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Newsletters - Library Extension Program - LEP Newsletter 52 - May 2005
WIN $1500 worth of ABS products! ...Introducing the LEP Excellence Award

The ABS is always impressed by the excellent efforts of LEP libraries in helping their clients to access and use ABS information. Previous issues of the LEP Newsletter have shown some of the great work that libraries have done to help their communities use ABS statistics.

The LEP would like to formally recognise and reward the creative efforts of those involved. To this end, we are very pleased to announce the inaugural LEP Excellence Award.

Will your library be running a Library and Information Week event promoting the use of ABS statistics or products? Have you launched the eLEP web service to your community and featured this in your local media? Perhaps you run a successful ABS statistics training program for your clients? Have you mentioned the use of ABS information in your local newsletter?

The LEP is seeking submissions from libraries who excelled in helping their communities access or use ABS information during the period 1 January 2004–30 June 2005.

We need to receive your entry by 31 July 2005. The winner will be presented with a trophy and $1500 worth of ABS products or services.

Please visit LEP Excellence Award for more information about this great new award, and refer to 'Make your promotion for Library and Information Week count!' (below) for ideas on how you can enter for the exciting prize.

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Welcome to the May issue of the LEP Newsletter. I am standing in for Kim for three months while she works on a project to deliver better training to our clients.

We are very excited about the new LEP Excellence Award, being launched as part of ABS' centenary celebrations. It is designed to reward you, our LEP partners. I'd like to encourage you all to enter: there's a great prize, and you would be showcasing your expertise in promotion and training to your colleagues!

We are sending you this issue earlier than usual, because we know you are busy preparing for your Library and Information Week (LIW) activities. It contains many ideas on how you could promote the use of ABS resources. Your LIW initiative could well be your entry for the Award. Good luck!

I wish you all a very enjoyable LIW, and look forward to seeing your entries!

Pat Stracey
LEP National Manager (Acting)

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In the second half of this year the ABS will be introducing a new look AusStats to the ABS web site. This upgrade will represent the second major change to the site in recent times, the first being the updated ABS home page released last August.

A lot of work has gone into the design for the new AusStats, which has been based on feedback that we have received.

Highlights will include:

    • Subject based navigation - The primary navigation path will be via subject areas, and all related links for a product will be in the one place. This replaces our existing navigation paths, which are largely based on the format of the data , e.g. Publications, Time Series Spreadsheets, Data Cubes etc.
    • A dramatic new look to our AusStats product pages - The new pages will be displayed with a series of tabs, each representing different types of information about the product. They will also be consistent with the current ABS home page and secondary pages.
    product portal screendump
    The new AusStats design has undergone usability testing with representatives of each major client area: thanks go to the LEP library staff who participated. Feedback has been very positive. Keep watching for more information.
    If you would like to provide your feedback on the ABS web site, or for more information on the new AusStats design, please contact me at
Mano Georgopoulos
ABS Statistical Publishing Department

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Dalby-Wambo Public Library: connected and clicking!

Staff from the Dalby-Wambo Public Library attended training by Tanya Lucas, Queensland LEP Coordinator, in how best to use the ABS web site in March.

“We thought we had quite a good grasp of the information and services available on the ABS web site, until we received training. It was a case of not knowing what we were missing!” said Sylvia Marshall, Dalby Public Library Manager. "This site is a valuable resource that we were under-utilising, and we’re pleased to be able to offer the public improved service outcomes as a result of the training we received."

The Dalby-Wambo Public Library Board has over 30,000 resources for loan and staff are very excited about their new OPAC and web site, which you can visit at

The library is pleased to be connecting to the eLEP web service to make more ABS information available to their community.

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Mt Isa celebrates the ABS centenary in style

The ABS is celebrating its centenary this year, and the Mount Isa City Library seized the opportunity to promote ABS information to their community on 9 February.

Promotions Coordinator, Selena Seng, put together a display showing historical information on Mount Isa published by the ABS. The history of mining in the area was also part of the display.

Members of the community and council, including Mayor of Mount Isa City, Ron McCullough, joined Queensland LEP Coordinator Tanya Lucas and the library staff for a celebratory morning tea, complete with a '100 years of Statistics' cake! During the morning, Tanya and the staff showed people how to use the ABS web site and assisted them with general ABS queries.

"The promotion was very successful and it was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the ABS' achievements over the past 100 years with the Mount Isa community," Tanya said. "It was also a great way to demonstrate that the ABS is a valuable source of information, and focus on what ABS data is available at the Mount Isa City Library."

"Using ABS data about your local area to promote interest in ABS statistics is a great idea!" said Karen Vitullo, Director, ABS Library and Extension Services.

Selena Seng, Stephanie McDonald and Tanya Lucas with the celebratory '100 years of Statistics' cake
Selena Seng, Stephanie McDonald and Tanya Lucas with the celebratory '100 years of Statistics' cake.

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Make your promotion for Library and Information Week count!

We put together some ideas on how you could showcase ABS information to help your users. You could use them for your Library and Information Week activities and/or to enter the inaugural LEP Excellence Award! Think creativity and innovation!

The LEP Excellence Award

Eligibility: Open to all LEP-eligible libraries
Period of competition: The Inaugural Award is for initiatives between 1 January 2004 and 30 June 2005. Future awards will be annual (financial year)
Prizes: The winner will receive a trophy & $1500 worth of ABS products/services of their choice
Closing date for entries: 31 July 2005
Go to LEP Excellence Award for more information.

Some suggested activities:

Media Event

  • Feature eLEP, CLIB or AusStats.
  • Use media releases, newspaper, radio, and even TV coverage.
  • Invite a high profile figure, such as the Mayor or local dignitary.
  • Integrate an ABS display with a launch.
  • The LEP’s Media Kit has sample media releases, speeches … and more. It’s on the LEP pages of our web site. Or ask your LEP Coordinator.

Set up a display
  • Be creative! Use:
  • LEP display stands. Book one with your LEP Coordinator
  • ABS publications from your collection.
  • Census or National Regional Profile data showing interesting facts about your community.
  • Facts, figures and maps from the Social Atlas for your capital city.
  • Give away posters, stickers, or handouts. Email for a supply.
  • Run ABS quizzes, with prizes.

Run an ABS information or training session
  • How to use the ABS web site.
  • Finding local information using census data from CLIB 2001, the web site, National Regional Profile, ABS publications …
  • Tailor your session to your clients’ needs and areas of interest, eg. finding statistics on business, sport, tourism, etc.
  • Develop User Guides to ABS Information to help students help themselves. Use Beattie's Best on the web site as a starting point.
  • Run Open Day initiatives – taking it beyond a static display, by running online demonstrations, quizzes, and other activities focused on ABS statistics.

ABS Centenary event
2005 marks 100 years of national statistical service, so it’s a great time to feature historical promotions!
  • Focus on how Australia or your local area has changed over the years.
  • Use the 2005 ABS Year Book and the historical Year Books on the web site.
  • How censuses were taken in the past – focusing on your State/Territory. See How Australia Takes a Census (Cat. no. 2903.0).

Library web sites
  • Feature the ABS web site as “Web site of the month".
  • Go beyond adding a simple link to the ABS. Add a web page providing information about ABS resources to help your clients.

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Training news...

Busy at Ballarat
Ballarat was the place to be in February, when Helen Leary, the Victorian LEP Coordinator, visited ACU Aquinas campus to present AusStats and Census sessions. Staff from the University of Ballarat also attended. It was a great opportunity for staff to network with library colleagues, share training facilities and, from an ABS perspective, have a jointly organised event. Thanks go to Liz Hartmann, Marianne Gration and Alistair Scott.

Helen later revisited Ballarat, where staff from the Central Highlands branches provided positive feedback on tips they had received for navigating the ABS web site, searching and using CLIB. One noted that "the range of information available is beyond statistics", and another on the utility of the "tips on how to get the best out of CLIB using different geographic structures to customise areas". Thanks go to Jenny Schmidt and Jenny Fink.

Remote training at Mount Isa
Queensland LEP Coordinator, Tanya Lucas visited Mount Isa, also in February. Staff of the Mount Isa City Library were trained in the ABS web site, CLIB and other ABS Reference Products. Training covered the wealth of historical and local information available, including full-text articles available from 1908 onwards. Team Leader, Stephanie McDonald said, "it was very valuable, and we can now assist our community more efficiently in the provision of statistics. I am grateful to the ABS for providing training to staff in remote locations such as ours."

Learning @ Launceston
Staff and students at Launceston TAFE City Campus Library were visited by Mary Eagle, the Tasmanian LEP Coordinator, who conducted census and ABS web site training. Business and census statistics were emphasised, and the session was well received by all. It was particularly pleasing that everyone could access the ABS web site on their own machine. Many thanks to Cindy Bissett and her staff.

Cindy Bissett (Librarian, Launceston TAFE City Campus Library) in front of a recent display to promote the ABS, its products and its services
Cindy Bissett (Librarian, Launceston TAFE City Campus Library) in front of a recent display to promote the ABS, its products and its services.

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NSW Regional Statistical Overview released

Have you ever needed to find out anything about the state of New South Wales? An extensive array of useful statistics can be found in a new publication called New South Wales: A Statistical Overview (Cat. no 1338.1), to be released on 9 June 2005.

Alice Thompson, from the Statistical Coordination Branch in NSW, says that she sees this publication "as being a useful resource for Local and State Government agencies, universities and other education facilities, research organisations and the general community".

This publication contains an overview of current social, economic and environmental indicators for NSW. For example, it provides statistics on health, education, crime and justice and transport. Data that the ABS has collated from a range of ABS and non-ABS sources is presented in detailed tables rather than text. "The data is easy to read and summarised: it provides an avenue for further research," explained Ms Thompson.

It will be published annually. NSW LEP libraries will receive a print copy of this title.

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New and forthcoming releases

These titles are a selection of what the ABS is currently releasing. Full information on releases is available from the link on the centre of the ABS home page. Keep up to date by subscribing to the free ABS Email Notification Service.

AusStats and eLEP subscribers have access to these titles on the ABS web site as soon as they are released. Core list LEP libraries may request a copy by emailing

Business Use of Information Technology, 2003-04 (Cat. no 8129.0)
Broadband connections were used by 41% of businesses using the Internet during 2003–2004, most commonly among those employing 100 people or more. This title details the use of the Internet by businesses during this time period. Released 17 March.

Public Libraries, Australia (Cat. no 8561.0)
A publication particularly relevant to readers of the LEP Newsletter. It includes information about the number and type of libraries; how many people they employ; and associated income and expenses, with breakdown of key characteristics by size and state. It also includes information on visitor numbers, borrowers, loans, library stock and heritage items. Released 29 April.

Measures of Australia's Progress: Summary Indicators (Cat. no 1383.0.55.001)
This publication presents 15 key dimensions of Australia's progress. It provides a national summary of the most important areas of progress in an easily-understood manner. It will inform and stimulate public debate, and will encourage all Australians to assess the bigger picture when contemplating progress. Released 20 April.

The March 2005 issue of the Local Government and ABS Newsletter includes:

      • National Regional Profile – A Five Year Time Series
      • Experimental estimates of personal income for small areas
      • ABS views on the content of Agricultural Census 2005-06
      • What's happening in Local Government Finance?

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National Regional Profiles: five years of facts
The latest version of the National Regional Profile (NRP) is now available on the ABS web site and it is more useful than ever. It now has five years of data (1999–2003) instead of providing a one-year snapshot of your area of interest. And it's free!

What's new?
The new version allows you to see changes in the economic and social characteristics of a particular region during this five-year period, such as:

  • population
  • births and deaths
  • remoteness
  • unemployment
  • wage and salary earners and
  • income support customer numbers.

The latest NRP also includes new indicators:
  • new data on sources of income, combining Australian Taxation Office data and income support payments, and
  • data on the value of agricultural production.

More indicators are intended to be added in the future to make the profiles even more comprehensive.

Where is it?
To access the new NRP, go to Regional Statistics. You can search for your area of interest by name or by map.

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