27 March 2020
ALIA Directors met today for our scheduled Board meeting, and while we covered off general business, the main part of our meeting was devoted to talking about COVID-19; the effect it has already had on our Members and the impact it is likely to have over the coming weeks.
The situation is unfolding at such a rapid rate, that the directives from our three layers of government – federal, state/territory and local – are updated on a daily basis. We often talk about the adaptability of libraries, usually with reference to digital disruption, and now is the time for us all to demonstrate this characteristic. We greatly admire the way our Members have shown their flexibility and resilience over the last few weeks; we also recognise that these are anxious times and it is natural to feel nervous and uncertain.
On the COVID-19 web page, ALIA has continued to provide information and resources for Members to help you navigate the emerging situation, and these have been referenced widely by the media. We have worked with colleagues internationally to produce signage and text in more than 20 languages, explaining that services have been reduced or libraries closed. There is a special open access edition of ALIA PD Postings, providing you with free learning resources if you find yourself with extra time for professional development, and if you are active on social media, please join us in promoting our book industry campaign #AustraliaReadsAtHome. Every sector is different, and whether you work in a public, school, tertiary or special library, we hope you will find something of value on our web page.
We are looking at further ways to support our Members, and while the team is mainly working from home, there is a skeleton staff at ALIA House each day responding to your requests and enquiries.
Please contact us at any time firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert Knight, President, and Viv Barton, Vice-President