ALIA voices concern over budget cuts to Tasmanian law library

Open letter written to Tasmanian Minister for Justice

Wednesday 22 October 2014 Canberra: The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), the peak body for libraries and information professionals, has today written a letter to the Tasmanian Minister for Justice, Dr Vanessa Goodwin, to voice its concern about the proposed budget cuts to the Andrew Inglis Clark Law Library.

Sue McKerracher, Chief Executive of ALIA, said: ‘This is a false economy for the Tasmanian Government. We note in our letter that without effective funding for qualified librarians and essential electronic resources, we cannot see how justice can be properly served in the Tasmanian courts. We fear there could be an increase in appeals and retrials.’

Text of open letter is below

Dear Minister,

I am writing on behalf of the 5,000 members of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), to express our deep concern about the proposed $295,000 cut to the Andrew Inglis Clark Law Library budget for 2015-2016.

Legal professionals and their clients rely on the support of law librarians and the collections they manage, to ensure that cases are built on sound principles and that courts can deliver robust judgements. Without funding for qualified librarians and essential electronic resources, we cannot see how justice can be properly served in the Tasmanian courts and we fear there could be an increase in appeals and retrials.

Law librarians have specialist skills and knowledge, including the ability to respond to highly technical reference enquiries; in-depth understanding of information sources, both print and electronic, and awareness of ethical and legal issues. A recent ALIA report on the return on investment of special libraries, including law libraries, found that for every $1 invested, at least $5.43 worth of value was generated for the community.

We understand the need for responsible financial management, but we believe that the proposed law library budget cuts would be a false saving for the Tasmanian Government, which could lead to greater costs in future.

Yours sincerely

Sue McKerracher

ALIA CEO

 

About the Australian Library and Information Association

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is the professional organisation for the Australian library and information services sector. With 5,000 members across Australia, we provide the national voice of the profession in the development, promotion and delivery of quality library and information services, through leadership, advocacy and mutual support. www.alia.org.au

Contact:

Heather Wellard, Communications Manager:  heather.wellard@alia.org.au | 02 6215 8225 | 0409 830 439

ENDS

Released
Wednesday 22 October 2014 4:00pm