Our work

Guided by NSLA’s strategic plan 2018-2020 and the 2019 business plan, the current focus for our work is on the projects and initiatives below.

Major projects

National edeposit (NED)

Objective: To develop and deliver a National edeposit (NED) service for electronic publications, including: system requirements; and shared policies, procedures, communications, training, and ongoing management.

NED is an online service for the deposit, archiving, management, discovery and delivery of published electronic material across Australia. It provides an easy one-stop online deposit service for publishers; and makes more publications openly and easily available for users. The project is led by the NED Steering Group with representatives from each NSLA library.

What we are doing: NED was formally launched in August 2019 and is running in all NSLA libraries. Further system enhancements are planned for 2020.

Culturally Safe Libraries Program


  • To make NSLA libraries more culturally safe for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and clients.
  • To make programs, services and collections that are accessible, respectful and responsive to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ needs and perspectives.

What we are doing: In the first half of 2019 we ran a successful pilot across NSLA libraries to trial Core Cultural Learning, an online course developed by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). We also developed a set of national cultural competency principles and measures to keep ourselves accountable.

The online training is being rolled out to all NSLA staff between now and 2021. In 2020, we are running Indigenous-led workshops for small groups of staff who work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections in our libraries as an introduction to the ATSILIRN protocols. The project steering group is developing a set of free, publicly available online resources and case studies for collections staff in libraries and archives.

Building cultural competency is an ongoing process. The work in 2018-2021 will be a catalyst for continuing improvement.

Find out more about the Culturally Safe Libraries program.

Advisory groups


Objective: Copyright experts from each NSLA library work together to:

  • advocate on behalf of library users and libraries
  • improve and standardise the management of copyright in NSLA libraries
  • consider and respond to legislative, technological and other factors that affect copyright.

Corporate Services

The heads of Corporate Services meet annually to:

  • share information on corporate activities and issues connected with budget, workforce, data management and business planning
  • leverage strategies and experiences of member libraries.

eResources Consortium

Objective: The purpose of the eResources Consortium is to secure access to commercial electronic resources for NSLA members. The Consortium aims to:

  • simplify and improve licencing arrangements
  • maximise efficiency, innovation and sustainability for member libraries
  • explore opportunities for making eResources more widely available to all Australians, regardless of where they live.

The Consortium is managed at the National Library.

Heads of Collections

Senior staff working with collections at the strategic level meet annually to:

  • share policies about collection development and major acquisitions
  • share policies and guidelines around legacy collections; access to rare collections; handling and loan of collection material; use of collections by researchers
  • discuss and share solutions for staffing issues, including training and succession planning
  • share solutions for skills development in niche areas such as transcription, image recognition and format-based skills.

NSLA Blakforce

NSLA Blakforce is a network for peer support and professional learning exclusively for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff in NSLA libraries.

Connecting with the sector, community and government

In 2019 NSLA members are focused on:

  • regional relationships
  • the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

NSLA is represented on a number of committees, panels and groups, including:

Staff networks

NSLA sponsors staff networks in practice areas of strategic importance to member libraries. Their primary purpose is to share specialist knowledge and insights, build relationships, foster innovation and develop a sense of community across NSLA libraries.

Networks have been established in the following areas:

  • Digital archives – looking at: digital collection appraisal, working with donors, and pre-ingest tools and workflows.
  • Digital preservation – topics such as: digital storage, emulation, formats in NSLA collections, advocacy, professional development opportunities, policies, and digital preservation workflows.
  • Literacy and learning – topics such as: early years’ learning, schools and education, evaluation practices, teen programming, adult functional literacy, digital literacy and eGovernment, libraries as learning organisations, education policy and cultural safety.
  • Visitor experience – discussions include: entry/service policies, user experience, data and analysis, engagement strategies, rostering, volunteers, online service provision, social services.
  • Storage – looking at physical collection storage.

See a list of the current members of NSLA groups in each library.