A closer look at the Australian Institute of Police Management library service

Eke Woldring, Dean Kimpton

The authors provide an overview of the AIPM Library.


Article

ALIES Australasian Libraries in the Emergency Sector

The Australian Institute of Police Management (AIPM) is located by the sea in Manly, New South Wales and offers programs that develop and unite leaders from the police, emergency services and public safety sectors. In 2013, the AIPM proudly supported leaders from 93 different public sector agencies.

The AIPM runs two graduate programs, the Graduate Certificate in Applied Management (Policing and Emergency Services) and a Graduate Diploma of Executive Leadership (Policing and Emergency Services). These courses have served as important professional development opportunities for senior executives worldwide, including all current serving Australasian police commissioners. Complementing the graduate programs, there are development programs for future leaders, volunteer leaders and strategic commanders. Course participants come from all over Australia and the world.

The library patrons

Typical graduate program students are experienced practitioners in the policing, emergency management and public safety sector, yet new to academic learning.
The library resources and services provide an important
cog in the learning process.

After their initial enrolment, a new student will be signed up to AIPM Online, the learning management system, using Moodle software. As the student completes their distance education subjects, they will be required to read articles, do assignments and contribute to online forums.

Program participants come to Manly for a residential program and there are a number of assessment tasks that require research activity. The library staff (Louise and Eke) support the students in finding the best available sources to provide the evidence they need to complete the assignments.

Some research questions include:

  • strategies to encourage emergency management training across police, fire, SES
  • encouraging leadership development in younger staff
  • the ethics of private companies funding law enforcement activities
  • team building strategies with sworn and unsworn employees
  • partnerships in child welfare
  • dealing with mentally ill and vulnerable people
  • the use of Twitter in the workplace
  • the impact of non-emergency calls to 000 on response times
  • follow-up services for victims of burglary to reduce secondary burglary
  • strategies to disrupt and reduce supply of cannabis to remote locations
  • attitudes of younger employees to privacy on social media, and
  • stakeholder engagement in remote areas.

In responding to these queries, the library staff search the catalogue for locally held material, databases, Google Scholar for academic articles (with links to AIPM ejournals), and the Internet using advanced searching features. The Librarians are skilled at searching for information and mentor the students to find relevant and authoritative sources of information. The orientation session encourages students to use the wide variety of search tools available and to take these skills with them for future information needs. The library scores very highly in the post program evaluation and students leave the residential course with improved information literacy skills and a new appreciation of the extensive information available through libraries.

So why read?

A recent comment on the Harvard Business Review blog, states the leadership benefits of reading are wide-ranging. ‘Deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders and can catalyze insight, innovation, empathy, and personal effectiveness.’ (Coleman 2012). However, reading takes time, and students tend to be busy, working people, so the aim is to sift and share the best available information to support the professional development and lifelong learning for members of the AIPM community.

Many sign up to the weekly library blog, ‘Know it Now’, a current awareness service for AIPM staff, students, alumni and members of the emergency management community keen to stay informed to current issues and trends in the sector (at: www.aipm.gov.au/library/blog). As well as the weekly blog, students have access to ejournals, ebooks, databases such Emerald (a leadership and management collection of ejournals) and, of course, books. There is a significant hard copy print collection but, increasingly, resources are online and available and accessible via the Internet for study, wherever and whenever required.

A photo of three people in a library, browsing the books.

Image: Dean Kimpton

The AIPM Library offers a wide range of specialist information to patrons.

A photo of a sitting area, with small tables and some chairs among the bookshelves.

Image: Dean Kimpton

The library has a business lounge, a place to browse the contemporary print collection in a relaxed, comfortable environment.

AIPM Library contacts

Email: library@aipm.gov.au
Website: www.aipm.gov.au/library
Phone: 02 9934 4743

Reference

Coleman J 2012, For those who want to lead, read.
At: http://blogs.hbr.org/2012/08/for-those-who-want-
to-lead-rea/
[5 February 2014].