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.

2017 Campaigns

January 

ALIA Treasures  

We celebrate the 80 Treasures of ALIA as we mark our 80th birthday in 2017. We ask ALIA Members to tell us the things that they think make our association great. "Perhaps it's the group events where you network with colleagues from other workplaces, or is it the Professional Development tracker that lets you record your lifelong learning, or the guidance from the many standards and guidelines, or something of special significance like the gavel used at AGMs?" A gallery will be built over the next few months. 

Letter of support

ALIA has sent a letter of support to political prisoner Natalya Sharina, Director of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow. IFLA has stated Natalya was arrested and placed under house arrest in October 2015 after being accused of inciting hatred or animosity towards a social group by allegedly holding banned books in the Library.  In April 2016, she was also charged with misappropriating library funds and her house arrest was subsequently extended. ALIA agrees with IFLA that the treatment of the Library of Ukrainian Literature, and its staff – and in particular Natalya Sharina - is completely disproportionate and unnecessary, and an attack on libraries and librarians.  As such it is an attack on democracy, learning and culture. 

February 

Relevance 2020 LIS Research in Australia 

Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), in partnership with Charles Sturt University,  issued a report which provides the results of six Library and Information Science (LIS) research events in Australian capitals in late 2016 that had the main purpose of connecting academics, researchers and practitioners in order to help align future research projects and activities in the Australian LIS profession. There were 172 participants from LIS schools, academic, special, TAFE, school, public and state libraries.

Download the report (pdf): Relevance 2020 LIS Research in Australia 

Support of access to Australia's research 

ALIA has supported a statement organised by the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) on access to Australian research. More information 

Cost of copyright compliance tool kit 

ALIA distributed this toolkit developed by the The National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) which helps  calculate the costs associated with undertaking copyright compliance in NSLA libraries, in order to build a strategic case for copyright reform. 

ALIA submission to the Draft 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap 

 

The Australian Government has commissioned the development of the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap to identify Australia’s national research infrastructure priority areas for the coming decade. ALIA made the following points:

  • Platforms for HASS - pleased to see National Library of Australia’s Trove identified, with others, as an existing national research infrastructure asset;
  • Explicit reference to the role of library and information professionals in making data more accessible and discoverable for science and humanities researchers, and we reiterate this request for consideration for the final version of the Roadmap; 
  • Representation on a National Advisory Group -If a Research Infrastructure National Advisory Group were to be formed, ALIA urges the Government to include a representative from the library and information sector in order to take full advantage of the knowledge and skills of the professionals we represent.
  • Access - It would be helpful for the Roadmap to include a statement, perhaps as one of the National Research Infrastructure Principles. For example: 'Access guidelines should ensure that there are as few barriers as possible to accessing major infrastructure for those undertaking meritorious research and that the data generated using Government-funded facilities are made open access.'
March 

 

WA Elections 

ALIA wrote to has written to parties running in the WA election about their stance regarding investment in STEM and the State Library of WA.

Sue McKerracher, ALIA CEO, has asked political parties the following questions:

WA public libraries have an $8 million STEM proposal on the table to help people learn about new technologies and develop the skills they will need for jobs and study in the future. If the State Government were to match local council funding dollar-for-dollar WA’s 235 libraries could make everything from coding and robotic classes, 3D printers and music programs through to simple device charging available right across WA. At present, local government is supporting these programs wherever possible, but delivery is patchy in different areas of the state.

Public Libraries WA President Debra Summers has said, 'This is an opportunity for a partnership between State and local government to bring WA library technology programs up to the same standard enjoyed by communities in the Eastern states.'

We are also keen to make the case for investment in the State Library of WA: in the fabric of the building, in the services it offers and in increasing digital access to the information it holds – representing a major contribution to the state’s knowledge economy. The State Library has suffered successive cuts to its budget in recent years and these have resulted in the loss of 20% of staff since 2011. Can you advise us of your intentions for supporting an increase in funding for the State Library if you are returned to government in 2017?

WA Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren has written to ALIA and noted: 

The Greens recognise the vital role libraries and other cultural institutions play in our society. We also value Public Participation and encourage groups and local organisations to be more involved in policy-making, project determination and funding allocation, so I am very pleased you have contacted me.

The Greens believe that access to artistic expression and cultural experience are fundamental aspects of our social well-being, and should be protected and promoted in Western Australia. State libraries and collecting institutions are essential to our understanding of ourselves and our place in the world.

As the world changes, and is changed by technology, libraries are well-placed to offer local communities access to the latest information and skills development.

The Greens advocate for a greater recognition of the role local government plays in the development of arts and culture, and the development of the WA public libraries STEM proposal supports this. We believe that all spheres of government are responsible for the provision of appropriate facilities and that the support from State Government is vital. This proposal also fits in with our Greens ambition to have an integrated approach to arts and cultural policies, and programs that encourage cross-portfolio awareness of their broad social and economic activity.

The State Library is the flagship repository of our written, social and recorded heritage, preserving these treasures for future generations, as well as being a centre for learning, enterprise and recreation. We support an increase to the funding and promotion of all public libraries as centres of community interactions across the state.

As the Greens spokesperson for the Arts I look forward to continuing to advocate and negotiate for a better deal for WA artists, arts organisations, and important institutions such as the SLWA. 

Sustainable Development Goals 

ALIA is asking Members to add 'environment' to the first Object of the ALIA Constitition.  his leads onto the broader impact of sustainability. The ALIA Board is also proposing the inclusion of an additional Object to the Constitution:

(f) 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.

The ALIA Board is asking Members to support adding the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the principles of the Declaration of Human Rights to the heart of our constitution.  Read FAQs 

Copyright reform 

The Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill was today tabled in Parliament on 22 March 2017 and it includesd number of important and overdue amendments that will dramatically free up how Australians can access and use copyright material. ALIA was delighted that Members' efforts to lobby for copyright reform have paid dividends. 

In July to August 2015, FAIR ran a campaign called Cooking for Copyright which raised awareness of of our muddled copyright law and lobbied for immediate reform.

Back then, FAIR published 35 handwritten recipes on the website – effectively contravening the current copyright law – and we asked ALIA Members, FAIR supporters and Australians to cook one of these recipes – or choose an old favourite – and to post a photo to facebook or tweet with the #cookingforcopyright hashtag. Within two weeks of the launch, the campaign was trending #1 on Twitter with more than 1 500 tweets and  9,973,809 Twitter impressions.
 
The Bill ends antiquated provisions in the Australian Copyright Act that provide perpetual copyright for unpublished materials, no matter how old they are. ALIA also supported the media release today issued by the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee. This Bill has not yet passed.
 

International LIS think tank

ALIA held a think tank on LIS international affairs at ALIA House in Canberra. The objective of the think tank was to:

  • identify ALIA’s leadership role in terms of Australia’s strategic international relations and activities; 

  • propose an agenda for ALIA’s international engagement, contribution and participation on an ongoing basis and over the next 2-5 years; and 
  • identify priorities for action and mechanisms for implementation.

Participants included ALIA President Patricia Genat, Gill Hallam, Philip Hider, IFLA President-elect Christine Mackenzie, ALIA President-elect Vicki McDonald, ALIA CEO Sue McKerracher, Roxanne Missingham, ALIA Board Member Marian Morgan-Bindon, Jennefer Nicholson, Mike Robinson and Eve Woodberry.  Discussion included how libraries can be key institutions to help achieve the framework of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) that span economic, environmental and social development. 

April 

Proposal of a ALIA Constitutional change

In our 80th year, 2017, the ALIA Board is proposing that we add 'environment' to the first Object.  Climate change is real and our 'environment' will increasingly affect decision making in all areas of society.  This leads onto the broader impact of sustainability. The ALIA Board is also proposing the inclusion of an additional Object to the Constitution:

(f) 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.

The ALIA Board proposed that Members support adding the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the principles of the Declaration of Human Rights to the heart of our constitution.

Read FAQs 

May 

Campaign to support Natalya Sharina: FAIR joins with CILIP and Amnesty International 

ALIA and Freedom of Access to Information and Resources (FAIR) have asked library and information professionals to support a campaign urging the release of librarian Natalya Sharina, who is currently under house arrest in Moscow.  We are in partnership with CILIP, the UK's library and information association, and Amnesty International - the organisations which coordinated this campaign.

Natalya Sharina, the Director of the state-run Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow has been under house arrest since October 2015 following charges of distributing 'extremist literature' and embezzlement. The charges relating to 'extremist literature' have been dropped and the embezzlement charges are now a civil procedure. In November 2016, a judge extended Natalya’s house arrest to 28 April 2017. She has been denied access to the medical treatment she requires for high blood pressure. In early March 2017 she was informed by the Moscow authorities that her job contract had expired and had not been extended.

Read more

ALIA Constitutional change

Australian Library and Information Association passed the important constitutional change at its Annual General Meeting on 17 May 2017.

 'Environment' will be added to the first Object of the Constitution.

(a)    To promote the free flow of information and ideas in the interest of all Australians and a thriving culture, economy, environment and democracy.

There is an additional Object in the Constitution:

  • 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.

ALIA looks forward to continue working on the Sustainable Development Goals by:

  • Promoting universal literacy, including digital, media and information literacy and skills, with the support of dedicated staff;
  • Closing gaps in access to information and helping government, civil society and business to understand local information needs better;
  • Providing a network of delivery sites for government programmes and services;
  • Advancing digital inclusion through access to ICT;
  • Serving as the heart of the research and academic community; and
  • Preserving and providing access to the world’s culture and heritage.

 

Health information peak bodies call for action to build workforce

Five peak Australian health information professional bodies collaborated on a blueprint for action to prevent workforce shortages in critical health areas. The group represents thousands of health information managers, health informaticians and others handling and managing health system information and patient data. It says without urgent action to attract, retain and guide the health information professions, Australia will not have the required configuration in the workforce and - more critically- will experience shortages impacting the success of future digital health implementations. Read more

June 

Update on Natalya Sharina 

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and its advocacy arm, Freedom of Access of Information and Resources (FAIR) has been following developments and helping with a campaign to support Natalya Sharina, the former librarian of the Library of Ukranian Literature in Moscow. On 5 June, her case was been concluded and she has been convicted of extremism and embezzlement, in a case which she says is politically motivated.  A judge in a Moscow court gave her a four-year suspended sentence.

Read BBC news story

Amnesty International said the case demonstrates an 'utter contempt for the rule of law'. Read Amnesty statement

News reports state that Natalya Sharina is planning to appeal the case. ALIA argued Natalya Sharina's detention and the court case were unnecessary and disproportionate, and was an attack on libraries and librarians.  As such, it was an attack on democracy, learning and culture.

Read ALIA statements regarding the case:

Cooking for Copyright 

On 15 June,  The Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill was passed in Parliament and it includes a number of important and overdue amendments that will dramatically free up how Australians can access and use copyright material. ALIA welcomed the introduction of important copyright reforms and is delighted that ALIA Members' efforts to lobby has led to real change.

In July to August 2015, FAIR ran a campaign called Cooking for Copyright which raised awareness of of our muddled copyright law and lobbied for immediate reform. Back then, FAIR published 35 handwritten recipes on the website – effectively contravening the current copyright law – and we asked ALIA Members, FAIR supporters and Australians to cook one of these recipes – or choose an old favourite – and to post a photo to facebook or tweet with the #cookingforcopyright hashtag. 

FAIR and ALIA had incredible support from National and State Libraries Australasia, archive, museum and historical society colleagues, who provided dozens of recipes, ranging from perfect morning tea fodder through to weird medicinal products. 

The Bill ends antiquated provisions in the Australian Copyright Act that provide perpetual copyright for unpublished materials, no matter how old they are.

As a result millions of historical manuscripts - from celebrity letters and diaries held by the National, State and Territory libraries and archives, to the thousands of theses at our universities - will be simultaneously freed into the public domain on 1 January 2019.

ALIA is encouraging everyone to cook again to celebrate these important copyright reforms on 31 July - to mark the two-year anniversary since librarians around the country took part in this act of civil disobedience.

July 

IFLA global vision

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is promoting a global discussion about how libraries can meet the challenges of the future. There have been six workshops around the world, and there will be an opportunity for everyone to participate through an interactive online voting platform to be launched in August. 

At the same time, ALIA ran a survey to collate the views of people in the Australian library sector so that our national perspective can be fed into the discussion. This is the link to the survey, which will be open until close of business on Friday September: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/IFLAGlobalVisionAustraliaPlease fill in the survey (it should only take 10-15 minutes) and make sure your views are heard. Find out more from the IFLA Global Vision discussion website

IFLA report 

IFLA, in partnership with the Technology and Social Change Group at the University of Washington (TASCHA), launched today the first Development and Access to Information (DA2I) Report at The New York Public Library, during the United Nations High Level Political Forum. 

The DA2I Report shows how essential access to information is for development, and makes the case for coordinated and sustained efforts by all to guarantee it. It demonstrates how meaningful access to information, supported by libraries, contributes to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and monitors the progress countries are making towards fulfilling their commitments under the UN 2030 Agenda. 
Australia and ALIA's contributions are mentioned, read more.

 

 

 

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