NSLA Inc.: July 2021 meeting outcomes

Image
Barb Lemon stands outside the National Library of Australia
Barb took advantage of a brief easing of travel restrictions to meet with colleagues in Canberra.

by Barbara Lemon, NSLA Executive Officer

Meeting online late last week, NSLA members made the significant decision to register NSLA as an incorporated association. After nearly fifty years of operation, this will establish NSLA as an independent entity from 2022, alongside library sector peak bodies such as ALIA, CAUL and ALACC.

The July 2021 meeting was the first for New Zealand’s National Librarian Rachel Esson, and the last for CEO of State Library Victoria, Kate Torney, who announced on Monday that she will take up the position of CEO of the Peter MacCallum Foundation in Melbourne after six years at the helm of SLV.

Patrick Gregory, Director of Library & Archives NT, was nominated by NSLA colleagues as Deputy Chair of NSLA for a two-year term from January 2022. He will work with Vicki McDonald as NSLA Chair, with Dr Marie-Louise Ayres completing her term at the end of this year.

Other major decisions coming out of the meeting related to the National edeposit service (NED) and web archiving. A review of NED governance will be undertaken to see a transition out of the current project-like ‘enhancement phase’ and into a sustainable service phase that includes continuing system improvements. The review will include consideration of the ways in which NED can best operate alongside non-NSLA legal deposit libraries in Australia and New Zealand.

A discussion on collaborative approaches to web archiving in Australia concluded with a decision to pause further work in this area. Current activity will continue – including the whole-of-domain web harvest by NLA and selective web archiving by member libraries – but CEOs voted against further investment until a number of important strategic questions have been considered. A small expert group will be convened to review the purpose of NSLA libraries’ collective web archiving activity, how it fits with broader collecting intentions, and whether current methods are fit for purpose.

There has been strong sectoral engagement in recent months, with members reporting on the activities of various external committees including GLAM Peak, the Australian Media Literacy Alliance (AMLA), Australian Libraries and Archives Copyright Committee (ALACC), the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) and the National Early Language and Literacy Coalition (NELLC).

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) has today announced the National Library of New Zealand as a new member, joining as part of the NSLA consortium. NSLA members have participated in the development of a national media literacy strategy with AMLA, and a national early language and literacy strategy with NELLC. Last month, Kate Torney spoke at the House of Representatives committee hearing on the importance of adult literacy, on behalf of NSLA colleagues.

With the National Library of New Zealand now officially a member of NSLA, members will be reviewing the current strategic plan for re-release next year. I’ll visit Wellington in November this year, travel restrictions permitting, to speak with staff about current projects and priorities. An interim business plan for 2021-2022 will be published in late August.