NSLA board welcomes new strategy

NSLA board at State Library of Victoria
NSLA board at State Library of Victoria

When members of the NSLA board came together in Melbourne last week for their first meeting of 2023, there was more than one milestone to be celebrated. The meeting was held 50 years to the day since the very first meeting of what was then the State Librarians Council, convened at State Library Victoria. It was also the moment when the NSLA Board formally concluded our program of work under NSLA’s 2020-2023 strategic plan, and endorsed a new strategy for 2023-2026.

The strategy, Leading Together, is today being launched alongside new branding and a refreshed website for NSLA, marking our 50th anniversary and our recent incorporation as an association.

The board began their meeting with a tour of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne, hosted by CEO Seb Chan. Possibilities for the use of AI in searching AV collections and in presenting exhibition material were thoroughly brought to life. Board members also visited ACMI’s media preservation lab for an inside look at the kind of work going on within the Emulation as a Service Infrastructure (EaaSI) project, led by Swinbure University – in which both NSLA and ACMI are partners.

The meeting concluded with a livestreamed panel at the State Library Victoria theatrette, facilitated by NSLA Chair Vicki McDonald (SLQ) in conversation with Marie-Louise Ayres (NLA), Rachel Esson (NLNZ), Geoff Strempel (SLSA) and Sue McKerracher (TAS). This was an opportunity for colleagues within and outside of NSLA libraries to hear directly from board members about the meaning behind each of the four themes of the new NSLA strategy: Collections, First Nations, People, Audience and Advocacy.

Other decisions arising from the meeting related to:

  • NSLA’s communications plan for 2023, leveraging our fiftieth anniversary: confirming a proposed series of online and in-person events and awards
  • Draft public libraries statistics report for 2021-2022: confirming a statement of interpretation of results, to be published alongside the report in April
  • Draft strategic plan for the National edeposit service (NED): early work approved, with a final version to be endorsed by June, ready for implementation from 1 July
  • Web archiving: member libraries selectively collecting websites using infrastructure hosted by the National Library of Australia agreed to continue with current arrangements, but with roles and responsibilities to be clarified in a new Memorandum of Understanding
  • Social media collection: a structured series of conversations approved to explore the ethical, legal and logistical considerations in collecting these datasets, involving collection experts within and outside of NSLA libraries
  • Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP): joint commission of ICIP policy template and checklist from the Arts Law Centre to be taken up by eight libraries (all state and territory libraries of Australia)
  • United Nations Sustainability Development Goals: continued tracking of NSLA’s work against the five goals for which we have special responsibility in the library sector
  • Inclusion and diversity, and sustainability policies: learning from recent work undertaken by staff at State Library Victoria, with members undertaking to share relevant documentation.

Board members will come together again for their next meeting in July at the State Library of Western Australia, in Perth.

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