Vocational education and training (VET) libraries

About VET libraries


How many libraries and where are they located?

According to our mapping of TAFE libraries, there are 51 institutes of TAFE around Australia, with 397 campuses and 252 libraries. You can download the full list at 24 April 2017 here.

It is harder to find out about libraries serving private Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). Some RTOs have excellent library services on their own account; others have fee-for-service arrangements with TAFE, University and public libraries, but there are also RTO libraries which fail to meet an acceptable standard of information service provision to students.

ALIA Futures has more information about VET libraries

VET Libraries Advisory Committee

The VET Libraries Advisory Committee advises the ALIA Board of Directors on the development of a strategic program for members working in vocational libraries or with interests in vocational librarianship. The Committee coordinates and maintains the National Reciprocal Borrowing Scheme to support students studying externally, and it is involved in advocacy for the sector.  


Debra Hannan, co-chair — debra.hannan@TasTAFE.tas.edu.au

Beatriz Aroche, co-chair — Beatriz.Aroche@tafensw.edu.au

Members: Ruth Barnett, Brenda Burr, Mary Carroll, Jaci Ganendran,  Jane Garner, Angela Orth

VET Libraries ALIA PD Specialisation

In 2017, the VET Libraries Advisory Committee worked with the ALIA Learning team to develop a VET Libraries PD Specialisation.

Snapshot of the issues facing the sector

Early in 2016, the ALIA VET Libraries Advisory Committee carried out a survey of TAFE libraries to provide a snapshot of the issues facing the sector. The survey generated responses from every state and territory, providing feedback about how changes in structure and funding have affected TAFE libraries and the library and information professionals who run them. The findings showed that TAFE libraries had not escaped the dramatic changes taking place in vocational education and training, often as a result of cost-cutting. Download the survey report here.

Guidelines for Australian VET Libraries

In June 2016, the committee published new Guidelines for Australian VET Libraries, which expressed where we are now, with libraries providing essential support for educators and students, and the potential for the future, with libraries embracing new technologies, new resources, new services and new programs, to deliver the very best student experience, whether on campus or online. There are 25 guidelines covering everything from access to information through to library management and accountability.

National Reciprocal Borrowing Scheme

The ALIA Vet Libraries Advisory Committee manages the National Reciprocal Borrowing Scheme


ALIA advocates for VET libraries. We joined with the Victorian Association of TAFE Libraries (VATL) to lobby against budget cuts initiated by the Victorian State Government in 2012-2013 and created a prospectus about the value of TAFE libraries.