Independent Living Centre WA Case Study

Liberty has improved inventory management, loans management and simplified cataloguing with more comprehensive categorisation of resources and barcode tracking.

Michael Wiebrands, ICT Project Officer, Independent Living Centre WA,
At a Glance
Chosen Solution

Liberty Lite

Key Objectives
  • Improve service offering
  • Streamline and save time on administration processes
  • Better reporting capability
Core Benefits To Users
  • Better search and client access
  • Improved management functionality
  • Ability to report
Supported Users and Library Staff
  • 300 
  • 5 library staff

The Independent Living Centre WA (ILC) provides information and advice, assessment, training, funding and hire services that enable Western Australians of all ages and abilities to live more independent and fulfilling lives.

The ILC was founded in 1977 by Ms Freda Jacob as an information and advisory service on assistive equipment and technology. The organisation has expanded and grown over the years, managed and driven by an effective Board of Management.

In 2013, the Independent living Centre welcomed Noah’s Ark as a new service delivery arm of the organisation. Noah’s Ark is dedicated to supporting children with a disability or developmental delay to meet their full potential. Noah’s Ark provides specialised toys, resources and support to children and young people with special needs and their families.

The library offers a wide range of toys, games and play equipment to help children with their fine and gross motor skills as well as language, cognitive and social development skills.

An important part of the library service is providing professional advice on the resources available. Families, therapists and educators can benefit from the expertise offered by the library’s qualified staff and resources.

Choosing Liberty

In 2014, Independent living Centre WA decided to look for a library management system that could help streamline Noah’s Ark’s administration processes and allow staff more time to focus on service delivery.

They had been using an Access based system to manage their cataloguing and borrowing needs but its asset and membership management capability and overall ability to offer advanced service to clients was limited.

Independent living Centre WA had a very specific set of requirements at the start of the project which included:

  • comprehensive membership management,
  • significantly improved asset information, including better categorisation, kit lists, financial asset register and improved documentation and instructional collateral (for example videos),
  • stock and loan management, with online reservations, delivery lists, asset tracking and returns management,
  • intelligent mobile delivery and collection, with location intelligence, tablet 3G access and live updates,
  • comprehensive customer internet access via PC’s and mobile devices to allow viewing, selection, ordering, instruction, membership applications, feedback, therapist appointment bookings and donations,
  • comprehensive reporting on loans by customer type, toy type, location, DSC eligibility, plus membership reports and statistics to support stakeholder funding requests and reports,
  • and bar code support for tracking of items.

The availability of Liberty, as a relatively inexpensive yet comprehensive system that could meet all of their requirements and offer value add to their service delivery was very attractive to them.

Michael Wiebrands, ICT Project Officer at Independent Living Centre WA, said they hadn’t heard about Softlink prior to looking into a library management system.

“Softlink’s Liberty represented great value for us as a small library.”

Benefits of Liberty

With Liberty, Noah’s Ark can deliver better service to its clients, providing resources and information which help families and agencies promote children’s development through play.

“It has enabled the library to improve its service to clients through the implementation of a flexible OPAC, client notices and a reservation system.”

The staff found the interface easy to configure and clients can now enjoy 24/7 access to the catalogue and resources.

Michael said Liberty provides a significantly better search, loans management, reservation system and automated notices which clients have benefitted from.

“All these features were implemented by ILC staff and made available to clients within two months of the system being delivered to us by Softlink.”

They have also seen impressive changes to their library management processes.

“Liberty has improved inventory management, loans management and simplified cataloguing with more comprehensive categorisation of resources and barcode tracking.”

From a management perspective, Liberty has delivered improved reporting and monitoring capabilities.

Michael said the reporting element was very important because it supports stakeholder funding requests.

The team has also been impressed with the support offered by Softlink.

“Softlink support has been friendly and helpful, we were assisted with many configuration issues in our first few months of use.”

Independent living Centre’s implementation of Liberty for their Noah’s Ark division has enabled them to meet their key objectives of improving service to customers and streamlining administrative tasks so that staff can focus on their core business, service delivery.