- ALIA released a statement in response to the 2019 bushfires which featured information on how ALIA Members could assist those affected by the bushfires. ALIA also created the page How you can help: bushfire recovery.
- ALIA released a message of support for Drag Queen Storytimes following a protest at a Brisbane public library. Additionally, ALIA sought images from libraries across Australia to highlight to demostrate our support of Drag Queen Storytimes. The collage of images can be seen below:
- On 29 January 2020, ALIA released the sixth annual ALIA LIS Education, Skills and Employment Trend Report. The 2019 edition reveals a 10-year decline in the number of institutions accredited by ALIA, from 31 in 2010 to 23 in 2020 (predicted), and in the number of LIS courses offered, down from 50 in 2010 to 34 in 2020 (predicted).
ALIA launched a new resource for our special library members – the ALIA Special Libraries Directory. The directory will be updated as new information is received.
ALIA President Robert Knight OAM, chose leadership as the theme for his presidential year. As a part of this, ALIA investigated where the sector is performing well, and where there is room for improvement. These survey results were compiled in the NextGen Leadership Scorecard Survey Findings report. It provides the basis for further discussions at our ALIA Leadership & Innovation Forums in early 2020.
ALIA extended its offer of support to its USA counterparts following news on a proposed bill in Missouri, US, which would bar libraries from stocking certain books with legal consequences for library staff who refuse to comply. The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom has released a statement protesting this bill.
In 2019, ALIA along with the ALIA Australian Public Library Alliance (APLA) and ALIA Health Libraries Australia secured $1 million in funding for libraries from the Australian Digital Health Agency to run train the trainer programs. These started on 3 February 2020 at the following NSW public libraries: Sutherland Shire Library; Maroubra Library; Penrith Library; Northern Beaches Library; and Campbelltown Library.
- (ALIA) Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) received final endorsement from Reconciliation Australia. The development of the RAP began during 2018-2019 as part of then-President Lyndall Ley’s focus on Indigenous matters, with an ALIA House team supported by Rebecca Bateman, Indigenous Curator at the National Library of Australia, representing ALIA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Library Information and Resource Network (ATSILIRN) Group. The ALIA Reflect RAP has been included in the ALIA Library, accessible from the ALIA website. It features The Rainbow Serpent bark painting by Bobby Barrdjaray Nganjmirra, which was purchased by the Library Association of Australia to commemorate its Darwin conference in 1986. This artwork now hangs in the conference room at ALIA House.
- ALIA APLA partnered with News Corp newspaper titles to promote library storytimes as part of the Raise a Reader campaign, including free posters.
- ALIA supported and promoted Safer Internet Day 2020. The theme for the day was 'together for a better internet'. Free resources have been made available for the day.
- ALIA suppported World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2020, promoted the day's free resources, bookmarks and posters.
- ALIA called for responses to its inaugural Salary and Workplace survey, the results of which will be published in late 2020.
- ALIA hosted its ACT Leadership & Innovation Forum, most of the forums were cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- ALIA joined the EveryAge Counts coalition. The coalition aims to tackle ageism faced by older Australian through a grassroots campaign.
- The ALIA National Conference, which was due to take place 4 to 8 May 2020, was cancelled as a result of COVID-19.
- Books Create Australia, the collaboration between the Australian Booksellers Association (ABA), the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), the Australian Publishers Association (APA) and the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) announced a special arrangement for public library storytimes during the COVID-19 outbreak. For the duration of the pandemic, virtual storytimes will be sanctioned by an industry agreement.
- From 20 March until 29 May the ALIA Board released weekly Friday messages to ALIA Members.
- ALIA released a special edition of PD Postings to more than 10,500 subscribers, full of free learning activities to keep library and information professionals up-to-date and on top of their game during the pandemic. Normally PD Postings is an ALIA Member benefit, but this issue is free to read for everyone.
- ALIA worked with the IFLA Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section to develop translated signage and text to support libraries communicating with their linguistically diverse communities, particularly in relation to library closures and accessing online information.
- The ALIA Board set up a Relief Fund, specifically to help Members who experienced a reduction in income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. ALIA seeded the fund with $10,000 and welcomed contributions from Members. There was also an option for Members who were renewing their membership to add a donation to the fund at the same time.
- ALIA created the webpage ALIA Connects which was full of ideas and suggested activities for GLAMR professionals.
- ALIA, alongside more than 30 other cultural institutions and organisations, cosigned a creative industry COVID-19 stimulus letter addressed to the Hon Scott Morrison MP Prime Minister and the Hon Michael McCormack MP Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Regional Development. The letter called for a targeted stimulus package to the value of 2% of the $111.7 billion industry as well as a public statement recognising the value of the creative industry to all Australians.
- ALIA Health Libraries Australia (ALIA HLA) Executive made a statement of support to health librarians and health library workers. ALIA HLA also worked with ALIA on the COVID-19 Live Literature Searches webpage and the COVID-19 key resources page.
- ALIA's Institutional Members indicated an increased need for Professional Development opportunities, as staff duties were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, ALIA prepared a special package of three archived issues of PD postings, the 24 March edition, and issues for April, May and June.
- Following on from a copyright agreement negotiated by ALIA, the Australian Publishers Association, the Australian Society of Authors, and the National Copyright Unit announced a new copyright agreement for schools. This agreement allows schools to host virtual storytimes for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- ALIA encouraged library patrons to read at home during the COVID-19 pandemic through the #AustraliaReadsAtHome campaign.
- ALIA cretaed a series of free downloadable jigsaw puzzles. The puzzles included Library and Information Week 2020; ALIA Connects; ALIA Members 1937; and ALIA Members 2017.
- The ALIA Interlibrary Lending Committee (ALIA ILAC) recommended checking the Libraries Australia website to stay up to date on with which libraries are still offering interlibrary loans. Following the review of the Interlibrary Resource Sharing (ILRS) Code, a new fee structure has come into effect from 1 April 2020.
- ALIA promoted Information Awareness Month, of which ALIA is a founder organiser. The annual month aims to increase public awareness of information and its place in all aspects of daily life.
- Library podcast, Library Pros, featured Rob Thomson ALIATec (CP) ALIA NSW State Manager across three episodes on COVID019.
- ALIA launched the webpages ‘Supporting Australian authors through COVID-19’ and ‘Online author events’, which featured creators who were able to deliver their talks, workshops and other programs online for library users.
- ALIA announced that its free to access ALIA Library, has more than 1,000 catalogued collection items. Formerly known as READ ALIA, the library contains conference papers, reports, surveys, standards, guidelines and other information produced by the Association to support the work of library and information professionals in Australia and around the world.
- ALIA supported the annual May Day campaign, run by Blue Shield Australia. The day promotes disaster planning and awareness amongst archives, libraries, museums, galleries, heritage places, historical societies, local history groups and other cultural heritage organisations during the month of May.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australia Reads main event, the Australian Reading Hour, was rescheduled to 12 November. Additionally, the campaign was granted $100,000 from the Australian Government, following an application by ALIA for increased funding ($50,000 in 2019). The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts said the Government is pleased to support this initiative, which promotes the value and importance of books. ALIA is a founder organiser of this initiative, you can learn more on the website.
- ALIA, with input from the ALIA Australian Public Library Alliance, monitored the impact of COVID-19 on Australian public libraries since early March and created an interim report summarising feedback more than 200 libraries. Also ALIA created a strategic checklist to support the library reopening process, including information on staff support, services that need to be phased in (or out), communications planning, and safety precautions.
- ALIA sought applications for both mentors and mentees for its Mentoring Scheme.
- ALIA launched a campaign toolkit to support libraries, entitled ‘We’re back! Tell us how you missed us.’ This campaign provided graphics and other collateral for libraries to download from the ALIA website. There are two toolkits: one for public libraries, which also links to a public survey, and one for other libraries.
- ALIA celebrated Library and Information Week 2020 and National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS). NSS 2020 included the following guest readers: the book’s author Lucinda Gifford, who streamed her reading from the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne; Ursula Dubosarsky, Australian Children's Laureate 2020-2021; Governor-General Sir David Hurley and Lady Hurley; the Hon Paul Fletcher, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts; the Hon Michelle Landry MP; and Justin O'Neill from the Northern Queensland Cowboys. For the first time ever the ABC's Playschool joined in on the fun, with Denise Scott reading Whitney and Britney on ABC Kids. Story Box Library has also featured two NSS 2020 experiences on its website featuring Astrid Kriening AALIA, from Oberon Library and Michelle Nye from Hillcrest College.
- The ALIA Special Libraries Working Group created the 2nd edition of the Special libraries directory. This directory is an update of the 2019 edition, and is not a comprehensive listing, but it does identify like-minded individuals working in similar situations. The aim is to enable people to share non-competitive information, insight, expertise, ideas and resources; to improve the sense of connectedness in a sector with many one-person libraries, and to strengthen special libraries’ advocacy network.
- During National Volunteer Week 2020, the ALIA Board of Directors thanked everyone who volunteered across the Association and for the library and information science profession.
- ALIA worked with Civica to determine the most borrowed books in Australian public libraries. Sue McKerracher, ALIA CEO was interviewed regarding the popularity of library books and the list was featured in the Australian Financial Review, The Brisbane Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and WA Today.
- ALIA published its guidance on record keeping for contact tracing during COVID-19.
- ALIA celebrated and promoted National Reconciliation Week.
The ALIA Board released the statement ALIA condemns racism, racial discrimination and race-based violence.
The first 500 responses to a nationwide survey of library users has shown that, after book borrowing, social interaction was the biggest loss felt by the community during the COVID-19 lockdown of public libraries. An interview with Sue McKerracher, ALIA CEO, has been published in more than 30 publications including In Daily, The Canberra Times, The Transcontinental Port Augusta and The Standard and she has spoken to radio audiences in Perth, Sydney, south east South Australia, North Tasmania, with SBS to follow.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, public libraries have seen ebook borrowing increase by as much as double over the same period last year, but there are still issues about availability, licensing conditions and cost, as revealed by an industry survey undertaken by the Australian Library and Information Association Book Industry and eLending Advisory Committee. You can read the full report on the website.
ALIA investigated the impact of changes to Commonwealth support for university fees as the classification of library and information science remains uncertain. Pending the release of a detailed breakdown of university courses, ALIA put out this statement.
ALIA opposed the proposed changes to the university fees for Library and Information Science education, and called for the Australian Government to prioritise the education of this professional field alongside IT and teaching courses.
In May 2019, on behalf of library and information science researchers and academics, ALIA submitted a response to the ANZ Standard Research Classification review, which included a series of recommended changes, all of which have since been adopted by the review board. The full changes can be seen in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification Review 2019, and ALIA’s submission can be seen on its website.
Following the demand earlier in 2020, ALIA continued the opportunity for its Institutional Members to receive three issues of our monthly PD Postings enewsletter (July, August and September) at the cost of $360.
Additionally, from 1 July 2020, all new Associate, Library Technician and Allied Field Members were automatically enrolled in the ALIA PD Scheme.
ALIA extended its congratulations to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, which turned 5 on 1 July. Over those five years, ALIA worked closely with the Office to promote online safety and digital literacy through initiatives like Safer Internet Day and the BeConnected program.
IFLA published the article Tell us how you missed us: How user testimonials are supporting library advocacy in Australia and Germany, which praised both ALIA and the German Library Association for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.