March 2021 meeting outcomes

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Geoff Strempel (SLSA), Liz Jack (Libraries Tas.), Kate Torney (SLV) and Marie-Louise Ayres address NLA staff
Geoff Strempel (SLSA), Liz Jack (Libraries Tas.), Kate Torney (SLV) and Marie-Louise Ayres address NLA staff

Seven of the nine NSLA members this month had the pleasure of meeting in person for the first time since November 2019, coming together at the National Library of Australia over two days. Special thanks to Margaret Allen (State Library of Western Australia) and Patrick Gregory (Library & Archives NT) who endured a six-hour Teams marathon on day one!

On day two, senior staff at NLA joined us for a new spin on the ‘meet NSLA’ session facilitated by NSLA Chair Dr Marie-Louise Ayres (pictured above). Three NSLA members – Kate Torney (State Library Victoria), Liz Jack (Libraries Tasmania) and Geoff Strempel (State Library of South Australia) – discussed the future of their own libraries and of the NSLA collaboration.

Meeting discussion included:

  • The Culturally Safe Libraries Program, now entering its final year. A draft annual audit was endorsed by NSLA, to commence in August this year and run until 2025. The audit is intended to track and transparently report progress in cultural capability (the structures and policies essential for building cultural competency) across NSLA libraries. Indigenous collections workshops are set to recommence in May 2021, facilitated by Lesley Acres (State Library of Queensland), and we are aiming to have 2000 staff enrolled in the AIATSIS Core Cultural Learning online program by June this year.
  • Web archiving with presentations from NLA’s Chief Information Officer and Director, Strategy and Product Design about current and prospective activity in web archiving across NSLA libraries. NSLA last year committed funds to scope a national web archiving service. Business analyst Janet Wood is conducting a series of interviews to establish individual library needs and expectations of this service.
  • National edeposit (NED) and the enhancement program, currently on track. Bulk FTP functionality for serials is now in production with ten major publishers in testing or passed. CEOs endorsed the scope for a six-month pilot of new workflows for more consistent claiming of publications. A reference group is investigating possibilities for the remaining four legal deposit libraries in Australia to work with NED.
  • Fostering life-long scholarship in NSLA libraries, including the benefits and shortcomings of fellowship and other programs on offer in NSLA libraries. Reaching new audiences is a focus of the new NSLA Community Engagement Network.
  • External committees with updates on GLAM Peak, Digital Preservation Coalition, Australian Libraries Copyright Committee, Australian Media Literacy Alliance (AMLA), and the National Early Language and Literacy Strategy. NSLA has taken on secretariat responsibilities for GLAM Peak in 2021. There was support for a proposed research project led by ALIA in media literacy for libraries.
  • Research and advocacy including partnership in a bid for ARC funding led by Prof. Melanie Swalwell of Swinburne University for emulation infrastructure to make legacy born digital collections accessible. Recommendations out of two recent Senate hearings involve NSLA – one touching on programs and services for diaspora communities (with ALIA); and one on development of a national strategy to tackle fake news and misinformation (with AMLA).
  • Project work around Indigenous collections with our contemporary Indigenous collections audit well underway across four libraries. A professional data analyst is examining metadata extracted for published and web collections, and an EOI will shortly be released for Indigenous researchers who can assist in analysis of a sample of original collections. NSLA is represented by Damien Webb (Manager, Indigenous Engagement Branch, State Library of New South Wales) on the committee for a new OCLC project looking at descriptive workflows for Indigenous collections.
  • Strengthening of the NSLA program with recent meetings of new networks in oral history, conservation, and community engagement, as well as the informal launch of a pilot webinar series for NSLA – beginning with a webinar on Indigenous data governance co-hosted by OCLC in February.

The July NSLA meeting will be held at the State Library of Queensland.