Our Work

Year in review

The NSLA strategic plan for 2020-2023 was released in August 2020. This strategic plan came into effect in the midst of a global pandemic. The repercussions for libraries, as for all of society, have been considerable and the longer-term implications for library services are difficult to predict. What is clear is the continuing importance of our role as free, public spaces for discovery and access to information – in person and online – as our communities contend with a radically different job market, a creative sector in recovery, new channels for learning and teaching, a demand for invention and entrepreneurship, and new forms of entertainment and social connection.

The sections below summarise activities against our three priority areas of work in 2021-22, and their status at as 30 June 2022.

We will build shared systems for effective delivery of national collections and programs





Scoping and building new web archiving infrastructure

Will not proceed with joint infrastructure at this time

Joint work on standards and mechanisms for delivery of oral histories and other digital archive formats as needed

Good progress

Shared online service delivery for selected programs, collections and events

Not started

Resilience & sustainability

Enhancements to NED to improve publisher experience and diversity of content, with a focus on media and community publishers, and content in languages other than English

Good progress

Shared policies on energy use and environmental sustainability of digital infrastructure

Not started

Adaptability in the workforce

Shared tools to assess the digital capability of staff in NSLA libraries

Not started

Development of shared online services or delivery channels, and of a NSLA webinar series (see ‘Building cultural and intellectual capital’)

Good progress (webinars)

Continuation of NED Steering Group and Operational Group with responsibility for project management and public communications

Not started (shared services)

Staff networks in learning, digital archives and preservation, visitor experience, storage and audience engagement

Good progress

Active participation in the international Digital Preservation Coalition

Good progress

We will ensure that our collections reach and reflect the full diversity of our population
Initiative Actions Status
Innovation Collective and local projects in First Nations collections, e.g. inclusion of Indigenous place names in relevant records, review of contemporary Indigenous collecting practice, work with communities for inclusive management of local collections Good progress
Collective and local projects to improve representation of diverse language and cultural groups in programs and collections Fair progress (individual libraries)
Launch of inaugural NSLA fellowship in digital curation, working with collections of at least two NSLA libraries Will not proceed
Resilience & sustainability Evaluation of Culturally Safe Libraries Program, and ongoing evaluation based on the NSLA Indigenous cultural competency principles Achieved/continuing
Pursuit of opportunities to make collections available on a range of platforms, and participation in state and national research data infrastructure projects Fair progress
Continuation of NSLA eResources Consortium and shared approach to cost-effective provision of subscription-based electronic resources that meet library and user needs Good progress
Adaptability in the workforce Continuation of AIATSIS Core Cultural Learning online training, and delivery of First Nations collections workshops in NSLA libraries Achieved/continuing
Analysis of workforce data and shared mechanisms to improve workforce diversity with measures for accountability Fair progress
Staff network for collection managers and NSLA Blakforce, the network for First Nations staff in NSLA libraries Good progress
We will develop a strong evidence base for the library sector and share our expertise as a trusted voice in national policy
Initiative Actions Status
Innovation New research projects and policies with external partners, e.g. using AI for collection access, digital humanities, data science Good progress
Development of new modes of measurement for the contribution of public libraries and NSLA libraries in Australia, working with ALIA and APLA Achieved
Shared policies on digital ethics and membership of AMLA Fair progress
Resilience & sustainability Shared approach to disaster preparedness, recovery and contingency planning for emergency scenarios Fair progress
Contribution to research and policy in collection valuation, oral histories, special collections, and research data infrastructure Fair progress
Strong NSLA voice in external committees, including ALACC and NELLC, and collaboration with ALIA, APLA and LIANZA Good progress/ continuing
Regular review of, and additions to, NSLA policies and guidelines Good progress/ continuing
Adaptability in the workforce Webinar series on collection management, preservation, storage, working with First Nations collections, and collection highlights Achieved as pilot; continuing
Public presentations and written communications by NSLA project members Good progress
Staff networks in corporate services and copyright legislation Good progress