4 September, 2012
The Hon Campbell Newman MP
Premier of Queensland
PO Box 15185
On behalf of the Australian Library and Information Association, representing nearly 6,000 individual and institutional members, I am writing to express our deep concern about the cuts taking place in government libraries across Queensland.
Our concern isn’t about putting shelves of books together in one place; our concern is about providing timely access to knowledge that will enable Ministers and their advisors to create better policy, because their decisions will be based on relevant, current, quality information.
There is more information available today than there has been at any time in the past, but much of it (especially online) is out-of-date, commercially-driven, irrelevant and sometimes downright wrong. Most people Google for quick answers to everyday questions, but few ever get past the first page – 94% of users click on headings on the first page of results, only 6% click on headings on the second page.
Against this backdrop, the role of libraries and information professionals has never been so important. Library and information professionals go through e-databases, online journals, academic and industry papers to find accurate, up-to-the-minute results. Our searches are robust and comprehensive; our searches are quicker, smarter and give better quality results.
If you believe in giving government scientists, researchers, politicians and bureaucrats access to vital information that enables them to do their jobs well; if you want them to make informed, well-balanced decisions; if, ultimately, you want Queensland to be well governed, we urge you to retain well-resourced government libraries run by qualified professionals.
A robust library and information service is a small price to pay to know that the information on which your government bases its decisions comes from the very best, authenticated services.
We are sure you are concerned with due diligence in all aspects of your government. The continued investment in your library and information service will go a long way to achieving this objective.
INFORMATION FOR EDITORS:
Australian Library and Information Association:
The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is the professional association for the Australian library and information services sector. It seeks to empower the profession in the development, promotion and delivery of quality library and information services to the nation, through leadership, advocacy and mutual support. ALIA represents the interest of 6,000 members, the profession and Australia's 12 million library users.
Issued on behalf of