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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 178

Date:- 04 December 2004

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E-learning earns Euro title

A PIONEERING project which enables city council staff to log-on to learning has earned a top European award. Liverpool City Council's i-learn project scooped the 'Social Inclusion' prize at the annual Telecities e-government awards in Vienna.

The on-line project, which allows all council staff to get access to training courses with the click of a mouse, has opened up a world of learning and development at the council. More than 12,000 staff have visited the site since it was launched in December 2003.

The judges praised the way the hi-tech system is empowering staff to take responsibility for their own career progression, and making thousands of new learning opportunities available to them.

Executive Member for Corporate and Customer Care, Councillor Jeremy Chowings, said:- "This is yet more European recognition for the ways we are doing things differently in Liverpool. We are committed to making sure none of our staff are excluded from learning new skills, and this project is helping us create a better skilled and more efficient workforce.

The i-learn project is a great example of how we are using new technology to make a real difference to people's lives, improving prospects and opening up new career opportunities.

I-Learn is enabling staff to book places on hundreds of courses on-line, including Masters in Business Administration (MBAs) and NVQs. Staff are given all the help they need to obtain vocational qualifications such as diplomas in management studies and the European Computer Driving License.

And the interactive site allows staff to complete fully on-line courses, including minute-taking, staff coaching, conducting interviews and communicating with customers."

City Council Chief Executive David Henshaw, said:- "To become a leading local authority, it's essential that we invest in each and every one of our staff, and give them every opportunity to fulfil their potential.

The I-Learn project is helping us achieve this, and I'm delighted key e-business and e-government figures from across Europe have named it as an example of good practice." 

Telecities is the major European network of cities committed to innovation and new technology. Established in 1993, it provides a platform for businesses and local authorities from over 140 cities to share experience and best practice and develop new ideas. 

Liverpool was the only UK award winner at the event.


THE greatest natural history book in the world is going on display in Liverpool next week. Only 120 copies of John James Audubon's Birds of America are in existence worldwide. Most of them in private ownership and not available for the public to view. 

The four month exhibition will be officially launched in the Picton Reading Room at Central Library on Tuesday 7 December, complete with an appearance by real owls! 

Councillor Warren Bradley, Executive Member for Leisure, said:- "This exhibition is truly stunning and shows the extent of the priceless exhibits the library has in its collection. Audubon spent many happy times in Liverpool so it is fitting that the city should display one of his best known works. The exhibition is part our commitment to making the Central Library not only a literary hub, but also a major visitor attraction for the city." 

Each copy of the book, which comprises four volumes, is unique because of the engravings and hand colouring used in the production process. 
The launch will be attended by 100 school children and include an appearance by real live owls and staff from the RSPB's Martin Mere Wildlife Centre who will bring birds eggs for the youngsters to examine. 

Central Library acquired its copy of the 'Birds of America' in 1861 as a result of a donation to mark the opening of the Brown Library and Museum. 
It was nearly lost during the blitz of 1941 when the library took a direct hit, and was only saved by the quick thinking city librarian who rescued the volumes from the strongroom before it became flooded by firemen fighting the flames. 

The exhibition is part of the library's commitment to putting on show the cultural gems which are held at Central Library. 

As part of the £31.5 million remodeling of the Central Library which recently secured funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), there will be a room dedicated to the Birds of America and the books will be on permanent display. 

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