Canberra, 9 June 2022: The Australian Society of Archivists and the Australian Library and Information Association jointly call upon the ABC Managing Director David Anderson to intervene and ensure that specialist archivist and librarian positions are maintained.
Working behind the scenes, the labour and skill of the archivists and librarians at the ABC is often invisible, but it is essential to the continued production of well-researched content. The ability to find archival footage and reports which underpin everything from TV drama to news radio is deeply valued by other ABC professional staff, who do not have the professional skills to undertake this work themselves.
The skills and knowledge of the ABC’s librarians and archivists are not needed any less now that more of the collection has been digitised. The ability to both retrieve existing material (whether digitised or not), and add new material and metadata so that content is properly preserved for future use, is fundamental to the ongoing work of the ABC.
The ABC’s archival collections are a collection of national significance, and their value and use goes well beyond just supporting the day to day work of the ABC. The continued collection and maintenance of these collections by skilled professionals is essential if the Australian community is to benefit from the collection into the future, and to ensure that we don’t lose irreplaceable content.
The ASA and ALIA hold significant concerns for the standards of ABC production and about the maintenance of the ABC collections should these cuts go ahead.