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Newsletters - Library Extension Program - LEP Newsletter 49 - August 2004



The quarterly LEP Newsletter is issued for February, May, August and November

LEP Newsletter, 49, August 2004

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LEP Newsletter August 2004.pdf


Australian Social Trends eLEP web service - more access to more information
EditorialTraining news - Redland Shire & Hawker School Community
NetNewsAlways vital - ABS demographic statistics
Mackay Libraries connect the communityNew and forthcoming releases
LEP and university librariesShortcuts - Spotlight on the CPI

Australian Social Trends - a smorgasbord of stories

A feast of fascinating information awaits you in your Library's copy of the 2004 issue of Australian Social Trends (Cat. no. 4102.0). Released in June, AST has something for everyone. Every LEP member library was sent a copy. Don't miss the AST poster sent out with this issue of the LEP Newsletter.

AST articles focus strongly on people and social issues. What you get is much more than a set of figures - each article aims to tell a story, using statistics to add light to the issue.

Read about these topics and much more in AST 2004

  • What are the differences in labour market outcomes for graduates and non graduates?
  • Who's taking a "sea change"?
  • Where do overseas-born people live?
  • How do people live with asthma?
  • And what are the experiences of young people in combining work and study?
  • How many people are homeless?
  • What are the trends in home ownership?
  • Are those living in high rises different to those living in separate houses?



This issue of the LEP Newsletter covers a lot of ground! The ever popular Australian Social Trends publication is featured. A print copy was sent to all LEP libraries.

In other articles, NetNews provides some fascinating figures on the ever increasing size and usage of the ABS web site, while the article about the eLEP web service notes that 75% of LEP libraries now access ABS information via the web.

If your library doesn't yet access eLEP or AusStats it is a good time to subscribe. Like many information providers the ABS is producing more and more material that is only available electronically. More than 1,000 full text titles are now available in eLEP. AusStats has even more content - including 2,000 time series tables.

Mackay City Library, a recent new eLEP subscriber, like eLEP so much they decided to launch it to their community. See the article in this issue.

Lastly, this issue's Shortcuts is all about the CPI. We've all heard of it, but what is it and what is it used for?

Kim Farley-Larmour
LEP National Manager



The ABS web site - 48 million hits and 308,000 pages - and still counting!

The end of the 2003-04 financial year is a good opportunity to look at the changing nature of the ABS web site, and the changing pattern of use. The number of pages on the ABS web site has increased 58% in the last twelve months to approximately 308,000, with new content being added each day.

Not only has the size of the ABS web site increased, but use has also increased. The number of user accesses to the ABS web site has increased 35% from last financial year to 48,000,000!

Graph - ABS web site accesses

And the number of statistical products downloaded from the ABS web site (via AusStats) has increased 45% from last financial year to 950,000.

Graph - AusStats downloads

Use of the eLEP service through libraries has also been increasing, 12% over the last financial year.

Graph - Use of the eLEP service

If you would like more information please contact me at

Mano Georgopoulos
ABS Statistical Publishing Development


Mackay Libraries connect the community to ABS information

Mackay Libraries recently demonstrated the valuable role that libraries play in making ABS information available to the community.

The Library focussed on ABS information in June. Through training provided by the LEP, library staff have developed an understanding of ABS information and its uses in a range of contexts. All this activity culminated in the Library's launch of the eLEP service on June 17.

Guests from council, business and the general public helped the Mackay Libraries and the ABS celebrate the launch of their libraries’ access to the eLEP service. The launch, attended by Mayor Julie Boyd and councillors, reflected that the LEP was a valuable service to the community. Councillor Don Rolls commented “Thank you – I will be able to provide my constituents with a better service."

Two key events were organised in conjunction with the eLEP launch. Firstly, a “Stats Quiz” for school students was held to raise awareness of ABS information available at the library. Secondly, following the launch an information session was held for the general public. This session was well attended and focused on ABS information available at the library including how to access the eLEP service.

Local media played a key role in informing their community that the new free web service was available at their local library, with coverage in the local newspapers and television news. This has generated a lot of interest in what is available at Mackay Libraries.

Mei Lin Gray, Information Services Librarian, Mackay City Library


LEP and university libraries - Supporting research

Do students know that they have a great range of ABS statistics @ their fingertips through their universities? ...That these can be used as evidence to back up arguments in their assignments? ...That ABS statistics are a valuable resource - both as a research tool, as well as an aid to sensible decision making in their personal and professional lives?

University librarians have long had a role in promoting information literacy in their institutions. They are in an ideal position to contribute to students' being able to locate, identify and use ABS statistics as a resource, strengthening their statistical information literacy skills. And the LEP is there to support its 98 university member libraries with a range of complimentary ABS products, as well as advice and training for library staff.

And there's more...

Most universities also have access to additional ABS services:

The AusStats web service is provided through a special arrangement between the ABS and the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee. Staff and students have free access to a huge array of ABS statistics in AusStats:

    • all ABS publications from 1998 in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format
    • over 2,000 spreadsheets of economic and social data
    • Multidimensional datasets - data cubes
    • 1996 and 2001 census data
No, they're not warm, cuddly creatures! They're Confidentialised Unit Record Files which provide a valuable, rich research resource for staff and students of many universities under the ABS/AVCC Confidentialised Unit Record File Agreement.

Using ABS material responsibly
Data obtained using AusStats or CURFs may only be used for research and teaching and is not to be used for commercial or income generating purposes. Not sure about ABS copyright or "fair use" issues? Visit the CURFs web page, or contact the ABS Tertiary Client Management section on (02) 6252 5853.

Check out the Web pages for Universities
Comprehensive information for universities appears on the ABS web site. Visit the Services for Universities web page to find out more.


eLEP Web Service - More access to more information!

400 libraries are now subscribing to the free eLEP web service. With university libraries accessing AusStats that means more than three quarters of LEP libraries access most of their ABS information from the web.

With a free eLEP subscription libraries can access every ABS publication issued since 1998. This is more than 10 times as much as is available in the old LEP Core Lists. And of course the publications are available from 11.30 am on the day of release - no more waiting for the mail.

The ABS is focussing more and more on electronic publishing over time and fewer titles are being produced as printed publications. The best way to ensure your library maintains access to the information clients need is to subscribe to ABS web services such as eLEP.

Such is the level of interest in eLEP that many LEP libraries have taken the opportunity to launch the service to their councils and communities. Visit the eLEP web page for more information.

8 good reasons to subscribe to the eLEP service:

    1. Free full text access to more than 1,000 ABS titles - every publication issued since 1998!
    2. Many times more ABS titles than the LEP Core Lists
    3. Web access on the ABS web site - no passwords
    4. Connect your branch libraries - extend access to statistical information
    5. Access information as soon as it is released. No more waiting for publications to arrive in the mail
    6. Release shelf space in your library and save staff time with less accessioning, shelving and weeding ABS titles
    7. Get the best of both worlds - subscribe to the eLEP service and, for LEP member libraries, also receive the hard copy ABS Flagship titles
    8. Print complete publications to add to your library's collection - or not , as you wish. Your service, your choice!

Does eLEP need any special software?
The eLEP service requires commonly used software already used in most organisations. Your library will need to have:
    • Internet access
    • a web browser - either Internet Explorer version 4.0 or above, or Netscape Navigator version 4.0 or above
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader, version 3.0 or above
    • either a dedicated library proxy server, OR a fixed network Internet Protocol (IP) address, OR a fixed range of IPs

New eLEP subscribers
Brisbane City Council LIS (Qld)City of Nedlands Library Service (WA)
Swan Shire Public Library (WA)Warringah Library Service (NSW)
Mundaring Public Library (WA)Hastings Library Service (NSW)


Training news...

Redland Libraries get down and loaded with ABS data

This year's Library and Information Week slogan, "Down and loaded: the right information at the right time" was very appropriate for Redland Shire Library Service in Queensland whose branches were recently connected to eLEP.

In preparation for Library and Information Week, staff were trained in eLEP and the ABS web site so that they were familiar with the service and how to access ABS information.

Kim Gadd, Reference Librarian said, "all the staff really enjoyed the training and it has greatly improved their ability to assist clients using ABS statistics".

During Library and Information Week, the Capalaba Branch Library promoted ABS online services including eLEP and CLIB by displaying eye-catching static displays at the library's entrance, so as to raise the awareness of this new service to their user community.

'Statistics @ your library' for SA librarians

Librarians travelled up to 150 kms each way to attend Pam Balfour's LEP training sessions in the Flinders Ranges in May. The Hawker School Community Library was the scene for a very full day's training in making the best of the ABS web site, eLEP and CLIB.

The trainees were surprised by the amount of easy to access free data available from the Latest Popular Statistics area on the Statistics web page. They also spent time looking at the Theme pages where links to both ABS and other sources of statistics may be found. Pam demonstrated the statistics area of the South Australian page and the new National Regional Profile. This was another hit with the group. They were excited to see the range of data in this new product!

The hands-on session with CLIB sparked a spirit of competition with a race to be the first to correctly complete the exercises.

All in all a great day was had by all. The participants were impressed with the resources available from the ABS and were very positive about the training. Pam and Megan got to see some spectacular scenery and enjoy the country hospitality of the Flinders region.


Always vital - ABS demographic statistics

Demographic information - births, deaths, marriages and divorces - are vital statistics in libraries.

Access to this data has become simpler with the May 2004 release of a new web title, Demography Australia (Cat. no. 3311.0.55.001). This is free on the web and provides an annual summary of key Australian demographic data. It is not produced as a print title.

To keep up to date between the annual releases of Demography Australia, refer to the quarterly Australian Demographic Statistics (Cat. no. 3101.0). This one is produced in print and is sent to all LEP member libraries. But libraries like it online too - in fact Australian Demographic Statistics has been the title most often downloaded by libraries using eLEP.

A comprehensive guide to sources of ABS demographic statistics will appear in the November issue of the LEP Newsletter.


New and forthcoming releases

These titles are a selection of what the ABS is releasing this quarter. A full list is available from the 'Product Releases' section on 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

Cultural Funding by Government, Australia (cat. no. 4183.0 )
An important title for the library sector, this title was released on 28 July and provides estimates of funding for arts and cultural activities, including libraries, by the three levels of government in Australia for the period 2002-03.

Australian Census Analytic Program: Australia's Most Recent Immigrants (cat. no. 2053.0)
Australia's recent immigrants - where do they fit in? Find out from this recent study which is based on 2001 census data. It is a comprehensive analysis of who Australia’s recent immigrants are, how they have adjusted to Australia and where they live.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, Australia 2002 (cat. no. 4714.0)
This new ABS title presents a wide range of information about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Australia. It provides an overview, through commentary and summary tables, of different population groups and themes.

Internet Activity, Australia (Cat. no. 8153.0)
Released on 23 July, this issue provides an indication of the growth of ISPs and the number of Australians and Australian businesses obtaining access to the Internet through ISPs. It also indicates movements in the type and amount of infrastructure available to provide connectivity to the Internet.

The June 2004 issue of the Local Government and ABS Newsletter includes:

      • Introduction to ABS Classifications
      • Key steps in running a survey
      • About SEIFA 2001
      • What's happening in Local Government Finance


Shortcuts - Spotlight on the CPI

What is it?
We've all heard of the CPI but what is it exactly? Imagine a basket of goods and services containing items typically bought by Australian households. As the prices of the of the items in the basket change from one quarter to the next, so too will the total price of the basket. The CPI (Consumer Price Index) is simply a measure of the changes in the cost of this fixed basket over time. It is sometimes referred to as a measure of inflation, a measure of changes in purchasing power, or a measure of changes in the cost of living.

The CPI:

  • measures price changes relating to the spending pattern of all metropolitan households in the 6 State capital cities, Darwin and Canberra
  • covers expenditure on food, alcohol and tobacco, clothing and footwear, housing, household furnishings, supplies and services, health, transportation, communication, recreation, education, as well as on some other miscellaneous items
  • is produced quarterly
  • the list of items in the basket of goods and services is reviewed about every five years

What is the CPI used for?
As an important Economic Indicator, the CPI is used widely, including:
  • for the allocation of funding to Local Government
  • by the Reserve Bank of Australia in determining monetary policy
  • to index Social Security and superannuation payments
  • in a range of business contracts for price adjustment

Where is it?
  • For full text see Consumer Price Index, Australia (Cat. no. 6401.0). Available from eLEP and AusStats and in Core List LEP libraries
  • Also a free snapshot on the ABS web site in the CPI Main Features
  • To directly access current and historical CPI data call the CPI Infoline on 1902 981 074 (75c a minute)

Want more detail?
See the Guide to the Consumer Price Index: 14th Series (Cat. no. 6440.0)

This shortcut was adapted from the Local Government and the ABS Newsletter, Issue 5, March 2004.


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