January - ABC libraries
The ABC decides to close sound and reference libraries in Adelaide, Hobart and Perth, to reduce the service in Sydney, and to make 10 specialist librarians redundant, as reported in The Guardian (Tuesday 30 January) “ABC dismantles sound libraries and axes staff to improve budgets” and (Tuesday 6 February) “ABC plans to send entire book collection to Samoa to save money”.
- The ABC’s CDs and vinyl records, comprising more than half a million items, provide unparalleled collections of sound recordings, representing both Australian and overseas musicians and performers, in a variety of genres. Although all the items are commercially produced, many are now hard to find, and cannot be easily replaced. Between them, the 10 specialist librarians (often combining library training with musical ability and broadcast talent) have more than 200 years’ worth of skills, knowledge and experience. This corporate and collection knowledge is irreplaceable.
- Additionally, the ABC’s film, sound and print collections require an ongoing strategy; they are of national importance and must be preserved for future generations. Assurance is needed that the ABC has a carefully considered plan in place for the management of its collections, or that the ABC will work with experts from the cultural sector to develop such a document.
ALIA wrote to the Minister for the Arts, Chair of the ABC Board and ABC Managing Director. We were also in touch with the Department of Communications and the Arts and sought support from ABC staff, cultural institutions and peak bodies, and people of influence. We asked ALIA Members to add their voices to ours, by sending letters expressing their concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a sample of the responses we received. We had responses from the Office of Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield and from the Managing Director of the ABC. ALIA was also in touch with the department at the ABC and we will continue to monitor the situation, advocating for the staff and collection.
January - Storytime Pledge
ALIA worked with the Office of the Chief Scientist of Australia, Dr Alan Finkel to promote early literacy over the summer school holidays.
February - Library Lovers' Day
Library Lovers’ Day this year achieved a recognition and level of engagement far surpassing that of previous years.
May - Library and Information Week
Our annual celebration of the library and information sector, this year with the theme Find Yourself in a Library.
June - Safe harbours
ALIA continued to campaign for copyright law reform as a founder member of the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee. In June, The Copyright Amendment (Service Providers) Bill 2017 was passed. The legislation took effect on 29 December, 2018, which meant that Australian disability organisations, education providers and cultural institutions were covered by the copyright safe harbour scheme from this date.
July - UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
The Asia-Pacific library and information sector SDG Summit was the highlight of a year which saw us advance the profile of Australian libraries with government, as an important delivery partner for access to information and the 2030 Agenda.
October - Students Need School Libraries
ALIA partnered with state-based school library associations to promote school libraries.
Renew our libraries
ALIA supported the NSW Public Library Association campaign to increase funding for NSW public libraries.