University and research libraries

About university and research libraries

According to the Council of Australian University Libraries (CAUL), in 2011 there were 39 universities in Australia. These universities employed approximately 4000 staff in their libraries, including 1623 librarians and 1059 para professionals, providing library and information services to more than 1.2 million students. University library budgets totalled some $640.5 million and collections included around 7 million ebooks and 300,000 serial titles. You can find detailed information and statistics on the CAUL website.

ALIA support for university and research libraries

While CAUL represents the interests of 39 academic institutions in Australia and 8 in New Zealand, ALIA represents the people working in academic libraries. Our Higher Education and Research Libraries Advisory Committee provides advice direct to the ALIA Board and ensures that the strategic direction of the Association reflects the interests and concerns of members working in the academic and research sector.

In 2014, we worked with CAUL to advise the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency on its Guidance Note for Information Resources.

  • We produce two scholarly journals, which are prized by our members — Australian Library Journal and Australian Academic and Research Libraries
  • We subscribe to library and information science ebooks that our members can access free of charge.
  • We provide research grants for members to explore aspects of library and information science. 
  • We keep our members up to date through ALIA Weekly enewsletter, INCITE magazine and targeted conference programs. 
  • Our PD Scheme recognises ongoing learning and our training courses cover topics that are relevant to our members from university and research libraries. 
  • We work closely with universities which offer library and information courses. 
  • There are active ALIA groups in every state and territory and many opportunities for individual members to participate as volunteers for events and advocacy. 
  • Many ALIA Board members have come from academic libraries. 

ALIA Futures has more information about academic libraries.