Memorandum of Understanding 

1. Introduction

1.1   This understanding is between the members of National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA).

1.2   It replaces the previous NSLA Memorandum of Agreement, January 2012 –  December 2016.

2. Definitions

2.1  Members of NSLA

The members of NSLA are the chief executives, or equivalent, of the following libraries, referred to as NSLA libraries:

  1. Libraries ACT
  2. LINC Tasmania
  3. National Library of Australia
  4. National Library of New Zealand
  5. Northern Territory Library
  6. State Library of New South Wales
  7. State Library of Queensland
  8. State Library of South Australia
  9. State Library Victoria
  10. State Library of Western Australia

The members of NSLA represent their libraries in signing this Memorandum of Understanding.

3. Preamble

NSLA represents the national, state and territory libraries of Australia and New Zealand – that is, the principal public research library with legal deposit responsibility in each jurisdiction.

The objective of NSLA is to work together to achieve more, to deliver greater value for the people of Australia and New Zealand, through:

  • Shared solutions - developing effective solutions for the management of collections and delivery of services; a focus on best practice; and developing frameworks and codes of practice for NSLA libraries to utilise; and
  • Communication and influence – advocating for member libraries; extending relationships and partnerships; communicating with governments and stakeholders; and leading broader collaboration in the library and cultural sectors.

3.1      This Memorandum of Understanding is not legally binding.

3.2      The members of NSLA take part voluntarily.

3.3      NSLA is not an incorporated body.

3.4      NSLA recognises that each NSLA library works under the legislation, conditions and commitments of their local jurisdiction.

3.5      This agreement is for five years, from January 2017 until December 2021, unless a revised agreement is endorsed in this time or unless all members agree to terminate the agreement.

3.6      A member, by giving written notice to all other members, may end its participation in the agreement.

3.7      This agreement will be reviewed and varied as required.

4. Purpose

4.1  The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding is to state the conditions, rights, practices and responsibilities of NSLA members.

5. Conditions

5.1 Membership

  • NSLA members are the chief executives, or equivalent, of the ten NSLA libraries.

5.2 Rights of Members

  • NSLA members can opt-out of specified NSLA projects or activities, with notification to the NSLA Chair and NSLA Executive Officer.
  • NSLA aims to make decisions by consensus. If this is not possible, a vote will be held and, if tied, the Chair has a casting vote.
  • Differences in views or circumstances of NSLA libraries will be reflected in submissions and correspondence when required or on request (e.g. submissions to Australian government bodies will explicitly exclude the National Library of New Zealand).

5.3 Obligations of Members

  • Each NSLA member will represent their library at each NSLA meeting, or send a representative who will be able to speak and act for the member.
  • Members will endeavour to be responsive to requests for decision/information from NSLA, and to fulfil their commitments to NSLA, such as project delivery or local implementation, within the agreed timeframes.

5.4 NSLA Chairperson

  • The NSLA Chair is elected for a two-year term.
  • The Chair may be required to represent NSLA on external committees, at meetings with the broader cultural sector, with government, and other stakeholders.
  • Other members of NSLA may also be called on to represent NSLA externally.
  • Where a Deputy Chair is elected, they will usually become the Chair for the following term.
  • The Chair directs NSLA business, resolves major issues, approves correspondence and steers the development of the NSLA agenda and priorities.

5.5 NSLA Meetings

  • NSLA meetings are usually held three times per year.
  • A meeting quorum is 6 members, i.e. 50% plus one.
  • Meetings are chaired by the NSLA Chair, or in his/her absence, the Deputy Chair, or, if both should be absent, a member elected for the purpose.
  • Meetings are hosted by NSLA libraries, with lesser frequency for meetings in more dispersed locations and greater frequency for meetings in more central locations. Each NSLA Library will host at least one NSLA meeting in a 5-year period.
  • Costs for venues and catering during the meeting are covered by the host library.

5.6 Fees

  • Membership fees are calculated annually and generally reflect changes in the Australian annual Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  • NSLA may agree to contribute additional levies to support projects and initiatives
  • Each member is responsible for payment of the membership fee and any additional levy on receipt of an invoice. Invoices for NSLA membership fees can usually be drawn at a time to suit each library, within the agreed period.

5.7 NSLA Office

  • The NSLA Office is hosted by one of the member libraries, which seconds or employs staff on behalf of NSLA.
  • The Executive Officer manages the NSLA Office, reporting to the NSLA Chair for NSLA business and to the chief executive of the host library as supervising officer.
  • Additional staff may also be employed to support the NSLA Executive Officer.
  • The NSLA Executive Officer manages the day-to-day business of NSLA, including external communications and partnerships, and advises and supports the NSLA projects and communities of practice.
  • The NSLA Executive Officer ensures that communication with NSLA members and joint decision-making by NSLA members is timely and informed, and that the varying positions and circumstances of the NSLA members are reflected in correspondence and practice.

5.8 Governance of projects

  • Projects and communities of practice are established by NSLA members.
  • Program governance guidelines for NSLA projects and communities of practice are available separately.
  • NSLA Office can assist with funding and arrangements for travel to NSLA-related events using the NSLA Travel Quota, see separate guidelines.

5.9 Representation on external groups

  • Any NSLA member or staff member of an NSLA Library who is representing NSLA on an external committee or at an external meeting, will seek to present the agreed NSLA position as far as possible. They will gather information about the NSLA position prior to the meeting and provide feedback to NSLA after the meeting, via the NSLA Executive Officer.

5.10 Archives

  • Current records (electronic and hard-copy) will be under the management of the Executive Officer.
  • Archives of NSLA will be deposited at the National Library of Australia.

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