Advocacy campaigns

Our advocacy campaigns are great opportunities for the sector to promote its value and to highlight issues of importance to the communities we serve.

2018 campaigns

January - ABC libraries

 
The ABC decides to close sound and reference libraries in Adelaide, Hobart and Perth, to reduce the service in Sydney, and to make 10 specialist librarians redundant, as reported in The Guardian (Tuesday 30 January) “ABC dismantles sound libraries and axes staff to improve budgets” and (Tuesday 6 February) “ABC plans to send entire book collection to Samoa to save money”
 
Key points
  • The ABC’s CDs and vinyl records, comprising more than half a million items, provide unparalleled collections of sound recordings, representing both Australian and overseas musicians and performers, in a variety of genres. Although all the items are commercially produced, many are now hard to find, and cannot be easily replaced. Between them, the 10 specialist librarians (often combining library training with musical ability and broadcast talent) have more than 200 years’ worth of skills, knowledge and experience. This corporate and collection knowledge is irreplaceable.
  • Additionally, the ABC’s film, sound and print collections require an ongoing strategy; they are of national importance and must be preserved for future generations. Assurance is needed that the ABC has a carefully considered plan in place for the management of its collections, or that the ABC will work with experts from the cultural sector to develop such a document.
 
ALIA advocacy
ALIA wrote to the Minister for the Arts, Chair of the ABC Board and ABC Managing Director. We were also in touch with the Department of Communications and the Arts and sought support from ABC staff, cultural institutions and peak bodies, and people of influence. We asked ALIA Members to add their voices to ours, by sending letters expressing their concerns to advocacy@alia.org.au. This is a sample of the responses we received. We had responses from the Office of Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield and from the Managing Director of the ABC. ALIA was also in touch with the department at the ABC and we will continue to monitor the situation, advocating for the staff and collection.
 

January - Storytime Pledge

ALIA worked with the Office of the Chief Scientist of Australia, Dr Alan Finkel to promote early literacy over the summer school holidays.
 

February - Library Lovers' Day

Library Lovers’ Day this year achieved a recognition and level of engagement far surpassing that of previous years.
 

Key agenda items

Policy

1. A national framework for digital access to cultural collections
2. Improved access to data and scholarly information through the development and trial of open access models for government-funded research
3. Halt to government library closures and greater recognition of the role of library and information professionals in evidence-based decision-making
4. Greater recognition of the important part libraries play in literacy and learning
5. Greater recognition of the important part libraries play in digital inclusion
6. A  national early literacy strategy
7. Support for the long term success of the Australian book industry
8. Quality library services for tertiary students enrolled in universities, TAFEs and private RTOs
9. Qualified library staff employed in every school library

Legislation

10. Further copyright law reform (safe harbours and fair use)

11. Accreditation of higher education and VET courses by professional bodies

Funding

12. Resourcing for public libraries to assist citizens through government’s digital transformation
13. Funding for library buildings as a vital element of Australia’s knowledge infrastructure

We are also engaged with Australia’s response to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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