Finishing the 50th year: anniversary dinner and board meeting outcomes

Picture of the NSLA Board, November 2023
Board members and individual library council representatives meet at the State Library of South Australia in November 2023. L-R: Geoff Strempel (SLSA), Maxine McKew AM (SLV), Ania Tait (LANT), Bruce Linn AM (SLSA), Sue McKerracher (Libraries TAS), Rachel Esson (NLNZ), Tracy Puklowski (LANT), Allison Dobbie (LIAC), Paul Duldig (SLV), Caroline Butler-Bowdon (SLNSW), Marie-Louise Ayres (NLA), Barbara Lemon (NSLA), Jo Ritale (NSLA), Vicki McDonald AM (SLQ), Hon. George Souris AM (SLNSW), Vanessa Little (Libraries ACT), Aimee Hay (NSLA), Jan Richards (Libraries TAS), Catherine Clark (SLWA), Hon. John Day (SLWA). Below L-R: Geoff Strempel (SLSA), Marie-Louise Ayres (NLA), and Allison Dobbie (NLNZ).

NSLA board members came together in Adelaide on November 22nd to see out their 50th anniversary year with a special dinner in the beautiful Mortlock Chamber at the State Library of South Australia, under the blinking lights of the library’s famous seven-metre-tall Christmas tree.

Special guest speaker Dr Barbara Piscitelli AM delivered an inspiring address on children’s art and citizenship. Guests included a library council member from each jurisdiction, and the dinner was followed by a two-day board meeting. Outgoing NSLA Chair Vicki McDonald acknowledged individual long-serving members of the NSLA program and thanked member libraries for their continued commitment to the collaboration:

“For the first time, we are taking a moment to celebrate. Leaders from all ten member libraries of NSLA are taking pause, coming together to recognise all that our libraries have achieved over the last five decades, and particularly over the last fifteen very active years of our organisation, which have seen several hundred colleagues working together for the benefit of Australians and New Zealanders”. 

A new animation explaining the role and history of NSLA was launched at the dinner.

Following these formalities, a NSLA board meeting was held at the State Library of South Australia over two days. Two new members were welcomed to the board: Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon for the State Library of New South Wales, following the recent retirement of Dr John Vallance; and Tracy Puklowski for Library & Archives NT.

Outcomes of the board meeting included:

  • Endorsement of the Guidelines for First Nations Collection Description by Tui Raven, launched on 14 November 2023 as a collaboration between NSLA, AIATSIS, ALIA, CAUL and CAVAL.
  • Endorsement of the ICIP policy template and guidelines commissioned from the Arts Law Centre by state and territory libraries in Australia, and completed with input from the NSLA First Nations Advisory Group.
  • Decision to pursue options for consortium collection of social media archives.
  • Decision to pursue a collaborative project to produce policies and training for implementation of new Resource Description & Access (RDA) standards in NLSA libraries.
  • Approval of proposal by the NSLA Learning Network to meet in Canberra in 2024 with a view to planning an online symposium for teachers.
  • Review of results of NSLA’s third Indigenous Cultural Capability Audit ahead of the release of aggregated results in a public report by the end of 2023.
  • Review of results of NSLA’s first internal benchmarking survey on environmental impact.
  • Decision to shift one of the three NSLA board meetings per year to an online format in the interests of reducing environmental impact of board member travel for NSLA purposes.
  • Productive discussions on NSLA library contributions to strengthening democracy with leaders of the federal Strengthening Democracy Taskforce.
  • Productive discussions on NSLA library contributions to early childhood literacy and language with the CEO of Raising Literacy Australia.
  • Endorsement of the first internal annual report for the National edeposit service (NED), noting strong progress against the NED strategy and operational plan in the six months since both were endorsed.
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