Australian Library and Information Association CEO Sue McKerracher says: “Despite advice sent by the Department of Jobs and Small Business at ALIA’s request to ParentsNext providers, these companies continue to place libraries in an impossible position. If staff uphold library values of ‘free access’ and refuse to be complicit in the ParentsNext process, single parents can be denied essential payments. If we sign storytime attendance forms, we are supporting a system which penalises families already on the poverty line.
“We ask anyone finding a ParentsNext provider using storytime, without consultation, to monitor families’ eligibility for welfare payments, to get in touch with us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will take our case direct to the Minister.”
ALIA’s advice to Members in public libraries is to:
- Put a ParentsNext policy in place, with the support of your Council.
- Alert staff to look for ParentsNext providers operating “under the radar”.
- Reassure any storytime participants who are concerned, that individual attendance is not monitored.
About the Australian Library and Information Association
The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is the professional organisation for the Australian library and information services sector.
With 5,000 members across Australia, we provide the national voice of the profession in the development, promotion and delivery of quality library and information services, through leadership, advocacy and mutual support. www.alia.org.au’