Our work

Guided by NSLA’s strategic plan and the 2022-2023 Operational Plan, our work is broadly divided under the subheadings below.

See a list of the current members of NSLA groups in each library.

Major projects
National edeposit (NED)

Australia's 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.

NED is governed by a steering group and an operational group, each comprising representatives from all NSLA libraries. The steering group reports to CEOs of NSLA libraries via the NSLA office.

Culturally Safe Libraries 

The Culturally Safe Libraries Program ran in NSLA libraries from 2018-2021 as part of a national effort to provide culturally safe public spaces, workplaces and library services in libraries for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

As part of the program, nearly 2000 staff in all NSLA libraries completed AIATSIS Core Cultural Learning foundation training. Indigenous-led workshops were run in all Australian member libraries for small groups of staff who work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections. We continue to encourage the Australian GLAM sector to make use of the free, publicly available online resources that were developed alongside these.

Building cultural competency is, of course, an ongoing process. Coming out of the formal program we will be:

  • establishing a First Nations Advisory Group for NSLA
  • completing an extensive Contemporary Indigenous Collections audit across four libraries
  • working with colleagues in ALIA and CAUL to draft guidelines for description of Indigenous collections that can be applied sector-wide
  • offering webinars and professional development resources on the theme of culturally safe libraries.

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. We are monitoring our efforts through an annual Indigenous cultural capability audit, with aggregated results published on our website.

Project groups

Project groups are assembled to see through specific projects or pieces of work that can be achieved within a specified period – from several months to a maximum of two years. They are made up of representatives from two or more NSLA libraries.

There are currently two project groups:

  • Contemporary Indigenous collections audit project group: an audit of contemporary Indigenous collections in NSLA libraries and analysis by an external Indigenous researcher, to result in recommendations for contemporary collecting.
  • NSLA collections taskforce: this group comes together by request of the NSLA Heads of Collections advisory group to consider pressing matters about collecting activities that affect more than one NSLA library. This may include shared delivery channels, claiming in NED, offers of collection material between libraries, or distributed collecting efforts on a national subject of interest.
Advisory groups

Advisory groups are a mechanism for information-sharing and problem-solving at a strategic and policy level. They comprise representatives from each NSLA library.

Heads of Collections

Convenor: Anna Raunik, Executive Director, Content and Client Services, State Library of Queensland

Senior staff working with collections at the strategic level meet regularly to:

  • share policies about collection development and major acquisitions
  • share policies, issues and information about 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.
Heads of Corporate Services

Convenor: Hanlie Erasmus, Associate Director, Public Library Services, State Library of South Australia

The heads of corporate services meet as needed to:

  • share information on corporate activities and issues connected with budget, workforce, data management and business planning
  • share strategies and experiences to improve human resource management, workforce diversity, disaster planning, public relations and government advocacy as needed.
Copyright Advisory Group

Convenor: Philippa Stevens, Manager, Information & Access, State Library of New South Wales

Copyright experts from each NSLA library work together to:

  • advocate on behalf of library users and libraries
  • develop policies to improve and standardise the management of copyright in NSLA libraries
  • consider and respond to legislative, technological and other factors that affect copyright
  • advise the NSLA representative on the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee (ALCC).
eResources Consortium

Convenor: Fiona Clarke, Assistant Director, NSLA eResources Consortium

The eResources Consortium is managed at the National Library, with representatives from each NSLA library. The Consortium works to:

  • secure sustainable access to commercial electronic resources for NSLA libraries
  • simplify and improve licensing arrangements
  • explore opportunities for making eresources more widely available across Australia.
Connecting with the sector, community and government

NSLA is committed to sector research and partnerships. We are represented on a number of committees, panels and groups, including:

Networks

NSLA staff networks are designed for professional development; information-sharing; sharing of practical skills, methodologies and tools; and peer support. They are comprised of representatives from all NSLA libraries with an interest in the focus area.

Blakforce

Convenor: Louise Hunter, Lead, Indigenous Services, State Library of Queensland
Co-convenor: Kerry-Ann Tape, Library Assistant, State Library of New South Wales
NSLA and strategic liaison: Damien Webb, Manager, Indigenous Engagement, State Library of New South Wales

Blakforce is a peer network exclusively for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff in NSLA libraries. It is convened and managed by network members, with administrative support from the NSLA office as needed.

Conservation

Network lead: Annette Mills, Business Analyst Library Collections, State Library of South Australia

Staff working in conservation of physical collection items share techniques and experiences in preserving some of the more fragile or unusual items in our collections.

Digital preservation

Network lead: Matthew Burgess, Lead Digital Archivist, State Library of New South Wales

Sharing tools and methodologies for digital preservation, storage, and emulation. The network shares digital preservation policies and processes, and engages in joint advocacy and professional development activities.

Learning

Network leads: Ania Tait, Assistant Director Education Services, Library and Archives NT and Anette Casimaty, Librarian Strategic Improvement and Client Experience, Libraries Tasmania

This network has a focus on learning programs in NSLA libraries including early years’ learning, school visits and educational resources, evaluation practices, teen programming, adult functional literacy, digital literacy, education policy and cultural safety.

Oral history

Network lead: Maria Savvidis, Librarian, State Library of New South Wales

Sharing expertise on commissioning, transcribing, preserving and providing access to our contemporary and legacy oral history collections.

Storage

Network lead: Mark Stevenson, Collection Storage Coordinator, State Library of New South Wales

This group is concerned with physical collection storage, sharing practical methodologies, tips and tools. 

Visitor experience

Network lead: Carolyn Long, Head of Visitor and Information Services, State Library Victoria

Sharing approaches to providing effective library services including policies and procedures, facilities, staffing, reference services and social issues affecting libraries. 

Webinars

NSLA runs webinars addressing some of the more practical ‘how-tos’ of collection practice and policy. Webinars are designed to enable all staff in NSLA libraries - and the Australasian GLAM sector - to benefit from shared expertise without having to be part of a formal network.

Recordings of past webinars can be found in the Resources section of this website.