NSLA members headed west for their July meeting and AGM this year, hosted by CEO and State Librarian Catherine Clark at the State Library of Western Australia in Perth.
A special tour of the Western Australian Museum was provided on the afternoon prior to the meeting by Alec Coles (CEO), continuing the NSLA Board’s recent practice of a ‘day zero’ visit to a local cultural institution and discussion with its director about issues common to the GLAM sector.
An important outcome of this NSLA board meeting was confirmation of NSLA’s next Chair and Deputy Chair by vote. Sue McKerracher, Executive Director of Libraries Tasmania, will be NSLA Chair for the 2024-2025 calendar years, effective 1 January 2024. Rachel Esson, Te Pouhuaki/National Librarian for Aotearoa New Zealand, will serve as Deputy Chair in the same period. Vicki McDonald’s term as NSLA Chair comes to an end in December 2023.
This meeting was the Board’s first opportunity to formally thank and farewell Patrick Gregory, who announced in June that he would take up a role with Libraries Tasmania in Hobart after nine years as Senior Director of Library & Archives NT.
During the meeting, the subjects of strengthening democracy and intellectual freedom were discussed at length – including in a special session with ALIA colleagues Cathie Warburton (CEO) and Trish Hepworth (Director of Policy & Education). Board members also heard from:
- Prof. Melanie Swalwell and Cynde Moya from Swinburne University regarding the ARC-funded EaaSI (Emulation as a Service Infrastructure) project, in which NSLA is a partner.
- Catherine Belcher, Director Collection Services about SLWA’s at-risk audio and visual media project.
- Denien Toomath, Community Liaison Officer Indigenous Engagement for SLWA, about the Storylines platform for community-managed Indigenous collection content.
- Jo Ritale, NED Program Manager, and Lesley Sharp, NED Steering Group Chair, about work already underway to meet the objectives of the new NED strategic and operational plans.
Formal business items included approval of audited accounts and NSLA’s annual report for 2022-2023, a program status report against the newly-released NSLA strategic plan, reports from eight external committees with NSLA representatives, and an annual report from NSLA’s eResources Consortium, which continues to deliver savings to members. The NSLA Board’s next meeting will take place at the State Library of South Australia in Adelaide on 23-24 November 2023, when board members will take a moment to formally celebrate fifty years of collaboration.