Our work

Guided by NSLA’s strategic plan 2020-2023 and the 2020-2021 business plan, the current focus for our work is on the projects and initiatives below.

Major projects

National edeposit (NED)

Already the NSLA collaboration has resulted in development of the National edeposit service (NED), launched in 2019. This service has revolutionised our approach to the collection of Australian electronic publications, with nine libraries successfully managing one national collection, an easy deposit mechanism for publishers and broad public access to content across the country.

Enhancements to NED will continue in order to improve the publisher experience and to sustain confidence in the service and the collaboration.

Web archiving

Our next major challenge is to replace outdated web archiving infrastructure with an efficient, sustainable and collaborative means of collecting online content. This infrastructure will ensure continued access to the rich collections of the Australian Web Archive already discoverable through Trove, and allow us to build on those collections in a coordinated and responsive way across a wide range of content formats and platforms. Together, we aim to build a collection that reflects the diversity of the Australian population and can be readily searched and accessed for research and creative purposes.

Culturally Safe Libraries Program

We will continue to train staff in cultural competency and evaluate our efforts. By mid-2021 staff in all NSLA libraries will have completed the AIATSIS Core Cultural Learning foundation training. As soon as is practicable, we will run the postponed Indigenous-led workshops for small groups of staff who work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections in our libraries, and continue to encourage the Australian GLAM sector to make use of the free, publicly available online resources that have been developed for these.

Building cultural competency is an ongoing process. We will continue to build relationships with First Australian communities, and modify our practices where needed to ensure that collections pertaining to those communities are described, used and shared appropriately.

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 licensing 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

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.
  • 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.