Hobsons Bay Libraries undertook a Business Planning process and Council introduced a one off 1998/99 Gain Sharing payment for its employees as part of the Libraries Business Unit’s “profits” for the year.

As the Internet became more readily available, and the library service invested in more Public PCs, customers embraced this technology with open arms.

We were still learning about what the internet had to offer and how it impacted on the libraries collections and culture. Customers had to sign an Internet Use Agreement Form. We were compelled to keep these forms for several years, as well as the manual booking sheets we used at that time.

The Internet led to a significant change in the library’s collections. Before the Internet, there was a 3 hour period between 3pm and 6 pm, and often right through the evening, when school students would require the help of library staff in finding factual information for school projects. The Altona and Williamstown branches had dedicated reference desks for this purpose and it was always busy. Our reference collection was well used, as were the skills of the library staff.

Gradually, as people had access to the Internet at home, the numbers dropped off. This was the way of the future.