What we do

The Australian Library and Information Association is the national organisation for the Australian library and information services sector.

Together we seek to empower the profession through the development, promotion and delivery of quality library and information services to the nation, through leadership, advocacy and mutual professional support. We are governed by a constitution and guided by our vision, objects and values. 

Membership of ALIA is open to everyone: people working in the sector, qualified librarians and library technicians, professionals from other disciplines, people who share our values, libraries, library suppliers and other stakeholders. We welcome anyone with an interest in libraries and information management.

Key facts

  • Founded in 1937
  • Located at ALIA House
  • 5,000 Members
  • 7 Board Directors
  • 11 Advisory Committees 
  • 40-plus interest Groups
  • 18 staff

Purpose

To engage members in promoting a strong, future focused Australian library and information sector to advance access to information for an inclusive and informed society.

Objects

  • To promote the free flow of information and ideas in the interest of all Australians and a thriving culture, economy, environment and democracy;
  • To promote and improve the services provided by all kinds of library and information agencies;
  • To ensure the high standard of personnel engaged in information provision and foster their professional interests and aspirations;
  • To represent the interests of members to governments, other organisations and the community; and
  • To encourage people to contribute to the improvement of library and information services through support and membership of the association.
  • To endorse the principles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights-Article 19 and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in response to the many challenges faced by the world today and into the future.

Values

  • Promotion of the free flow of information and ideas through open access to recorded knowledge, information, and creative works
  • Connection of people to ideas
  • Commitment to literacy, information literacy and learning
  • Respect for the diversity and individuality of all people
  • Preservation of the human record
  • Excellence in professional service to our communities
  • Partnerships to advance these values

Our agenda

  • Intellectual freedom — we promote the free flow of information and ideas in the interest of all Australians and a thriving culture, economy and democracy. We believe in fair use copyright and do not believe in censorship.

  • Preservation — we are committed to the preservation of the published and documentary record in all formats, and to ensuring enduring access to information.

  •  Advocacy — we actively work to increase public awareness of the important value of libraries and information. We look at the education, economic, social, arts and cultural contributions to the nation from this important sector.

  • Literacy — our sector helps people develop the reading and information literacy skills they need at school, at work, and in everyday life.

  • Education — we work with academics and researchers to ensure that library and information science courses produce graduates who are equipped for the modern workplace.

  •  Lifelong learning — we provide opportunities for professional development and training and promote continuous life-long learning for our the sector.

  • Transformation — we create environments for our members to share and learn about best practice and next practice.

Services and activities

ALIA offers many services to its Members, the library and information sector, and the people who work within it and use it. ALIA provides:

  • A unified voice when advocating for the sector to governments and other organisations

  • Advocacy for issues of concern to the sector and the public it serves at local, national and international levels

  •  Accreditation of education and practice standards for the sector

  • Publications to keep up-to-date - INCITE magazine, a professional journal, the Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association,  and newsletters

  • Professional development through training, conferences and a formal professional development scheme available to all members

  •  Opportunities to develop networks through our groups and events

  •  Research and publications that inform members and the sector

  •  An awards program to recognise achievement

  • Public campaigns to promote the value of libraries

Policies

ALIA’s policies and guidelines reflect the general position of the Association on issues that have an impact on the library and information sector, and provide direction and advice to those who choose to consider our policies and guidelines for their own use.

Our policies and guidelines cover the following areas:

  • Education and qualifications
  • Library and Information Services
  • Professional Issues
  • School Libraries and Teacher-Librarians
  • Research
  • Values and Ethics
  • Workplaces

For details please see our policies and guidelines page.