of-date and unable to comprehensively service its clients until it adopted satellite technology.
CalibreNet, a Melbourne-based integrator sourced an appropriate solution by installing a fully automated, NewSat MVS Series satellite dish on the roof of the mobile library vehicles.
As a consequence, at any location in Australia, the librarian can stop, press one button to kick-start the satellite dish, and within five minutes be ready to use high speed internet. The main database can be accessed and updated on-line, email can be unlimited, with no limit to the size of attachments either. Telephone calls can be made easily by VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and economically, with all calls to landlines anywhere in Australia charged at 10c per call, untimed.
So now the librarian has the information at hand about the database of books and the remote client can lay his or her hands on the classic, the Mills and Boon bodice-ripper, the latest sci-fi or educational tome for study.
Leading the charge have been Council libraries from as far apart as Mackay in Queensland to Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne, and the Regional libraries of Upper Murray, Riverina, Richmond-Tweed and Yarra Plenty. Clarence and Ipswich are being installed in August, 2006 and Bega has just ordered their new mobile library to be commissioned in April, 2007.
Co-ordinating the technology breakthrough has been CalibreNet, lead by Managing Director, Niall Milton.
“In August 2004 we approached all the Councils and Regional Library Corporations in Victoria, NSW and Queensland who had mobile libraries, to let them know about our MVS series mobile satellite broadband solution. We had an overwhelming response. The level of interest was amazing!” said Mr Milton.
“Since then, courtesy of our own vehicle equipped with a MVS system, we have personally demonstrated the solution to some 23 libraries, over four marathon road trips, many thousands of kilometres, from Warragul to Wollongong, Ballarat to Bega, Colac to Cooma, and as far north as Thuringowa and Townsville. We also sponsored, exhibited and presented at the Mobile Library Muster in September 2005 at Maroochy on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, and will again be at the Muster in October, 2006 in Ballarat, Victoria.
“Prior to purchase, we work closely with the libraries to ensure that the MVS solution works well for them, at their location, using their Library Management System, and verifying satisfactory operation at all of their regular stopping points.
“The managers and operators of the mobile libraries have quite a strong camaraderie, sharing information and expertise with each other, but also always keen be able to offer the most up-to-date service to the public,” he said.
The mobile satellite service of choice for the mobile libraries is now the NewSat MVS960 solution. NewSat has a range of MVS mobile satellite technology ideal for mobile wide area networks, emergency communications, mobile offices, distance learning as well as the mobile library adaptation.
“NewSat is Australia’s leader in mobile satellite technology offering a wide range of technical solutions to often difficult, remote and extreme locations both in Australia’s outback as well as around the globe,” said NewSat/ Multiemedia Founder and CEO, Adrian Ballintine.
“The development of the mobile library niche we dominate now has been implemented with our channel partner CalibreNet.
“Our close co-operation is an example of how two technology-based Australian companies can harness high-end solutions to provide on-the-ground answers to day to day problems. The upshot is enhanced service of core community infrastructure such as delivery of an efficient and effective library service in rural Australia,” he said.
About NewSat Networks
NewSat Networks, a division of Multiemedia Limited (ASX: MUL), provides a full range of voice, video and data communications solutions, via satellite through its Mediaports in Adelaide and Perth to Australia, Oceania, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
As the largest Australian-owned and independent Mediaports operator, NewSat Networks has 21 large KU / C-band antennas accessing regional satellites including NewSkies, PanAmsat and Inmarsat; to provide international communications access to customers from Australia to Africa.
For further information please contact:
Ms Sally Downs, Marketing and Communications Manager, NewSat: 03 9674 4604 Mr Niall Milton, Managing Director, CalibreNet: 03 9888 3411 www.CalibreNet.com.au