November 2020 meeting outcomes

CEOs of NSLA libraries came together on 26-27 November for their third online meeting of the year. We bid a fond farewell to special guest Bill Macnaught as outgoing National Librarian for New Zealand, with congratulations to Rachel Esson as his successor. We look forward to continuing a strong working relationship with Rachel and the National Library of New Zealand.

Meeting discussion covered the following:

  • Responses to Covid-19 based on a report produced by NSLA’s Senior Adviser, Research & Policy, with cooperation from all member libraries. The report looked at emergency responses in each library, effects on the workforce, readiness in terms of technology and infrastructure, public messages, and the switch to online operations. CEOs agreed to pursue opportunities for shared capability-building in digital programming, and shared metrics for community engagement. An extract of the report’s findings and conclusions is available.
  • Culturally Safe Libraries Program and evaluation of Core Cultural Learning online training, looking at benefits of the program to date against unforeseen and negative effects on some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, as expressed in a report from NSLA Blakforce. Guest speaker Marcus Hughes, Director of Indigenous Engagement for the National Library, spoke compellingly on the importance of leadership and Eldership. The need for continued commitment to, and visibility of, the program was acknowledged. Travel restrictions permitting, the planned Indigenous collections workshops will proceed in 2021, along with activities and policy work in each library. A full evaluation of institutional cultural competency will begin in 2021 and be repeated annually.
  • Enhancements to the National edeposit service (NED) with five of seven major enhancements now underway including a mechanism for bulk deposit to assist media and serial publishers. A six-month pilot will take place in 2021 to test new workflows for more efficient claiming of legal deposit materials. NED will remain a major project for the NSLA office until March 2022.
  • Web archiving with the project plan for a scoping exercise by the National Library endorsed by the group. This is the next step on the way to a new collaborative web archiving system.
  • eResources and acknowledgement of the benefits to library users of eresource subscriptions with extended remote access during the pandemic. Implications of the recently-announced change in ownership for TechStreet – as providers of Australian Standards – will be investigated.
  • External committees including the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee and proposed copyright reforms, delayed until early 2021. Commitments to GLAM Peak and the Australian Media Literacy Alliance were reinforced, with support for a proposed AMLA event in 2021.
  • Future of library and information services education with guest speakers Sue McKerracher and Kate Bunker of ALIA speaking about a proposed new approach to library qualifications in the face of a dwindling number of affordable and fit-for-purpose undergraduate options. NSLA libraries are strongly supportive of the changes and will be contributing case studies to assist with the proposal. CEOs Vicki McDonald (QLD) and Geoff Strempel (SA) will address an online ‘Town Hall meeting’ for ALIA on 21 December.

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