Corporate Overview


The functions of the Library are set out in the National Library Act 1960 (section 6). They are:

  1. to maintain and develop a national collection of library material, including a comprehensive collection of library material relating to Australia and the Australian people
  2. to make library material in the national collection available to such persons and institutions, and in such manner and subject to such conditions, as the Council determines, with a view to the most advantageous use of that collection in the national interest
  3. to make available such other services in relation to library matters and library material (including bibliographical services) as the Council thinks fit and, in particular, services for the purposes of:
    • the library of the Parliament
    • the authorities of the Commonwealth
    • the Territories
    • the Agencies (within the meaning of the Public Service Act 1999)
  4. to cooperate in library matters (including the advancement of library science) with authorities or persons, whether in Australia or elsewhere, concerned with library matters.

The Library is one of many agencies within the Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio with responsibilities for collecting Australian cultural heritage materials and making them available to the Australian public. The Minister for Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport, and Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Simon Crean MP, had responsibility for the Library until 21 March 2013. The Hon. Tony Burke MP was appointed Minister for the Arts on 25 March 2013. The affairs of the Library are conducted by the National Library Council, with the Director General as the executive officer.


The Library was established by the National Library Act 1960, which defines the Library’s role, corporate governance and financial management framework. As a Commonwealth statutory authority, the Library is subject to the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act), which provides the reporting and accountability framework.


The Library’s senior management structure comprises the Director General and six Assistant Directors General.

Figure 2.1 shows the Library’s organisational and senior management structure.

Figure 2.1: Organisational and Senior Management  Structure, 30 June 2013

Figure 2.1 shows the Library’s organisational and senior management structure.

Corporate Governance

Figure 2.2 shows the principal elements of the Library’s corporate governance structure.

Figure 2.2: Corporate Governance Structure, 2012–13

Figure 2.2 shows the key elements of the Library’s corporate governance structure.


The National Library Act provides that a council shall conduct the affairs of the Library. The Council has 12 members, including the Director General, one senator elected by the Senate and one member of the House of Representatives elected by the House.

At 30 June 2013, there were three vacancies on Council. Appendix A lists Council members and their attendance at Council meetings.

In 2012–13, in addition to general administrative, compliance and financial matters, Council considered a range of matters, including:

  • integration of the Library’s reading rooms
  • the Heritage Strategy and Conservation Management Plan
  • the Commonwealth Financial Accountability Review
  • the Overseas Collection Development Policy
  • Library activity during the Centenary of Canberra
  • the activities of the Library’s Foundation Board
  • the Audio Management and Delivery project
  • interlending and document delivery trends
  • relations with Asia (the Australian Government's Australia in the Asian Century White Paper)
  • strategic issues and challenges for Trove
  • budget trend analysis information
  • Council’s evaluation of its performance
  • new acquisitions
  • the Digital Library Infrastructure Replacement project
  • environmental management.

Council has two advisory committees: the Audit Committee and the Corporate Governance Committee.

Audit Committee

The role of the Audit Committee is to:

  1. support the Library and Council members in complying with their obligations under the CAC Act
  2. provide a forum for communication among Council members, senior managers and internal and external auditors
  3. ensure there is an appropriate ethical climate in the Library, and review policies relating to internal controls and risk management.

The Audit Committee comprises a minimum of three non-executive Council members. Council may appoint external members to the Audit Committee. The Council Chair and Director General also attend meetings. Details of Audit Committee members and meeting attendance can be found at Appendix A.

In 2012–13, the Audit Committee considered a range of matters, including:

  • financial statements for 2011–12
  • Library trust-account disbursements
  • internal assessment of the Audit Committee’s performance
  • review of the Audit Committee’s Role and Charter
  • the internal audit schedule
  • the Australian National Audit Office’s 2012–13 financial statement audit strategy
  • the compliance report (CAC Act)
  • the Strategic Internal Audit Plan, 2013–2014 to 2015–2016
  • the Internal Audit Plan 2013–14
  • internal audits of:
    • Trove post-implementation
    • the rights management system
    • contract management
    • Sales and Promotion, and the Bookshop’s annual stocktake
  • Australian National Audit Office reports and recommendations
  • discussion papers on the Commonwealth Financial Accountability Review
  • health check of the Digital Library Infrastructure Replacement project
  • reports on legal services, compliance, fraud and ethics, risk management and business continuity, insurance, whistleblower complaints, contract management and training, probity and contract thresholds.

Corporate Governance Committee

The role of the Corporate Governance Committee is to:

  1. evaluate Council’s effectiveness in its corporate governance role
  2. evaluate the Director General’s performance and remuneration
  3. oversee the development of a list of prospective members for appointment to Council, subject to consideration and approval by the Minister.

The Corporate Governance Committee comprises three non-executive Council members (the Chair, the Deputy Chair and the Chair of the Audit Committee) and has the authority to co-opt other non-executive Council members.

Appendix A lists the Corporate Governance Committee members. In February 2013, the Corporate Governance Committee met to consider the results of the 2012 Council Self-evaluation Survey and, in June 2013, it met to discuss the Director General’s performance.

Corporate Management Group

The Corporate Management Group (CMG), consisting of the Director General and the six Senior Executive Service (SES) staff, provides strategic and operational leadership for the Library. In particular, it monitors the achievement of objectives and strategies, oversees budget matters, develops policy, coordinates activities across the organisation and oversees a range of operational issues. CMG meets weekly.

A number of cross-organisational committees advise CMG in areas such as workforce planning, asset management, building works, emergency planning, collection development and management, events and education, exhibitions, and publications.

Corporate Planning Framework

The Balanced Scorecard continues to be the Library’s principal planning support system, facilitating the integration of strategic, operational and budget planning. Since its introduction in 2000–01, the Balanced Scorecard has proved to be a successful performance management tool accepted by staff and other stakeholders. All scorecard achievements, initiatives and targets are reviewed regularly as part of strategic management planning and monitoring processes.

Risk Management Framework

The Library’s Risk Management Framework continues to provide effective tools for identifying, evaluating and responding to risks that may affect the collection, core business functions and resources, staff and visitors and/or strategic decision making.

The Library’s Risk Management Register, which is subject to annual review, is central to this framework. The register lists risks to the Library, as well as risk-reduction strategies. These strategies are managed through established procedures and plans such as the Collection Disaster Plan, the IT Disaster Recovery Plan, the Business Contingency Plan for Critical Building Systems, and the Business Continuity Plan.

Risk management within the Library is overseen by the Library’s Emergency Planning Committee, which is chaired by the Assistant Director General, Corporate Services, and includes SES staff representing all business areas. The committee provides a clear control structure to identify, monitor, respond to and mitigate risks that may affect the Library.

Public Accountability

External and Internal Audit

The Library’s Audit Committee met three times to consider external and internal audit reports.

Australian National Audit Office Reports

During 2012–13, Australian National Audit Office reports containing Auditor-General recommendations that were implemented by the Library were:

  • Information and Communications Technology Security: Management of Portable Storage Devices (No. 18, 2011–12)
  • Records Management in the Australian Public Service (No. 53, 2011–12).

Internal Audit Reports

The Audit Committee considered a number of internal audit reports, as listed here.

Parliamentary Committees and Government Inquiries

The Library made submissions responding to the Attorney-General’s public consultation paper, Extending Legal Deposit, the National Cultural Policy (Creative Australia) Discussion Paper, and the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Inquiry into Copyright and the Digital Economy.

Ministerial Directions

Under section 48A of the CAC Act, the Minister for Finance and Deregulation (Finance Minister) may make a General Policy Order specifying an Australian Government general policy applicable to the Library, provided the Finance Minister is satisfied that the Minister for the Arts has consulted the Library on the application of the policy. No General Policy Orders applying to the Library were made in 2012–13, although Council provided input into a General Policy Order proposing that the Government’s Protective Security Policy Framework apply to agencies operating under the CAC Act. General policies of the Australian Government that apply to the Library under section 28 of the CAC Act are:

  • Foreign Exchange Risk Management Guidelines
  • Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines
  • National Code of Practice for the Construction Industry.

Legal Action

A claim was lodged in the ACT Supreme Court in 2003 on behalf of Wagdy Hanna and Associates Pty Ltd, seeking damages for an alleged disclosure of information in respect of a 1996 tender process for one of the Library’s offsite storage facilities. The court proceedings were held in December 2008, with Justice Richard Refshauge reserving his decision. In August 2012, the court found in favour of the Library. The outcome is under appeal by Wagdy Hanna and Associates to the Court of Appeal of the ACT.


During 2012–13, the Commonwealth Ombudsman did not advise referral of any issues relating to the Library.

Australian Human Rights Commission

A visitor had lodged a complaint in the previous financial year alleging that the Library indirectly discriminated against the person on the grounds of disability. The Library defended the claim and its actions, asserting there had been no discrimination. The matter was resolved during the course of the financial year.

A user lodged a complaint with respect to operation of the Trove website. The complaint was subsequently discontinued by the Commission, as it was held to be misconceived.

Freedom of Information

The Library finalised two requests under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). One, received on 30 June 2012, was granted, and the second, received in 2012–13, was formally withdrawn.

Agencies subject to the FOI Act are required to publish information as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This requirement is in Part II of the FOI Act and has replaced the former requirement to publish a Section 8 statement in an annual report. Each agency must display on its website a plan showing what information it publishes in accordance with IPS requirements. The Library complies with IPS requirements, and a link to the scheme is provided on the Library’s website (

Indemnities and Insurance Premiums

The premiums under the Library’s insurance coverage with Comcover encompass general liability, directors’ and officers’ indemnity, property loss, damage or destruction, business interruption and consequential loss, motor vehicles, personal accidents and official overseas travel.

The Library’s insurance premium attracted an 8 per cent discount as a result of its performance measured by Comcover’s Risk Management Benchmarking Survey. Under the terms of the insurance schedule of cover, the Library may not disclose its insurance premium price.

The Library continued to be represented at the Insurance and Risk Management Corporate Insurance Forum of cultural agencies, which holds regular meetings with Comcover to discuss insurance issues.

Social Justice and Equity

The Library serves a culturally and socially diverse community and aims to make its collection accessible to all. The Library’s collection includes material in over 300 languages. Its programs and services are developed with an emphasis on public accessibility, and adhere to the principles outlined in the Australian Government’s Charter of Public Service in a Culturally Diverse Community. The Library is conscientiously implementing the charter, and seeks to provide all Australians with the opportunity to access documentary resources of national significance. In particular, during 2012–13, the Library:

  • provided an introductory program to 201 international students of non-English-speaking backgrounds
  • provided exhibition and education tours for adults and young people with special needs, and senior citizens groups
  • supported community projects, including the National Year of Reading, National Reconciliation Week, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, National Simultaneous Storytime, Children’s Book Week, Get Reading!, and Libraries and Information Week
  • supported the development of youth arts activities through events and education programs
  • provided remote interactive Trove training and assistance to Australians in metropolitan, regional and rural areas
  • conducted oral history interviews with people regarding their experience of polio, with Paralympians, and with activists for Indigenous rights reflecting on the 1967 referendum
  • acquired artworks and photographs documenting aspects of the Indigenous experience, including a self-portrait by internationally recognised Indigenous photographer Tracey Moffat, and a series of 25 photographs by Darren Clark focusing on Indigenous communities in Gunbalanya (Oenpelli), Tennant Creek and Alice Springs
  • using a staff photographer, documented Bengali New Year celebrations held at Olympic Park in Sydney, which drew crowds of over 10,000 people
  • acquired artist Jeannie Baker’s collages for her children’s book, Mirror, which portrays parallel stories of the family life of two boys: one living in inner Sydney and the other in a village in Morocco
  • acquired papers of Professor Janice Reid relating to effects of torture and imprisonment on refugees, and the establishment of the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors
  • continued to offer a range of assistive technologies in the reading rooms to help people with sight, hearing or mobility impairments to access services and collections
  • provided an ongoing customer service training program for front-of-house staff, including training in mental health awareness
  • following staff participation in a workshop conducted by the Family History Unit of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, hosted a reciprocal visit for Institute staff.

Service Charter

The Library’s Service Charter sets out its commitment to users, the standards of service that users can expect, and the mechanisms for providing feedback or making a complaint.

Revised in 2011–12, the Service Charter is available online ( and as a print publication.

During 2012–13, the Service Charter standards were met as follows:

  • 97.5 per cent of general reference inquiries were answered within standards (target 90 per cent)
  • 94.7 per cent of collection items were delivered within standards and timeframes (target 90 per cent)
  • the Library’s website was available 24 hours a day for 98.9 per cent of the time (target 99.5 per cent).

The Library welcomes feedback and suggestions for service improvements. Feedback forms are placed throughout the Library and on the website ( During the financial year, 222 formal compliments and 107 formal complaints were received from users, as indicated in Tables 2.1 and 2.2 respectively.

Table 2.1: Compliments Received, 2012–13

Compliments Received, 2012–13




Information and online services to individuals


  • Quality, professionalism, responsiveness and dedication of staff
  • Quality and speed of response to inquiries and delivery of collection material
  • Quality of reproduction services
  • Quality of website
  • Trove

Public Programs activities


  • Quality of tours and support for educational visits
  • Quality of events program
  • Quality of publications
  • Quality of galleries and exhibitions
  • Quality of volunteer-led tours

Facilities and support


  • Quality of food services
  • Quality of support for events




In addition, several hundred informal compliments were received from users of the Library’s Trove, Copies Direct and reading room services. The number of compliments received was 36 fewer than in 2011–12.

Table 2.2: Complaints Received, 2012–13




The collection


  • Cataloguing information for collection material
  • Collecting of digital format material
  • Online access to collection material

Information and online services to individuals

  • Use of mobile phones by Library users
  • Wireless connectivity problems and slow response times
  • Access to e-resources
  • Use of new photocopiers
  • Delays, misunderstandings and perceived lack of assistance relating to requesting/receiving and discharging material
  • Reader registration processing
  • Copying and inter-library lending fees

Public Programs activities


  • Content and display of exhibitions

Facilities and support


  • Car-parking availability
  • Bag restrictions in reading rooms
  • Cloaking arrangements




The Library provided explanations and/or apologies in response to all complaints, and undertook remedial action to address them as appropriate. Complaints relating to car parking were referred to the National Capital Authority as the responsible body. The number of complaints received was 19 fewer than in 2011–12.

Consultancy Services

The Library entered into 30 new consultancy contracts during 2012–13 involving total actual expenditure of $1,028,407 (inclusive of GST) during this financial year. Appendix E lists the new consultancies with an individual value of $10,000 or more. The most significant of the new consultancies involved the design and superintendence of the Reading Room Integration project. There were also 14 ongoing consultancy contracts that were active during the same period, involving total actual expenditure of $316,127, bringing the total level of expenditure on consultancy contracts in 2012–13 to $1,344,535.

Advertising and Market Research

Advertising and market research in excess of $12,100 for non-recruitment and non-tender services amounted to $60,448 (inclusive of GST). This work, contracted to Adcorp Australia Ltd, was for newspaper advertising promoting the Library.

Corporate Management

The Library’s corporate management activities aim to maximise service to clients by realising the full potential of staff and other available resources. Major activities during the financial year focused on implementing the Strategic Workforce Plan, the Strategic Building Master Plan, and the Work Health and Safety and Environmental Management systems. Through participation in the Corporate Management Forum and related subcommittees, the Library also played a part in corporate management across other collecting and portfolio agencies, displaying a supportive, collaborative and cooperative working style to other organisations.

People Management

People management is an important priority for the Library. Progress on related initiatives is reported below and in the Report of Operations section under Strategic Direction Four: Achieve Organisational Excellence.

The Library develops a Strategic Workforce Plan triennially. In this reporting period, the Library’s Strategic Workforce Plan (2012–2014) progressed to its second year. The plan identifies three priorities aimed at focusing the Library’s decisions and resources, particularly taking account of the increasing workforce demand for digital competencies and technological confidence. The three priority areas are:

  • Priority area one: Leverage and build internal capability to be ready for the future
  • Priority area two: Build responsiveness to change and to new and emerging digital opportunities
  • Priority area three: Cultivate operational and career sustainability, and a diverse workforce.

Each priority area has defined strategies and initiatives for implementation.

The Library participates in the annual census conducted by the Australian Public Service Commission. The results from the 2011–12 census were received in this financial year. The overall results for the Library were positive, demonstrating an ongoing satisfaction with the working environment, although two major issues were identified relating to career development and remuneration. While there has been a strong focus on addressing the former, the latter remains a challenge and will need to be considered in future enterprise-bargaining frameworks.

The Library introduced new reports to monitor selected workforce data, and trialled the gathering of workforce planning data from other state and territory libraries and selected collecting institutions, in order to develop industry-specific indicators. This industry data, coupled with data from the annual census, is being used regularly to monitor and compare organisational performance on strategic workforce issues.

Staff Engagement

With the Library’s Enterprise Agreement negotiated and implemented in the previous year, the Consultative Committee proved to be the major vehicle through which staff engage with management via divisional and union representatives. The committee progressed some post-Agreement issues, such as the development of a new Grievance Resolution Policy and Process, and a review of the Travel Policy. In addition, the committee considered:

  • energy and environmental management
  • parking arrangements in the Parliamentary Zone
  • a review of IT client support services
  • prevention strategies for bullying and harassment
  • the number of Individual Flexibility Arrangements whereby individual staff members have enhanced employment conditions.


In accordance with the Australian Government’s regime for Principal Executive Officers, Council determines the Director General’s remuneration.

At 30 June 2013, terms and conditions of employment for SES staff, such as non-salary benefits including access to motor vehicles and mobile phones, continued under common law contract.

At 30 June 2013, eight non-SES staff had enhanced benefits through Individual Flexibility Arrangements.

Table 2.3 shows the salary ranges for classifications below SES level and the number of employees at each level.

Table 2.3: Salary Ranges below SES Level and Number of Employees, 30 June 2013


Salary Range ($)

Employees (no.)

EL 2



EL 1




























All ongoing and long-term non-ongoing staff were required to participate in the Performance Management Framework, with pay-point progression subject to achieving a satisfactory rating.

Risk Assessment and Control

The Library is committed to the prevention of fraud, and works to minimise the risk of fraud in the workplace.

The Library is required to examine and update its Fraud Risk Assessment and Fraud Control Plan every two years; this review was completed in 2011–12. In accordance with the Library’s Fraud Management Policy, staff must be aware of their responsibilities in relation to fraud against the Commonwealth. Fraud awareness training is required to be undertaken by all Library staff and, during 2012–13, training sessions were made available to new staff and to staff who had not attended such training in the past four years. A new online module on fraud prevention and ethics responsibilities was also developed.

Fraud prevention, detection, investigation, reporting and data collection procedures are in place. These, along with the Fraud Risk Assessment and Fraud Control Plan, meet the Library’s needs and comply with Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines.

Ethical Standards

The Library promotes and endorses the ethical behaviour of its employees by informing staff of their responsibilities, including the Australian Public Service (APS) Values and Code of Conduct. This is achieved through:

  • references in the Enterprise Agreement
  • completion by new employees of an online induction program, which includes an APS Values and Code of Conduct module
  • regular review and feedback under the Library’s Performance Management Framework
  • mandatory participation in fraud and ethics awareness training
  • provision of information about the Australian Public Service Commission’s Ethics Advisory Service
  • supporting policies and procedures, such as the whistleblowing and fraud awareness policies
  • clearly identified channels and support networks through which employees can raise matters of concern.

Staff have been advised of relevant changes to the Public Service Act that will take effect on 1 July 2013.

Disability Strategy

The Library remains committed to the principles of the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, and continues to focus on improving access for people with disability to employment, programs, services and facilities.

A Disability Framework has been developed, integrating disability access issues into existing strategic and business planning processes. The principal elements of the framework include:

  • providing access to information and services
  • providing access to employment
  • purchasing accessible services
  • recognising people with disability as consumers of services
  • consulting people with disability about their needs.

These elements provide the platform for continuing developments in reader and visitor services, collections management, and building and security services.

During the year, the Library advanced the Disability Framework by appointing Disability Contact Officers to represent and advocate for clients and staff with disabilities.

In its two major projects—Reading Room Integration focusing on onsite services, and Digital Library Infrastructure Replacement focusing on online services—special consideration is being given to ensure that the needs of people with disability will be met.

In 2012–13, new wheelchair access was provided in the Theatre, to ensure that speakers requiring wheelchair access can reach the stage easily.

Workplace Diversity

The Library took steps to improve workforce participation by Indigenous people. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Working Group began developing a strategy and is considering a range of initiatives related to the employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Library hosted Indigenous work-experience students through the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ Learn Earn Legend! program. Two graduates from the APS Indigenous Pathways program were also engaged in 2013, which has resulted in a modest increase in the number of Indigenous staff.

As part of the initiatives from the Strategic Workforce Plan 2012–2014, the Library has launched a new program that focuses on work-experience opportunities for students from an Indigenous background or with disability.

Staff with disability are encouraged to seek assistance through ‘reasonable adjustment’, an approach that also strengthens the Library’s reputation as a respectful and inclusive workplace.

The Mature Age Staff Strategy, retirement planning and transition-to-retirement strategies are actively promoted by the Library.

As at 30 June 2013, 70 per cent of staff were female and 22 per cent of staff identified as being from a culturally and linguistically diverse background. However, only 1.4 per cent identified as Indigenous, and 6 per cent identified a disability. The Library is continuing to work on initiatives to improve representation in these latter two groups.

Work Health and Safety

The Library completed a review of its Work Health and Safety Risk Register in April 2013, to ensure risk levels were commensurate with actual hazard and that resource allocation was similarly aligned to the Library’s risk profile. At the same time, a restructure of the risk register was completed, which saw Library-wide risks being aggregated into one generic register. This has streamlined the six-monthly re-evaluation of hazards.

In April, the Library reviewed its chemical storage and handling, as a precursor to a broader review of its work health and safety systems. The results of the chemical storage review led to the Library culling a significant proportion of its chemical holdings. The review also found that the databases used to register dangerous goods and hazardous substances were well maintained, and that the risks associated with the few potentially toxic chemicals used in collection preservation were managed correctly and well within the legislative guidelines for storage and handling.

Training courses in work health and safety offered during the year included:

  • Senior First Aid
  • First Aid Certificate
  • Health and Safety Representation
  • Reframe and Refocus: Building Resilience
  • Assertiveness and Self-confidence.

Seminars on work health and safety topics included:

  • Heart Foundation Presentation
  • Men’s Health
  • Women’s Health
  • Breast Awareness
  • The Difference between Weight Loss and Fat Loss
  • Healthy Eating.

The Library again offered onsite flu vaccinations, with 180 Library staff taking up the offer.

The Library’s work health and safety statistics are presented in Table 2.4.

Table 2.4: Reporting Requirements under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, 30 June 2013




Section 68 occurrences

Notification and reporting of accidents and dangerous occurrences

There were four notifications

Section 45 directions

Power to direct that workplace etc. not be disturbed

No directions were issued

Section 29 notices

Provisional improvement notices

No notices were issued

Section 30 notices

Duties of employers in relation to health and safety representatives

No notices were issued

Section 41 investigations

Investigations addressing non-compliance and possible breaches

There were no investigations

Section 46 notices

Power to issue prohibition notices

No notices were issued

Section 47 notices

Power to issue improvement notices

No notices were issued

During 2012–13, there were five new injury cases that resulted in claims being accepted for workers compensation. The last accepted claim was in August 2010. The Library’s premium rates for injuries over the past three years are shown in Table 2.5.

Table 2.5: Premiums for Injuries Suffered, 2010–14 (as a percentage of wages and salaries)

Premium Rates





Latest premium rates for the Library





Premium rates for all agencies combined (for comparison)





Library premium rates as a percentage of all agencies (%)





* Including as amended retrospectively by Comcare.

Asset Management

Collection Asset

The collection is the Library’s major asset, on which many of its services are based. The total value of the collection is $1.515 billion.

Plant and Equipment, and Software

The Asset Management Committee oversees the Library’s Strategic Asset Management Plan, and coordinates operational asset acquisition programs. It also develops and monitors a four-year forward asset acquisition program for strategic planning purposes, and an asset disposal program for items reaching the end of their working life. Major asset acquisitions in 2012–13 included the purchase of information technology (IT) equipment and infrastructure, shelving and microform readers.

The total value of plant and equipment at 30 June 2013 was $13.953 million.

The total value of software at 30 June 2013 was $5.318 million.

Land and Buildings

The total value of the Library’s land and buildings has been assessed at $206.287 million, including the main building in Parkes and the repository in Hume. Management of the Library’s facilities is guided by the Building Works Coordinating Committee, which meets quarterly. A 15-year Building Long-term Strategic Management Plan is used to set directions for building works, including an annual maintenance plan and a five-year capital works program, which are reviewed each year by Council. This 15-year Strategic Management Plan was updated in November 2012.

The Strategic Building Master Plan ensures that building works are consistent with the long-term direction of the Library and underpins Library facility planning and budgeting. The plan was reviewed during 2011–12.

During the year, the Library commenced planning and design for the Reading Room Integration project. This is a major project for the Library. It will provide improved public and staff areas as well as refurbishment of plant, equipment, finishes and fittings across four levels of the main building. The proposed schematic design was endorsed by Council in April 2013 and the draft detailed design was completed in June 2013.

In 2012–13, a range of capital expenditure building projects were undertaken, including:

  • installation of energy-efficient lighting and control systems throughout stacks and offices
  • continuation of the Fire and Mechanical Services Upgrade project. Principal components undertaken during the year included the pressurisation of fire corridors on lower levels to create safe and smoke-free exit paths
  • construction of a new storage area for corporate records
  • refurbishment of the data centre to improve environmental conditions
  • disability access improvements, including the wheelchair lift to the Theatre stage
  • refurbishment of the cool store air-conditioning plant.

Consultation and design work has commenced on a number of other major projects, including for:

  • a new lighting strategy for the Main Reading Room and Foyer to address obsolescence and reduce energy usage
  • refurbishment of Executive Support and Public Programs office accommodation
  • a potential solar plant at the Hume Repository
  • refurbishment of external windows throughout the main building.

Heritage Management Strategy

The Library is included on the Commonwealth Heritage List and is committed to the conservation of the heritage values of the main building in Parkes. This includes consulting with recognised specialists before undertaking building works in sensitive areas. In 2012–13, the Library consulted as required on planning for the Reading Room Integration project in addition to a number of lighting projects and office fit-outs.

Following a review of the Library’s heritage furniture during 2011–12, an audit was conducted. As a result, a number of heritage furniture items are being refurbished, and significant items of furniture will be reused in the new integrated reading rooms in keeping with their original use.

In compliance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, the Library’s draft Conservation Management Plan underwent a public consultation process, after which it was submitted to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and to the Australian Heritage Council. The plan was approved by the Australian Heritage Council at its March 2013 meeting, and by the Minister in June 2013.

Security and Business Continuity

The Library’s Emergency Planning Committee oversees all aspects of protective security and business continuity planning. This committee comprises senior staff with responsibility for relevant areas, including corporate communications, and the security of staff, the collection, buildings and other assets.

During 2012–13, the Library completed an update of security procedures, mindful of the additional requirements of the recent Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework that may apply to the Library.

Energy Consumption and Environmental Management

The Library is committed to improving environmental performance across all areas of operations. An Environmental Policy and associated Environmental Action Plan determine targets for environmental performance. The Environmental Management System helps to set, implement and review these objectives and targets.

The Library’s Environment Management Committee, established to coordinate and achieve sustainability targets, meets quarterly. Reports on environmental targets and performance are provided annually to Council.

The Library also aims to incorporate sustainable development principles into major projects. For example, the architectural brief for Reading Room Integration includes the requirement for energy-efficient lighting, the selection of local and sustainable building materials where possible, and water-saving initiatives in bathrooms.

During 2012–13, the Library undertook a number of initiatives aimed at achieving better waste management, energy savings and a reduction in the carbon footprint. These initiatives included:

  • achieving accreditation with the ACTSmart Office Recycling program, a best-practice program on managing waste
  • commencing organic recycling in all kitchens
  • completing a lighting upgrade to stack areas and office space occupying 15 per cent of the main building, including installing energy-efficient fluorescent lights and sensors
  • commencing design of energy-efficient lighting upgrades to the Main Reading Room, Foyer and external lighting
  • trialling an improvement to procurement principles, which has seen the inclusion of environmental performance measures in major tenders, including for the Reading Room Integration project, the upgrade of microform readers, the security contract, and the Library’s solar project.

In comparison with the previous year, the Library has reduced gas consumption by 10 per cent to 4,381,117 MJ and electricity consumption by 9 per cent to 6,108,741 kWh. Water consumption has had to be estimated over the past two years, due to a faulty water meter. Notionally, water usage has increased by 7 per cent (May 2012 to April 2013) to 16,773 kL.

Recycling at the Library continues to be a major focus. Cardboard recycling has decreased slightly (by 4 per cent) to 21,250 kg, paper recycling has increased by 7 per cent to 41,003 kg, and commingle recycling has increased by 38 per cent to 14,579 kg. The recycling initiative for kitchens has seen the Library recycle 15,316 kg of organic waste in its first full year of operation.


The Library maintained a focus on cost-effective contract management and procurement practices consistent with Commonwealth Procurement Rules. Procurement and contract templates were reviewed, to ensure they continue to meet Government good practice and are simple and straightforward to use.

Large purchasing activities of the Library included the design and superintendence of the Reading Room Integration project, IT acquisitions, shelving and microform equipment replacement, mail and freight services, security services, stationery supplies, bookbinding, transcription services for the Oral History and Folklore Collection, and preservation duplication of audio.

The Library participated in the multi-use legal panel services administered by the Department of Finance and Deregulation until the end of May 2013, and then transitioned to the multi-use list administered by the Attorney-General’s Department in June.

There were no contracts of $100,000 or more that did not provide for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises.


During the reporting period, the Library operated ten grant programs.

Community Heritage Grants

The Library awarded 78 grants of up to $15,000 to assist community organisations to preserve and manage nationally significant cultural heritage collections. Financial support and assistance for this grants program were received from the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport; the National Archives of Australia; the National Film and Sound Archive; and the National Museum of Australia.

Harold White Fellowships

The Library funded seven fellowships for established scholars and writers to spend up to six months at the Library researching collection material. Fellowships were awarded to Dr Christine Cheater, Professor Neville Kirk, Dr Gwenda Tavan, Dr Jan Tent and Ms Alana Valentine. Honorary Fellowships were awarded to Dr Kent Fedorowich and Professor James Cotton.

Japan Fellowships

Awarded to established scholars and writers to spend up to six months at the Library researching Japanese collection material, these fellowships are funded through the Harold S. Williams Trust. One fellowship was awarded to Dr Chiaki Ajioka.

Japan Study Grants

Also funded through the Harold S. Williams Trust, these grants support scholars in Japanese studies who live outside Canberra to research at the Library for up to four weeks. Grants were awarded to Dr Victoria Eaves-Young, Ms Machiko Ishikawa, Dr Emiko Okayama and Ms Kirsti Rawstron.

Minerals Council of Australia Fellowship

Funded by the Minerals Council, this fellowship supports research using the Library’s collections on the minerals industry in Australia. The fellowship was awarded to Dr David Lee.

National Folk Fellowship

With support from the National Folk Festival, the Library funded a four-week residency for Ms Catherine Ovenden to research original source material in the collection and prepare a Festival performance.

Norman McCann Summer Scholarships

Funded by Mrs Pat McCann, the Library awarded three scholarships of six weeks to young Australian postgraduate students Mr Steven Anderson, Ms Laura Rademaker and Ms Tillie Stephens to research topics in Australian history or literature.

Seymour Summer Scholarship

Funded by Dr John Seymour and Dr Heather Seymour AO, this scholarship of six weeks supports research, preferably in biography, by a young Australian postgraduate student. The scholarship was awarded to Ms Maria John.

Kenneth Binns Travelling Fellowship

Funded by Mrs Alison Sanchez to commemorate her father, Kenneth Binns, Chief Librarian of the Commonwealth National Library from 1928 to 1947, this fellowship supports travel for professional development by Library staff in the early stages of their careers. The 2013 fellowship was awarded to Ms Jenna Bain.

Friends of the National Library Travelling Fellowship

This fellowship, funded by the Friends of the National Library of Australia Inc., provides a significant professional development opportunity for a Library staff member. The 2013 fellowship was awarded to Ms Catriona Anderson.

Cooperation on Corporate Management Issues within the Portfolio

The Corporate Management Forum consists of senior executives from agencies in the Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio and a small number of non-portfolio agencies. The forum considers issues in human resource management, financial management, procurement, IT and facilities management, with a view to achieving economies of scale, sharing experience and encouraging best practice.

The forum met four times during 2012–13 and considered matters including:

  • the Commonwealth Financial Accountability Review
  • work health and safety requirements
  • capital planning and funding
  • energy management
  • risk management and insurance
  • enterprise agreements
  • performance indicators and reporting
  • shared services.

Information Technology

Information technology (IT) is used to facilitate and support the development of new online services and to ensure that these services are cost effective, reliable and responsive.

In recent years, the Library has developed and improved the Library’s Trove service, which supports discovery and use of collections held by Australian libraries and collecting institutions. The Library has also commenced a major project to replace systems used to build, preserve and deliver digital collections. IT and communication infrastructure is provided inhouse.

Digital Library Infrastructure Replacement Project

During 2012–13, the Digital Library Infrastructure Replacement project moved from planning and procurement to its implementation phase. Milestones achieved during this period include:

  • implementing pilots of the digitisation workflow system and digital preservation repository products selected during the project’s procurement phase
  • commencing the first implementation stage, which will deliver a system to support the digitisation, management and delivery of published books and journals in the Library’s collection. This system will also support bit-level preservation of the digital collections
  • completing an external health check review of the project. This review endorsed the project approach and progress, and no significant weaknesses with the current management or governance were identified.

Infrastructure and Services

During 2012–13, the Library’s digital collection increased in size by approximately 53 per cent, and now exceeds 2.5 petabytes of storage (see Figure 2.3). The major contributor to storage growth continues to be the digitisation of Australian newspapers (see Figure 2.4). Australian newspapers (62 per cent) dominate storage requirements, followed by archived web pages (25 per cent).

Figure 2.3: Growth in Digital Collection Storage, March 2004 to 30 June 2013

Area graph showing the National Library of Australia's increasing digital storage requirements from 2004 to 2013

Figure 2.4: Digital Collection Storage by Material, 30 June 2013

Pie chart showing the National Library of Australia's digital storage requirements based on media type

Note: Total of 99.8% due to rounding.

The Library also supports substantial infrastructure to enable the discovery of, and access to, its own and other collections. Figure 2.5 shows the growth in raw transaction load on the Library’s web services since 2000–01. Driven by the use of digitised Australian newspapers, Trove continues to experience strong growth in web activity.

Figure 2.5: Use of Web Services, 2000–01 to 2012–13

Area graph showing the National Library of Australia's increasing webserver requests from 2001 to 2013

In 2012–13, the Library updated the design of its website (, with significant changes being made to the homepage, including a more streamlined layout and a fresher and more accessible colour palette. In accordance with the Government’s Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy, the Library continued to improve accessibility of its website. Using a sustainable semi-automated process for the first time, the Library’s 2011–12 Annual Report was presented in a format accessible to people with disabilities using screen readers. With the exception of a few financial documents that, for auditing purposes, could only be rendered as Adobe PDF documents, the entire report was made available in HTML. An accessibility audit of the Library’s website found substantial compliance with Level AA Success Criteria of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, thereby allowing more engagement by users with disabilities. Outstanding issues to be addressed include transcripts to accompany audio-only podcasts, non-standard forms from third parties, and text alternatives to some images.

Reliable IT infrastructure is essential to the Library’s digital storage and access services. Table 2.6 shows the average availability of ten key service areas. The target availability of 99.5 per cent was not met for all services, the major contributing factor being an extended outage in September 2012 due to the failure of a primary server. However, the new disaster recovery site worked very well throughout the ordeal, and provided excellent communications to the public and staff, augmented by the use of Facebook and Twitter. Public response was positive and, although users were disappointed that services were unavailable, they were understanding as the recovery work was performed.

Table 2.6: Availability of Ten Key Service Areas, 2012–13


Availability (%)



File and Print






Integrated Library Management System


Digital Library


Corporate Systems


Document Supply


Libraries Australia




A number of heavily used online services—namely Trove and Libraries Australia—also experienced periods of slow performance or reduced functionality during periods of high load from web-based users and web bots. In 2012–13, the Library commenced redevelopment projects for Trove Newspapers and Libraries Australia Search, involving updates to the software and hardware infrastructure supporting these services. These improvements will provide the capacity and scalability needed to support current and future demands.

Under its Strategic Asset Management Program, the Library continued to replace and upgrade IT infrastructure, including:

  • commissioning an additional petabyte of disk storage to support the digital collections using Isilon storage systems. This approach is expected to greatly reduce the chance of a single point of failure
  • upgrading the Library’s data backup system, including support for de-duplication technology to reduce backup size and performance time, as well as support for disk-based archives to reduce recovery time
  • upgrading the paid printing system for reading room users. Patrons can now print more easily over the wireless network and can charge their cards using EFTPOS
  • doubling the number of systems managed as virtual servers, including the extension of the server cluster to support digital library systems
  • implementing Microsoft Exchange 2010 and deploying Microsoft Lync communication services
  • replacing a number of inhouse systems supporting grant-based activities with a single commercial grants management system
  • implementing a more robust management system for short-term laptop loans to staff.

In response to the expected application to the Library of the Government’s Protective Security Policy Framework and its Information Security Manual, the Library:

  • completed a review of current IT policy and procedures
  • redrafted seven out of eight required IT security policies
  • implemented an internal information security website to assist staff to understand and manage their IT security responsibilities.

During 2012–13, the Library achieved modest improvements in energy consumption through:

  • refreshing and consolidating storage systems, which resulted in a material reduction in power consumption and heat load in the computer room
  • improving the automatic shutdown of public PCs to reduce power consumption when reading rooms are closed.

IT development activities aimed at improving services and operations included:

  • release of Forte, the Library’s first mobile application for accessing its digital collection, which provides access to the digitised sheet music collection
  • enhancements to Libraries Australia and the Integrated Library Management System, Copies Direct and other systems, to support changes in bibliographic records that flow from the introduction of Resource Description and Access by Australian libraries
  • enhancements to Trove
  • development of a Drupal-based service to enable Reader Services staff to maintain and enhance online research guides for users.