- Library Lovers’ Day 2019 was a runaway success, with the theme library love stories. The day included a story writing competition, story submissions were based off the prompt ‘there was love to be found in the library’. ALIA selected three winners, who each received a $100 book voucher. You can read the stories on the ALIA website and download the story posters.
- Australian libraries were also recognised as supporters of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- ALIA released the report Improving library services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples which revealed the level of consultation between libraries and Indigenous communities, and confirms the sector’s commitment to making these welcoming places for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander library users.
- In 2019, certain ParentsNext providers required program participants to attend public library events, like storytime, and lack of attendance or signing off by library staff could result in lack of payment of welfare funds. ALIA asked that anyone finding a ParentsNext provider using storytime, without consultation, to monitor families’ eligibility for welfare payments, to get in touch with ALIA (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that we could take the case directly to the Minister. Subsequently, ALIA sent a letter to Senator Rachel Siewert, Committee Chair of the Senate inquiry into ParentsNext, following the release of the Committee’s report. The letter highlights several examples of ParentsNext providers continuing to use library services contrary to instructions given by the Department of Jobs and Small Business and ALIA suggested introducing a penalty for providers who ignore the Department’s requirements.
- asking that anyone finding a ParentsNext provider using storytime, without consultation, to monitor families’ eligibility for welfare payments, to get in touch with ALIA (email@example.com) and that ALIA could take the information direct to the Minister.
- In the lead-up to the 2019 Federal Election, ALIA launched its election agenda and the Vote Library campaign. Vote Library is the Australian Library and Information Association’s (ALIA) 2019 federal election campaign. The campaign received positive attention from several federal candidates, for more information see the website.
- The first class from the ALIA accredited Diploma of Library and Information Services, Pacific TAFE, University of the South Pacific, Fiji, graduated on 21 March 2019.
- ALIA responded to the Federal Government Budget 2019-2020. There were a few modest wins for libraries and the broader GLAM sector (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) in the federal Budget 2019-2020, but also some major disappointments, with the potential for a long term damaging impact on the national cultural institutions.
- In 2019, ALIA celebrated Library and Information Week, our annual celebration of the library and information sector, 2019's theme was 'Truth Integrity Knowledge'. National Simultaneous Storytime, held on the Wednesday of LIW was a massive success with more than 1 million children reading. As the book was Matt Cosgrove’s Alpacas with Maracas. To help make the day special, many NSS 2019 events rented alpacas from verified companies, which resulted in a shortage of alpacas nationwide.
- As a founder member of Blue Shield Australia, ALIA supported MayDay, the month-long annual campaign promoting disaster preparedness for cultural institutions, heritage organisations, monuments and sites, in Australia and elsewhere around the world.
- ALIA supported Information Awareness Month 2019, running throughout May IAM aims to raise public awareness of the role of information in everyday life. This year’s theme is ‘Innovation with Information’.
- In 2019, ALIA partnered with Booktopia so that so that for the month of May 5% of any sale purchased through the Booktopia link on the ALIA website, will be donated to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. This fundraising takes places as part of ALIA’s Library and Information Week, running 20–26 May 2019.
- ALIA advocated for special libraries, and provided and update on advocacy for special libraries in Australia, through the work of ALIA’s Special Library Working Group and interested Members. A new version of the Guidelines for Australian Special Libraries has been endorsed by the ALIA Board and is now available online. These changes were made after extensive consultation with special libraries professionals.
- ALIA expressed concern about the proposed amalgamation of WA cultural institutions and wrote to WA Premier Mark McGowan and Arts Minister David Templeman calling for a halt to any decision about the amalgamation of Western Australia cultural institutions until full consultation had taken place.
- ALIA continued to campaign for copyright law reform as a founder member of the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee.
- ALIA released the report Services for Refugees and Migrants report to coincide with Refugee Week 2019.
ALIA released the Workforce Diversity Trend Report 2019. This report details the current status of diversity in the galleries, libraries, archives, museums and records (GLAMR) workforce. At present, there is an over-representation of library and information professionals born in Europe or the Americas and an under-representation of professionals born in Asia and Africa. Additionally, the number of library and information professionals who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is very low and does not appropriately represent the actual population in the nati
ALIA, the ALIA Australian Public Library Alliance (APLA) and ALIA Health Libraries Australia (HLA) secured close to $1 million in funding for libraries from the Australian Digital Health Agency to run train the trainer programs on digital health literacy. The training will support library staff in public and health libraries respond to queries about government digital health programs and will run from September 2019 to June 2020.
- In 2019, ALIA once again supported and promoted the Australian Reading Hour, of which ALIA is a founder member, more information can be found on the website.
- Blue Shield Australia, of which ALIA is a founder member, released the updated guides ALIA Disaster Management for Libraries Part One – Guide; ALIA Disaster Management for Libraries Part Two – Disaster Plan Template; and ALIA Disaster Scenarios for Staff Training Sessions.
- The Parliamentary Book Club, chose its first book Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe. The book club is connected to the Parliamentary Friends of Australian Books and Writers, of which ALIA is a longtime supporter.
- Books Create Australia, of which ALIA is a founder member, announced the launch of the new Books Create Australia website and unveiled two industry agreements which will benefit libraries across the nation. The first is the Jolly Postman agreement, named after the 1986 book The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. It enables libraries to photocopy the removable inserts of children’s activity picture books so lost items can be easily replaced. The second is the storytime agreement which addresses the grey area of copyright law around whether libraries can host storytime events outside the library premises, without needing to seek permission from the copyright holder. These agreements follow on from an earlier industry breakthrough about the use of images of book covers by libraries to promote programs and collections.
- ALIA partnered with the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) to extend the investigation of the digital dexterity of library staff across Australia beyond universities. This exploration took the form of a survey which revealed a snapshot of the current digital dexterity of the survey respondents. The survey revealed that 93% of respondents said digital skills were highly relevant in the library workplace and 7% said ‘somewhat relevant’. Most respondents (75%) said their digital confidence had increased over the last 12 months and 90% had had opportunities to build their digital dexterity through work-based PD (65%), the ALIA PD Scheme (4%), ALIA Training (2%), CAUL digital dexterity program (2%) and other activities (17%).
- ALIA continued to work with state-based school library associations to promote school libraries.
- ALIA facilitated important meetings for the Global Week to #ACT4SDGS, which ran from 20–30 September 2019. The week is an annual week of action, awareness and accountability for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. ALIA held a Sustainable Development Goals Summit at ALIA House on 23 September, with national, state, parliamentary and university library heads; special, public and school library managers and GLAM colleagues in attendance to set stretch targets for libraries in the lead up to 2030. ALIA also hosted a meeting of information management peak bodies to discuss workforce diversity trends focusing on the GLAMR industry, motivated by the five recommendations in the ALIA Workforce Diversity Trend Report 2019.
- ALIA supported Mental Health Day, today 10 October 2019 which aims to raise public awareness of mental health issues worldwide. Robert Knight OAM, ALIA President, met with Frank Quinlan, Mental Health Australia CEO, to talk about how libraries can support important conversations around mental health. He has also made a #MentalHealthPromise on the official website to ‘ensure that all staff know the importance of mental wellbeing at work’.
- ALIA celebrated the inaugural International School Library Day in Australia, as part of International School Library Month.
- ALIA welcomed the draft report on mental health from the Productivity Commission which recognised the important role that libraries play in supporting the mental health of their communities and libraries as a channel for government information.
ALIA and ALIA Australian Government Libraries Information Network (AGLIN) have created, Not simple, not straightforward and not an instant cost saving, with information to assist government libraries which are threatened with closure. Additionally, the checklist Closing a government department library has been created to make clear the steps required to undergo this process. These items highlights the difficulties, complexity and cost of closing a library; and the difficulties of continuing the provision of library services without a library and information science professional in place.
ALIA, regularly works with like-minded organisations and governments, to highlight the role that Australian libraries play in supporting literacy development in our communities. In 2016, ALIA drove the formation of the National Early Language and Literacy Coalition – a group of ten non-government organisations whose work intersects through a common interest in supporting literacy development in the 0–5 age group. The Coalition is soon to conduct the first of three policy co-design workshops, in Canberra on 26 November 2019, with the National Indigenous Australians Agency, and the Federal Departments of Health; Social Services; and Education. All state and territory counterparts have also been approached to participate – with further workshops and development planned throughout 2020.
ALIA made a statement in relation to the mounting violence in Hong Kong relating to the pro-democracy movement as it is a cause for concern for library colleagues in the territory, and especially for LIS students, teachers and library staff on university campuses. ALIA President Robert Knight made this statement: ‘ALIA has members working in university, special and public libraries in Hong Kong. We are monitoring the situation and hoping for a peaceful resolution to the current unrest. Our thoughts are with ALIA members and library colleagues caught up in the protests.’
In November 2019, ALIA met with representatives from Australian Human Rights Commission, Age Discrimination Commissioner to discuss how libraries can support reducing age and elder discrimination. As part of this support ALIA promoted bookmarks and a poster.
ALIA, the ALIA Australia Public Library Alliance, and National and State Libraries Australia have launched the report A year in libraries 2019, at Parliament House, Canberra, on 26 November. The report details how libraries have supported digital inclusion, education, the International Year of Indigenous Languages, and the Year of the Public Domain throughout 2019.
ALIA called for investment in school libraries to help close the gap between Australian students and their international peers.
ALIA released the results from a survey on the status of TAFE library staff, which revealed a challenging work environment.
A Human Rights paper released in late 2019 recognised the importance of libraries supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and directly referenced ALIA.