Annual Report - Report of Operations

Annual Report - Outcome and Strategies

Performance reporting in this chapter is based on the Library’s outcome and program structure set out in the Portfolio Budget Statement 2011–12. The Library has one outcome.

Enhanced learning, knowledge creation, enjoyment and understanding of Australian life and society by providing access to a national collection of library material.

In 2011–12, the Library achieved this outcome through three strategies:

  • collecting and preserving Australia’s documentary heritage
  • providing access to the Library’s collection
  • collaborating nationally and internationally.

Annual Report - Strategy One: Collecting and Preserving

Operating Outcome

During 2011–12, income, including revenue from government, amounted to $66.616 million and expenses were $76.440 million, resulting in a deficit of $9.824 million. From an income-statement perspective, the Library does not receive appropriation funding for depreciation of the national collection (totalling $12.024 million), which forms part of operating expenses. Government funding for the purchase of collection material is provided through an equity injection totalling $9.779 million.

Income

The total income of $66.616 million for 2011–12 was $3.761 million above budget and compares to total actual income of $64.418 million for 2010–11. Figure 1.1 shows a comparison of income across items against budget for 2011–12 and 2010–11.

Figure 1.1: Income, 2011–12 and 2010–11

Figure 1.1: Income, 2011–12 and 2010–11

Note: A logarithmic scale is used.

Figure 1.1: Income, 2011–12 and 2010–11 Data in Table Format

 Actual 2011–12Budget 2011–12Actual 2010–11
Revenue from government48.98948.98949.105
Sales of goods and services8.9078.0387.780
Interest2.9882.2803.333
All other income5.7323.5484.200
Total66.61662.85564.418

The major variations between financial years relate to increases in the sales of goods and services ($1.127 million), largely due to an increase in revenue received from digitising other library collections, increased sales through the Bookshop and sponsorship revenue associated with the Library’s exhibition program; increases in other revenue ($1.613 million), largely due to increased grant and donation revenue; and reductions in interest revenue ($0.345 million) and revenue from government ($0.116 million). The decline in interest revenue is primarily the result of reduced deposit rates received during 2011–12.

Expenses

The total expenses of $76.440 million for 2011–12 were $0.216 million above budget and $4.458 million more than 2010–11. Figure 1.2 shows a comparison of expenditure across items and against budget for 2011–12 and 2010–11.

Figure 1.2: Expenses, 2011–12 and 2010–11

Figure 1.2: Expenses, 2011–12 and 2010–11

Note: A logarithmic scale is used.

Figure 1.2: Expenses, 2011–12 and 2010–11 Data in Table Format

 Actual 2011–12Budget 2011–12Actual 2010–11
Employees39.18237.01636.016
Suppliers17.10017.40116.214
Depreciation and amortisation19.39221.21419.029
Other0.7660.5930.723
Total76.44076.22471.982

Employee expenses were $3.166 million more than 2010–11. This is the result of a combination of factors, including a net increase in leave expenses ($1.842 million), of which $1.254 million is due to the movements in the long-term bond rate during 2011–12, which has the effect of increasing the value of the liability; reduced capitalisation of staff time ($0.401 million) associated with the production of internally developed software and with the digitising of collection material, which has the effect of increasing salary expenditure; and base salary increases and a small productivity payment provided to staff under the Library’s Enterprise Agreement and partially offset by a small reduction in staff numbers (8.9 average staffing level).

Supplier expenses were higher ($0.886 million) than 2010–11, largely due to increased cost of goods sold ($0.193 million), primarily as a result of increased sales through the Library’s Bookshop, and increased promotional expenses ($0.585 million), largely associated with the opening of the Library’s Treasures Gallery and the exhibition, Handwritten: Ten Centuries of Manuscript Treasures from Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Much of the additional expenditure associated with the exhibition was funded by the receipt of sponsorship revenue.

Depreciation and amortisation expenses were $0.363 million higher than 2010–11. The primary reason for the variation is increased depreciation of plant and equipment ($0.242 million),
largely the result of the replacement of existing assets.

Equity

In 2011–12, the Library’s total equity increased by $86.766 million to $1,776.531 million. The net increase is a result of an equity injection for collection acquisitions ($9.779 million), a net revaluation increment ($86.811 million) following the revaluation of the Library’s collection, land and buildings, and the net operating result ($9.824 million) for 2011–12.

Total Assets

Figure 1.3 shows that the total value of the Library’s assets increased by $86.339 million to $1,793.712 million in 2011–12.

Figure 1.3: Total Assets, 2011–12 and 2010–11

Figure 1.3: Total Assets, 2011–12 and 2010–11

Note: A logarithmic scale is used.

Figure 1.3: Total Assets, 2011–12 and 2010–11 Data in Table Format

 Actual 30 June 2012Actual 30 June 2011
Financial assets54.366m56.194m
Inventories and other3.840m3.893m
Intangibles—software4.102m4.663m
The National Collection1,516.170m1,435.175m
Plant and equipment13.289m12.937m
Land and buildings201.945m194.511m
Total1,793.712m1,707.373m

The increase in non-financial assets ($88.167 million) is largely the result of the revaluation of the Library’s collections, land and buildings (a net increment of $86.811 million) and the net difference between current-year assets acquisitions, disposals and current-year depreciation expenses ($1.409 million). In addition, there was an increase in the value of inventories ($0.089 million) and a reduction in the value of prepaid supplier expenses ($0.142 million). The decrease in financial assets ($1.828 million) relates primarily to a reduction in receivables ($0.676 million), a reduction in cash at bank ($0.781 million) and a reduction in investments ($0.579 million).

Total Liabilities

As Figure 1.4 shows, the Library’s total liabilities reduced by $0.427 million from last financial year to $17.181 million.

Figure 1.4: Total Liabilities, 2011–12 and 2010–11

Figure 1.4: Total Liabilities, 2011–12 and 2010–11

Note: A logarithmic scale is used.

Figure 1.4: Total Liabilities, 2011–12 and 2010–11 Data in Table Format

 Actual 30 June 2012Actual 30 June 2011
Employee provisions12.279m11.001m
Payable4.902m6.607m
Total17.181m17.608m

The changes in liabilities relate to a reduction in supplier payables ($1.971 million) and increases in grants payable ($0.007 million), employee provisions ($1.278 million) and other payables ($0.259 million).

Cash Flow 

In 2011–12 there was a reduction in the Library’s cash balance, which decreased by $0.781 million to $5.443 million as at 30 June 2012. Figure 1.5 shows a comparison of cash flow items for 2011–12 and 2010–11.

Figure 1.5: Net Cash Flow, 2011–12 and 2010–11

Figure 1.5: Net Cash Flow, 2011–12 and 2010–11

Figure 1.5: Net Cash Flow, 2011–12 and 2010–11 Data in Table Format

 Actual 30 June 2012Actual 30 June 2011
Net operating8.259m10.625m
Net investing-18.819m-18.280m
Net financing9.779m9.743m
Total-0.781m2.088m

The decrease in net cash from operating activities ($2.366 million) reflects the comments under ‘Income’ and ‘Expenses’. The increase in net cash used by investing activities ($0.539 million) primarily reflects the net movement of funds from investments to cash at bank between years ($4.391 million), a decrease in the investment in property, plant and equipment and intangibles ($4.452 million) and a decrease in proceeds from the sales of property, plant and equipment as a consequence of the sale in 2010–11 of an apartment gifted to the Library ($0.600 million). The decrease in the investment in property, plant and equipment and intangibles is largely the result of increased building expenditure during 2010–11 as a result of the construction of the new Treasures Gallery. There was a minor increase in net cash from financing activities between financial years ($0.036 million), as a result of the Library’s equity injection provided by government to fund collection acquisitions being slightly increased.

Annual Report - Strategy Two: Providing Access

The Library provides access to its collection to all Australians through services to users in the main building and nationally through online information services. The Library provides reference and lending services to both onsite users and to those outside Canberra, via online services and the digitisation of selected resources from the Australian Collection. The Library also delivers a diverse annual program of exhibitions and events.

In 2011–12, the Library will:

  • complete construction of a Treasures Gallery, which will enable the Library to permanently display its iconic, rare and important collection items to the public
  • commence work on the integration of the Main and Newspapers and Microforms reading rooms
  • implement improved systems and workflows to enhance the supply of copies of collection material to users.

Major Initiatives

Complete construction of a Treasures Gallery, which will enable the Library to permanently display its iconic, rare and important collection items to the public.

Many of the Library’s greatest treasures, from James Cook’s Endeavour Journal to Edward Koiki Mabo’s papers and the original draft of Waltzing Matilda, are on permanent display in the new Treasures Gallery. A diverse selection from the Library’s overseas collections is also showcased.

The successful opening was a significant moment in the Library’s history and was the culmination of over ten years of work. It would have been impossible without the support of
the Australian Government and the generosity of supporters, who helped the Library to raise over $3 million to fund the building of the gallery.

Commence work on the integration of the Main and Newspapers and Microforms reading rooms.

In June 2011, following completion of renovations in the Main Reading Room associated with the construction of the Treasures Gallery, the next stage of reading room improvements was planned to be the integration of the Newspapers and Microforms Reading Room, moving it from the current location on Lower Ground 1 to the Main Reading Room. After further consideration, it has been decided instead to prioritise integration of special collections reading rooms. As a first stage, in October 2011, the Pictures and Manuscripts reading rooms were integrated into a renovated reading room, providing a single service point on Level 2 for access to these collections. In January 2012, work began on the feasibility of developing an enlarged integrated reading room for access to rare and special collection materials, including manuscripts, pictures, maps, rare books, sheet music, ephemera and oral history recordings. The decision was taken to locate the new reading room on Level 1, in compliance with the provisions of the Strategic Building Master Plan. A design brief for the new reading room has been completed.

Implement improved systems and workflows to enhance the supply of copies of collection material to users.

A major project to redevelop Copies Direct, the online requesting service for clients wishing to order copies of collection material, was undertaken. The redeveloped service is easy to use, has improved functionality, including a shopping-cart facility for multiple item orders, and better security for online payment. The redevelopment has also improved workflow processes for staff. Since the redevelopment, almost 10,000 Copies Direct orders have been placed and the new service has received an overwhelmingly positive response from users.

Issues and Developments

A major project to transfer pre-2010 Australian print collections into separate sequences for monographs and journals was completed, resulting in compaction of collections and more efficient use of available onsite storage space. The project has created enough additional storage space in the main building to defer the requirement for an extension to the Library’s offsite facility in Hume until at least 2015.

A quality assurance review of the Ask a Librarian enquiry service showed strong adherence to the Library’s performance guidelines, with 98 per cent of the responses judged as using ‘excellent or good’ language and tone, 95 per cent providing an ‘excellent or good’ answer, 94 per cent meeting the one-hour time limit for preparing responses and 96 per cent being answered within a week (exceeding the Service Charter guideline of 90 per cent). These results suggest that users benefit from a consistent-quality service delivered from staff answering research and information enquiries in different branches across the Library.

A new inventory management system was implemented in the Bookshop and Sales and Promotion sections. The Library Bookshop refurbishment and upgrade of the online shop has contributed to an increase in sales over the previous year.

The Library published 23 new titles promoting the Library’s collection. The titles are sold through more than 1,650 outlets in Australia and New Zealand and online. The book accompanying the exhibition, Handwritten: Ten Centuries of Manuscript Treasures from Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, was represented in the weekly Nielsen Top 20 sales list for Independent Booksellers on six occasions and the print run of 5,000 sold out. Two previously published titles received national recognition:

  • author Jenny Gall and Joanna Karmel, Senior Editor, Publications, won the Fellowship of Australian Writers’ Barbara Ramsden Award, which acknowledges the combined effort of author and editor for a book of quality writing, for In Bligh’s Hand: Surviving the Mutiny on the Bounty
  • extracts from Australian Backyard Explorer by Peter Macinnis have been selected for use in a Primary English Teaching Association Australia publication that supports primary school educators of English and literacy across the curriculum.

The Library’s Volunteer Program expanded with the opening of the Treasures Gallery and the Exhibition Gallery in late 2011. Volunteers assist the Library by providing daily gallery tours, as well as behind-the-scenes and building-art tours, providing front-of-house assistance on weekends and public holidays and working on a range of other projects.

Volunteers make a significant contribution to improving access to the collection. In 2011–12, for example, a volunteer with specialist aviation experience completed a data spreadsheet of over 70,000 aerial photographs, enabling the information to be accessed through the Library’s catalogue. Through this and other volunteer projects, the Library can now provide catalogue access to over 800,000 Australian, Papuan and Antarctic aerial images, exposing previously hidden collection material and resulting in higher use of the collection. 

Positioning Projects

Some 30 projects aimed at improving access to the collection and streamlining workflows were carried out during the year, with the assistance of one-off project funding. These included:

  • preparing pictures for digitisation
  • creating online lists to aid discovery of some high-profile performing-arts ephemera
  • digitising 140,000 pages of oral history transcripts, which can now be delivered electronically, rather than as photocopies
  • trialing digitisation and delivery of non-English-speaking community newspapers
  • developing system applications and processes to allow staff to undertake maintenance of the Library Management System without the need for IT support
  • converting the Chinese card catalogue entries for access through the online catalogue
  • delivering a standards-based IT project that enables interoperability between the inter-library loans management system and the catalogue and eliminates the need for double-keying records in both systems
  • producing a series of online instructional videos answering frequently asked questions about Library services
  • undertaking a detailed review of the Libraries Australia business environment
  • identifying a suitable platform to record, maintain and interrogate information about over 400 potential contributors to Trove
  • reviewing the file formats used in physical format digital publications in the Library’s collection, with a view to documenting characteristics.

All the projects achieved their aims and enabled important progress in priority areas of activity. 

Cataloguing

The completion of projects to catalogue several large collections improved access for users. Completed projects included the Riley Collection of material about the Australian labour movement from the 1890s to the 1960s, the Symphony Australia Collection of Australian musical works from 1912 to the 1970s and the Marcie Muir Collection of Australian children’s literature. 

As part of the ongoing program to improve workflows and processes that support collection processing and cataloguing, the Library has started to use publisher-generated bibliographic data, instead of recreating this data. Publishers and distributors produce data routinely to manage stock. The data is compliant with ONIX (Online Information eXchange), an international standard for representing and communicating book industry product information in electronic form. A number of Australian publishers have agreed to provide ONIX records for forthcoming publications for use in the Library’s catalogues. The Library will seek to broaden the program to include more publishers, as it offers productivity savings and is an efficient way to collaborate with the publishing sector.

Digitisation

Through the Australian Newspaper Digitisation Program, the Library has digitised over seven million newspaper pages, consisting of almost 70 million articles. This year, the number and range of regional newspaper titles has been greatly expanded to include titles such as The Singleton Argus and The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate (NSW); The Zeehan and Dundas Herald (Tas.); The Darling Downs Gazette and General Advertiser and Charleville Times (Qld); Warrnambool Standard and The Colac Herald (Vic.); Border Watch (SA) and The Daily News (WA). Two hundred and eighty individual newspaper titles have now been digitised and are feely available for all Australians to search online.

The number of organisations that contribute funding towards digitising local newspapers continues to grow. In 2011–12, a consortium of 11 New South Wales public libraries contributed funding, in addition to:

  • Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office
  • State Library of Western Australia
  • State Library of Victoria
  • Western Plains Cultural Centre (Dubbo)
  • Hawkesbury Library Service
  • Ballarat and District Genealogical Society
  • Stonnington History Centre (Melbourne)
  • Gilgandra Shire Council
  • Friends of Battye Library (WA).

A statement of acknowledgment is made available from every related page and article view in Trove.

During 2011–12, the Library undertook a focused project to trial the digitisation of non-English-speaking community newspapers. The following titles were selected:

  • Adelaider Deutsche Zeitung (1851–1862)
  • Süd-Australische Zeitung (1859–1874)
  • Il Giornale Italiano (1932–1940)
  • Meie Kodu (1949–1954), which was generously funded by the Estonian Archives in Australia.

Following a community led online fundraising campaign, on International Women’s Day (8 March 2012), the Library launched digitised issues of The Dawn: A Journal for Australian Women, Australia’s first feminist journal.

Throughout the year, 16,236 items were digitised, drawn from pictures, maps, manuscripts, music and printed material. Significant items included:

  • a selection of early Canberra maps, in anticipation of the Centenary of Canberra
  • a selection of First and Second World War maps
  • 230 Japanese woodblock kuchi-e prints
  • Symphony Australia concert touring schedules and itineraries
  • the Peter Dombrovskis archive of 3,580 photographs of Australian wilderness landscapes
  • a collection of hotel, cruise ship and Christmas menus.

Acquisitions

The Library acquired many interesting and significant materials during the year. A selection of notable acquisitions is listed in Appendix J.

Performance

Table 3.4: Provide Access to the National Collection and Other Documentary Resources—Deliverables and Key Performance Indicators, 2011–12
 MeasureTargetAchieved

Deliverables

Physical collection items delivered to users [#]

240,000

210,297

 

Website access—pageviews [#] (millions)

364 

352 

Key performance indicators

Collection access—Service Charter [%]

100.0

100.0

 

National collection delivered [% growth]

0

-16.0

 

Website access—pageviews [% growth]

7.0

4.0

Figure 3.3: Number of Physical Collection Items Delivered to Users

Figure 3.3: Number of Physical Collection Items Delivered to Users

Figure 3.3: Number of Physical Collection Items Delivered to Users Data in Table Format
YearTargetAchieved
2008-2009256,000295,511
2009-2010265,000285,138
2010-2011270,000250,195
2011-2012240,000210,297
2012-2013241,000 
2013-2014242,000 

The target was not met. A matching increase in use of online resources suggests users prefer the immediacy and convenience of digital collections. Increased charges for inter-library loans and document supply also contributed to this decline.

Table 3.5: National Collection Delivered [% growth]
AchievedAchievedTargetTarget

2008–09

2009–10

2009–11

2011–12

 

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

10.1

-3.5

-12.3

-16.0

0

1.0

1.0

1.0

The target was not met. 

Table 3.6: Collection Access—Service Charter [%]
AchievedAchievedTargetTarget

2008–09

2009–10

2009–11

2011–12

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

The Service Charter standards for reference enquiries responded to, collection delivery and website availability were achieved.

Figure 3.4: Website Access—Number of Pageviews

Figure 3.4: Website Access—Number of Pageviews

Figure 3.4: Website Access—Number of Pageviews Data in Table Format
YearTargetAchieved
2008-2009102,520,000156,495,200
2009-2010143,000,000279,000,000
2010-2011260,000,000339,039,103
2011-2012364,000,000352,000,000
2012-2013389,000,000 
2013-2014416,000,000 

The target was not met. While the use of the Library’s website has not declined, for the first time the projected annual growth (seven per cent) in access to the Library’s online services through the website was not achieved. The reduced overall growth is a result of a substantial reduction (approximately 40 per cent) in internet search engine referrals to the Library catalogue. The Library continues to see strong growth in the use of Trove (up some 30 per cent) and generally steady growth in other online services. Modest growth of seven per cent has been forecast for the next few years and it should be noted that the Library’s website is heavily used compared to those of other libraries and government departments.

Table 3.7: Website Access—Pageviews [% growth]
AchievedAchievedTargetTarget

2008–09

2009–10

2009–11

2011–12

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

63.3

78.1

22.0

4.0

7.0

7.0

7.0

7.0

The target was not met.

Annual Report - Strategy Three: Collaboration

The Library aims to collaborate nationally and internationally to ensure that Australians have access to the information resources they need on a professional and personal level to undertake their research, study and lifelong learning and to understand and appreciate Australia’s history and culture. The Library’s services are designed so that they are accessible to all Australians.

The Library works in partnership with other collecting institutions to improve online services and to develop common standards, sharing expertise and knowledge. In addition, the Library represents the interests of the Australian library sector nationally and internationally.

In 2011–12, the Library will:

  • continue to work collaboratively with National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) on a series of major projects known as Reimagining Libraries, which aim to transform services offered by the national, state and territory libraries to better meet the needs of Australians for access to library services in the digital age
  • continue a major oral history project, funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, to record the story of the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants
  • improve our national collection discovery service, Trove, and extend Trove to include journal articles and licensed e-resources
  • improve the performance of Libraries Australia, a national resource-sharing service, by redeveloping the search interface
  • participate in and contribute to the work of international library bodies, including the Committee of Principals, the Conference of Directors of National Libraries and the International Federation of Library Associations.

Major Initiatives

Continue to work collaboratively with NSLA on a series of major projects known as Reimagining Libraries, which aim to transform services offered by the national, state and territory libraries to better meet the needs of Australians for access to library services in the digital age.

The Library produced a second edition of Guidelines for Library Staff Assisting Donors to Prepare Their Personal Digital Archives for Transfer to NSLA Libraries. The revised version incorporates valuable feedback from member institutions, assisting libraries to liaise with donors about preparing and managing personal digital archives. The guidelines are a useful starting kit for conversations with potential donors—in 2012 it was the most-downloaded publication from the NSLA website.

In another project, an electronic accessioning costing tool for manuscripts was developed to assist NSLA libraries to cost and better understand each of the tasks which comprise the processing workflow. Staff record the time taken for each task (such as receipt, registration, rehousing and cataloguing) into the spreadsheet, which automatically calculates the cost of the activity according to staff level. Results are providing a more precise understanding of the complexities involved in accessioning and are creating opportunities for potential efficiencies.

The Library also commenced a project to reinvigorate the approach to collecting significant Australian websites for inclusion in PANDORA: Australia’s Web Archive. Over the next few years, the aim will be to implement more sophisticated and flexible software to support more efficient collecting and user-friendly delivery options for presenting search results. As well as continuing to select individual websites and conducting larger-scale collecting by type of publication, such as government websites, a new collaborative approach to selecting important websites on contemporary issues, such as the Australian mining boom, will be pursued and the results presented as curated collections. In March 2012, the Library held a successful workshop attended by representatives from NSLA libraries to discuss the implementation of the revised collecting strategy.

Scoping work commenced on options to allow Trove users to reach copy order services offered by NSLA libraries. This project builds on the Library’s successful redevelopment of its Copies Direct service (and exposure of the Copies Direct option in Trove) and the lightweight approach to e-resource authentication, which allows Australian libraries to add data to their ‘profile’ on Australian Libraries Gateway, affecting what can be viewed and accessed via Trove. 

Continue a major oral history project, funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, to record the story
of the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants.

The interviewing stage of the project is drawing to a close, with 230 interviews commissioned and 172 interviews completed so far. Where interviewees have granted permission, 104 interviews have been made available in full online. The interviews document a diverse range of experiences of being in out-of-home care and of the complexities of the lifelong effect of those childhood experiences. Interviews were also commissioned with welfare professionals, employees in homes, politicians and advocates, providing context and insights into the policies and systems of care. Interviewees were selected to represent a range of demographic factors and experiences and interviews were conducted across Australia. The project has also resulted in the addition of significant archival collections, self-published autobiographies and ephemera.

Improve our national collection discovery service, Trove, and extend Trove to include journal articles and licensed e-resources.

Almost 300 million resources are now available through Trove. Many of these resources are high-quality journal articles included in licensed datasets. Trove users who are members of libraries subscribing to these datasets can access individual articles via Trove at their local libraries or by including their library membership details in their Trove profile. 

The Library’s program for integrating its successful format-specific discovery services into Trove is now complete. Picture Australia, which provided an indispensable starting point for Australians seeking online images of their country and its culture, was decommissioned as a separate service in June 2012, as was Music Australia, which provided a ‘one-stop shop’ for users interested in Australian musicians and printed and recorded music. All Picture Australia and Music Australia content is now available through Trove. The consolidation of these and other format-specific services, such as the Register of Australian Archives and Manuscripts and Australia’s Research Online, allows the Library to concentrate its resources in a single service, ensuring that new service developments are available to all users, regardless of their field of interest. 

In a major achievement, the Library developed an application programming interface that allows NSLA and other libraries, researchers and vendors to copy Trove records to include in their own services. A state library, for example, can request all Trove user annotations and comments on an item held in its collection and display them in its local discovery services. Trove newspaper articles or digitised pictures relating to a particular state, region or locality can be retrieved and displayed in local systems to contextualise collections held locally. Researchers can interrogate the vast body of newspaper text to determine trends in the use of particular words or groups of words indicating themes or concerns. Data can be ‘mashed’ with other sources, such as geospatial data. This development means that Trove now acts as a truly interactive web space, where users can find resources, learn how to access them directly and comment on, interact with and re-use them for their own ‘boutique’ developments.

Improve the performance of Libraries Australia, a national resource-sharing service, by redeveloping the search interface.

Following an intensive review of the Libraries Australia business environment—including a survey to which more than 360 member institutions responded about their local priorities and workflows—the Libraries Australia Search Redevelopment project commenced, with the specifications phase completed during the financial year. Search is central to the Libraries Australia service array and is used daily by over 1,000 libraries. During 2011–12, the current software supporting the service reached capacity and the redeveloped service, due to be delivered in 2013, will offer Libraries Australia members significant workflow and timeliness improvements. The redeveloped Search service will leverage existing Trove infrastructure, further consolidating the Library’s development effort and maximising returns on Trove investment.

Participate in and contribute to the work of international library bodies, including the Committee of Principals, the Conference of Directors of National Libraries and the International Federation of Library Associations.

The Director-General attended the annual congress of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and the annual Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL), held in Puerto Rico in August 2011. The Director-General participated in meetings of the IFLA National Libraries Section and discussion groups within CDNL on issues of mutual interest to national libraries, including the collecting and management of digital collections.

In August 2011, the Assistant Director-General, Collections Management, participated in a meeting of the Committee of Principals, the international library body responsible for overseeing development of Resource Description and Access, the new descriptive cataloguing rules. 

Issues and Developments

Trove use is almost two-thirds higher than last financial year, with just under 50,000 user visits per day; Trove traffic now accounts for almost 60 per cent of the Library’s total bandwidth. Use of mobile devices to access Trove has quadrupled. With seven per cent (and rapidly rising) of all searches now conducted on smartphones and other mobile devices, optimising Trove services for these devices is a high development priority. Trove users continue to embrace the many Web 2.0 and social media options that allow them to interact with Trove content. Users routinely correct more than 100,000 lines of text daily—two dedicated individuals have each corrected over one million lines of text—and new Trove lists are being created in their hundreds each month. Trove’s Twitter followers have quadrupled over the course of the year, with more than 2,100 individuals following Trove’s tweets, which connect current events with Trove collection items, especially historical newspaper articles. Recent tweets have encompassed subjects ranging from the deaths of Margaret Whitlam, Murray Rose and Jimmy Little, to the trials that formed the basis of the ABC’s popular Australia on Trial series, to stories of hardy women giving birth in uncongenial circumstances.

The coverage and quality of the Australian National Bibliographic Database (ANBD) were substantially improved during the year. Several state and university libraries added large batch loads of records or provided large files to refresh information on their library holdings. It was particularly pleasing to see a large number of records, generated partly as a result of the Reimagining Libraries Description and Cataloguing Project, start to flow through to the ANBD. Combined with inclusion of large datasets from publishers and international libraries, such as the Library of Congress, this significantly improved Australian libraries’ access to high-quality records to support their collection management and other workflows. Data quality was enhanced using duplicate detection software against a number of different match keys; almost 500,000 duplicate records were removed in a 12-month period. 

The NSLA Consortium achieved the first stage of its core set vision. Eight high-quality e-resources are available to all registered patrons of NSLA libraries, both onsite and from the place of their choice, and good progress is being made on adding products to the core set. In a sign of the value that NSLA libraries place on the consortium, members agreed to substantially increase their contribution to the Library’s administration costs, ensuring the consortium’s long-term sustainability.

The Executive Committee of the Electronic Resources Australia (ERA) Consortium undertook a review of the consortium and sought feedback from Australian libraries on its findings and recommendations. The review was valuable in informing consideration of ER A’ s purpose, values and sustainability. 

Performance

Table 3.8 shows deliverables and key performance indicators in relation to providing and supporting collaborative projects and services in 2011–12.

Table 3.8: Provide and Support Collaborative Projects and Services—Deliverables and Key Performance Indicators, 2011–12
 MeasureTargetAchieved

Deliverables

Agencies subscribing to key collaborative services [#]

2,310

2,437 

 

Records/items contributed by subscribing agencies [#] (millions)

15.059 

26.645  

Key performance indicators

Collaborative services standards and timeframes [%]

97.0

98.0

Figure 3.5: Number of Agencies Subscribing to Key Collaborative Services

Figure 3.5: Number of Agencies Subscribing to Key Collaborative
            Services

Figure 3.5: Number of Agencies Subscribing to Key Collaborative Services Data in Table Format
YearTargetAchieved
2008-20092,0802,057
2009-20102,0712,090
2010-20112,2802,339
2011-20122,3102,437
2012-20132,355 
2013-20142,390 

The target was exceeded due to an increase in the number of subscribers to ERA.

Figure 3.6: Number of Records and Items Contributed by Subscribing Agencies

Figure
                3.6: Number of Records and Items Contributed by Subscribing Agencies

Figure 3.6: Number of Records and Items Contributed by Subscribing Agencies Data in Table Format
YearTargetAchieved
2008-20092,396,0003,498,740
2009-20102,561,0004,474,130
2010-201117,205,00032,303,179
2011-201215,058,65026,644,539
2012-201316,659,000 
2013-201416,659,000 

The increase in the number of items that were contributed by subscribing agencies is the result of a significant increase in the number of newspaper articles contributed to Trove and to several large batch loads of records added to the ANBD.

Table 3.9: Collaborative Services Standards and Timeframes [%]
Achieved
Achieved
Target
Target

2008–09

2009–10

2009–11

2011–12

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

99.0

97.8

96.6

98.0

97.0

97.0

97.0

97.0

Service standards and timeframes were exceeded, due largely to completion of a project to review and renew Libraries Australia help pages, with a resulting reduction in Libraries Australia enquiries.