Canberra, 9 June 2022: The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) has warned that the decision to axe 58 specialist librarian and archivist roles at the ABC is a short term budget saving that risks an irreplaceable loss to Australia’s history and culture.
Specialist archivist and librarian roles must be maintained if the ABC wants to uphold journalistic standards and preserve its nationally significant collections of film, sound and print.
“The outpouring of public dismay from senior journalists at the ABC following this announcement is testament to how essential archivists and librarians are to quality journalism” said the ALIA CEO Cathie Warburton.
“Librarians and archivists are the unsung heroes of the journalistic process. They are not visible on people’s screens, their voices are not heard on the radio, but their work is foundational to the creation of the programs that we love, from investigative journalism to period dramas.”
“They are professionals who have studied and trained for many years to be able to do their roles. Trying to cover their loss by asking journalists to pick up work they are not trained to do is disrespectful of the professionalism of journalists, librarians and archivists, and disastrous for the maintenance of the ABC’s collection.”
“This short sighted move puts at risk a collection of national significance. The content produced by the ABC must be diligently collected, maintained and made accessible to Australians for generations still to come.”
“We are urgently seeking a meeting with the Managing Director of the ABC, and will be seeking a commitment to the ongoing support of the ABC collections and specialist librarians and archivists.”
For more information on the essential role and activities of library and information professionals see our flyer and other advocacy resources.