Australian Public Library Alliance

Note: This page has now been replaced by the APLA website. Visit APLA website.

The Australian Public Library Alliance comprises representatives from the state-based public library associations, the territory libraries and Libraries Tasmania. APLA advises the ALIA Board on policy for its sector and has a highly active role in shaping our activities and campaigns.

About the ALIA Australian Public Library Alliance

The ALIA Australian Public Library Alliance (APLA) is the peak body for public libraries in Australia. Our committee comprises the chair of every state-based public library association, a senior representative from the ACT, Northern Territory and Tasmanian library services, and expert members. We represent 94% of all the 1500 public libraries across Australia through membership subscription.

APLA was formed following a highly successful ALIA Public Libraries Summit in July 2009. At the summit, libraries leaders called for, “Australia’s public libraries, united behind common goals and ambitions, sharing best practice, contributing to strong communities, valued by people and government, continuing to provide universal free access to information, knowledge and ideas, and confirming the importance of their role for future generations.” A national alliance, supported by every state and territory, was the primary outcome of the summit and was ratified by the signing of a first Memorandum of Collaboration in July 2010.

The current members of APLA are:

ALIA Northern Territory Library Public Libraries Victoria
Libraries ACT NSW Public Libraries Association Public Libraries WA
Libraries Tasmania Public Libraries SA Queensland Public Libraries Ass'n

APLA is chaired by former ALIA President Viv Barton AALIA (CP). The committee meets every two months by videoconference and once a year face-to-face.

APLA Initiatives

Standards and Guidelines for Australian Public Libraries May 2021

For previous editions, view the ALIA Library

Australian Public Library Alliance National Strategy and Action Plan 2019-2022

COVID-19 and public libraries interim report 2020 Online Storytime pilot project 2021
Services for migrants and refugees report 2019 Improving services for Aboriginal and Torres Islander peoples report 2019 Digital health literacy initiative with the Australian Digital Health Agency 2019-2021 ALIA federal election agenda 2019
1100 public libraries across Australia have participated in the eSmart Libraries program The Australian Public Library Alliance endorses the People Places guide for planning library buildings

Australian libraries support the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2018

Public libraries are delivery partners for the Australian Government's Be Connected program
Australian libraries: the digital economy within everyone's reach 2017 How public libraries contribute to the STEM agenda 2017 10 ways that public libraries support smart cities 2016 Australian Public Library Alliance Achievements 2016-2018

Public libraries participate annually in ALIA's National Simultaneous Storytime, Library Lovers' Day and Library and Information Week 

ALIA and the Australian Public Library Alliance together develop submissions to government consultations and enquiries Annual public libraries statistical report Australia Reads is the annual book industry campaign initiated by libraries in 2012 and adopted by authors, publishers and booksellers

The ALIA Public Library Proficiencies program, an introduction for non-LIS qualified staff, is available, tailored to individual library services 

Contact [email protected]

The ALIA Public Library Specialisation is part of the professional development program for LIS qualified library staff UN Sustainable Development Goals- guidance notes 

For more information about any of the projects mentioned and others pre-2016, email [email protected].

Public libraries and the sustainable development goals

Public libraries contribute to at least 10 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, including:

1 No poverty

3 Good health and well-being

4 Quality education

5 Gender equality

8 Decent work and economic growth

9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure

10 Reduced inequalities

11 Sustainable cities and communities

16 Peace and justice, strong institutions

17 Partnerships for the goal

Recent APLA Events

On Tuesday 16 November 2021 APLA President Viv Barton chaired the inaugural session of the ALIA Research Review Seminar Series. Charles Sturt University researchers Dr Jane Garner and Dr Simon Wakeling presented their team's insightful research project into Australian public libraries' responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch the recording here and download the slides from the session here.

Page updated 18 November 2021