Corporate Overview


The functions of the Library are set out in section 6 of the National Library Act 1960. 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 Attorney-General and Minister for the Arts portfolio with responsibilities for collecting Australian cultural heritage materials and making them available to the Australian public. The former Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government and Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Tony Burke MP, had responsibility for the Library until September 2013. His successor, appointed Minister for the Arts on 18 September 2013, is Senator the Hon. George Brandis QC. The affairs of the Library are conducted by the Library Council, with the Director General as 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. From 1 July 2014, the Library will be subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).


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 2014

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, 2013–14

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 2014, there was one vacancy on Council. Appendix A lists Council members and their attendance at Council meetings.

In 2013–14, in addition to general administrative, compliance and financial matters, Council considered a range of matters, including:

  • integration of the Library’s reading rooms;
  • the DLIR project;
  • the 2014–15 Budget;
  • the Trove evaluation survey;
  • the Library’s contribution to the Anzac Centenary Program;
  • the Information Technology Strategic Plan 2013–2016;
  • collection storage;
  • use of the Trust Funds;
  • new acquisitions;
  • strategic workforce planning;
  • work health and safety;
  • environmental management;
  • the activities of the Library’s Foundation Board; 
  • significant factors affecting the development of the Australian collections;
  • national infrastructure for libraries and the Library’s leadership role;
  • Council’s evaluation of its performance;
  • the implications of the PGPA Act;
  • strategic directions.

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 Chair of Council and Director General also attend meetings. Details of Audit Committee members and meeting attendance can be found at Appendix A.

In 2013–14, the Audit Committee considered a range of matters, including: 

  • financial statements for 2012–13;
  • 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 2013–14 financial statement audit strategy;
  • the compliance report (required under the CAC Act);
  • the Internal Audit Plan 2014–15;
  • internal audits of:
    • procurement and purchasing
    • workforce planning
    • IT security
    • sales and promotion, and the Bookshop’s annual stocktake
    • management of social media
    • digital collection management
    • digitisation for other libraries;
  • Australian National Audit Office reports and recommendations;
  • discussion papers on the Commonwealth Financial Accountability Review, including the PGPA Act and Public Management Reform Agenda;
  • valuation of the collection;
  • reports on legal services, compliance, fraud and ethics, risk management and business continuity, insurance, whistleblower and related complaints, contract management and training, probity and purchasing 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 2014, the Corporate Governance Committee met to consider the results of the 2013 Council Self-Evaluation Survey and, in June 2014, 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 Framework.

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 2013–14, the Library implemented the Auditor-General recommendations contained in the following Australian National Audit Office reports:

  • Control of Credit Card Use (No. 35, 2012–13);
  • Agencies Implementation of Performance Audit Recommendations (No. 53, 2012–13).

Internal Audit Reports

The Audit Committee considered a number of internal audit reports.

Parliamentary Committees and Government Inquiries

The Library made a submission in response to the Discussion Paper arising from 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 are in place.

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 Pty Ltd at the Court of Appeal of the ACT. The Court of Appeal conducted hearings into the appeal in February 2014.


During 2013–14, the Commonwealth Ombudsman did not advise referral of any issues relating to the Library.


The Library introduced a new Privacy Policy in response to the amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) which came into effect on 12 March 2014. The Library provided training to staff in the new amendments and audited functions to ensure compliance with the amendments.

The Library made two submissions to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s public consultation on the draft guidelines for the new Australian Privacy Principles. The Library responded to one request for access to information under the Privacy Act in 2013–14.

Public Interest Disclosure

The public interest disclosure legislation took effect on 15 January 2014.  From that date until 30 June 2014 no public interest disclosures were lodged with the Library.

Freedom of Information

The Library finalised three requests, including a subsequent appeal, under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). Partial access was granted in respect of the requests.

Agencies subject to the FOI Act are required to publish information as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This requirement of the FOI Act 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

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 a 9.3 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 participated in 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 2013–14, the Library:

  • provided an introductory program to international students of English as an additional language or dialect;
  • provided exhibition and education tours for adults and young people with special needs, and senior citizens groups;
  • supported community projects, including National Reconciliation Week, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, National Simultaneous Storytime, Children’s Book Week, National Volunteer Week, and Libraries and Information Week;
  • supported the development of youth arts activities through events and education programs;
  • conducted oral history interviews with thalidomide survivors regarding their experiences living with the severe and ongoing effects of this drug, with Vietnamese veterans who migrated to Australia after the war, and with Indigenous elders for the Centenary of Canberra oral history project;
  • supplied gratis photographs from the Library’s collections for various Aboriginal history research projects, including for Arrernte families who were part of the Little Flower/Santa Teresa Mission;
  • hosted a group of senior Indigenous artists from Kalkarindji (Gurindji) in the Northern Territory to view and listen to special collection material relating to the Wave Hill walk-off;
  • 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 and volunteers, including training in mental health awareness;
  • reviewed online accessibility in relation to event podcasts and promotional videos to ensure transcripts are available;
  • established a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies enabling Link-Up staff to receive regular training about Library resources and services.

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 2013–14, the Service Charter standards were met as follows:

  • 98 per cent of general reference inquiries were answered within timeframes (target 90 per cent);
  • 94 per cent of collection items were delivered within timeframes (target 90 per cent);
  • the Library’s website was available 24 hours a day for 100 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, 186 formal compliments and 72 formal complaints were received from users, as indicated in Tables 2.1 and 2.2 respectively.

Table 2.1: Compliments Received, 2013–14




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


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 visitors for the Mapping Our World exhibition and from users of the Library’s Trove, Copies Direct and reading room services. 

Table 2.2: Complaints Received, 2013–14




The collection


•Cataloguing information for collection 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 scanners

•Delays, misunderstandings and perceived lack of assistance relating to requesting/receiving and discharging material

•Reader registration processing

•Copying and inter-library lending fees and delays in delivery

Public Programs activities


•Content and display of exhibitions

Facilities and support


•Car-parking availability

•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.

Consultancy Services

The Library entered into 21 new consultancy contracts during 2013–14 involving total actual expenditure of $163,446 (inclusive of GST). Appendix E lists the new consultancies with an individual value of $10,000 or more. There were also 12 ongoing consultancy contracts that were active during the same period, involving total actual expenditure of $900,523, bringing the total level of expenditure on consultancy contracts in 2013–14 to $1,063,969.

Advertising and Market Research

Advertising and market research in excess of $12,400 for non-recruitment and non-tender services amounted to $78,578 (inclusive of GST). 

Table 2.3 summarises expenditure by the Library in 2013–14.

Table 2.3: Library Expenditure, 2013–14



Value ($)


Media advertising in The Canberra Times



Evaluation research of the Mapping Our World exhibition



Media monitoring services






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 Leadership Capability Model, Strategic Workforce Plan, Strategic Building Master Plan, and Work Health and Safety and Environmental Management Systems, and preparations for the PGPA Act that takes effect on 1 July 2014. 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

The current Strategic Workforce Plan is the first in a series of plans with a medium- to long-term focus on change and the digital environment, career sustainability and building internal capability. During the reporting period, a number of initiatives were undertaken to meet these identified workforce planning objectives and the Library’s strategic goal of organisational excellence.

By way of example, a Library-wide reflective leadership forum for executive level staff was developed and implemented. The forum consisted of three separate groups which were each allocated an organisationally relevant topic to investigate over an extended period. This initiative used both the content and the process of the leadership forum to develop the skills and knowledge of senior staff.

Another significant piece of work was the development of a bespoke Leadership Capability Model which includes capabilities considered fundamental to effective and successful leadership at the Library. A supporting kit has been developed with a range of self-assessment and management tools to establish capability gaps and development opportunities. The model has been used to drive a modular approach to leadership training with ‘Four Pillar’ workshops delivered in the reporting period. 

Mentoring has been reinvigorated with a new program and supporting framework developed. Ten pairs completed the mentoring program in 2013, with a further nine pairs commencing in 2014. Participants in the 2013 cycle were very positive about their experience and reported that the program was valuable to themselves as individuals and to the Library as an institution.

The Library also created a cross-divisional working group to focus specifically on Workforce Planning Priority Area 2: building responsiveness to change and to new and emerging digital opportunities. This working group completed extensive internal and external research and made a series of recommendations about how to enhance the digital confidence of Library staff. These initiatives are now in the implementation phase.

An Indigenous Employment Strategy was also developed and launched. The strategy includes three sub-plans that each detail a range of operational initiatives that the Library will undertake over six years to create an attractive and supportive employment environment for Indigenous Australians. 

Staff Engagement

The Consultative Committee is a mechanism to explore issues of relevance to both staff and management. Staff representatives were specifically invited to engage with the review of the Performance Management Framework undertaken at the beginning of 2014. It is expected that changes to the framework will be implemented next financial year.

Additionally, in October 2013, staff were surveyed to solicit their thoughts prior to the next round of enterprise bargaining. Preparations for a new Enterprise Agreement included offering briefings for staff on bargaining processes in February 2014.

An Enterprise Agreement communication strategy was endorsed by CMG. To support open communication on the bargaining process, staff have been invited to contribute their ideas through multiple channels such as the Consultative Committee, branch meetings, a dedicated webpage and email options.

In March 2014, the Government published its public sector workplace bargaining policy, which requires that agencies demonstrate both the affordability and productivity of any changes to a proposed Enterprise Agreement to fund improvements to salaries and conditions. The Library is committed to providing fair and sustainable remuneration for its staff within the context of the Government’s bargaining policy.


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

At 30 June 2014, terms and conditions of employment for SES staff, such as non-salary benefits including access to motor vehicles (or payment in lieu) and mobile phones, continued under common law contract.

At 30 June 2014, nine non-SES staff had enhanced benefits through Individual Flexibility Arrangements.

Table 2.4 shows the salary ranges for classifications below SES level and the number of employees at each level.

Table 2.4: Salary Ranges below SES Level and Number of Employees, 30 June 2014


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.

Fraud 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 2013–14. 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 2013–14, training sessions were made available through an online program to new staff and to staff who had not attended such training in the past four years. 

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. In July 2013, the Library launched a new mandatory online training module on fraud and ethics which includes details of APS employee responsibilities as well as ethical scenarios and examples of workplace fraud. All new staff are required to complete the module on commencement and existing staff will complete the program at regular intervals. 

The Public Service Act 1999 was amended with effect from 1 July 2013 and the Library delivered information sessions to all staff on the new APS values. Awareness of APS Values and the APS Code of Conduct is also achieved through:

  • regular review and feedback under the Library’s Performance Management Framework;
  • provision of information about the Australian Public Service Commission’s Ethics Advisory Service;
  • support of policies and procedures, such as the fraud awareness policies and the new Public Interest Disclosure procedure;
  • clearly identified channels and support networks through which employees can raise matters of concern.

Staff were advised of new Public Interest Disclosure provisions that took effect in January 2014 by means of briefing sessions and tailored training for the delegates and authorised officers appointed under the new legislation.

Disability Strategy

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

The Library’s Disability Framework integrates disability access 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 invited the Chief Executive Officer of Australian Network on Disability, Suzanne Colbert AM, to address the Disability Contact Officers Committee.

In its two major projects—Reading Room Integration and DLIR—the Library is ensuring that the needs of people with disabilities are being met. For example, the design for the new reading rooms complies with current code requirements.

Workplace Diversity

At 30 June 2014, 68 per cent of staff were female, and 23 per cent of staff identified as being from a culturally and linguistically diverse background, 1.8 per cent identified as Indigenous (up from 1.4 per cent last year) and 5.3 per cent identified as having a disability (down from 6 per cent last year). Appendix F includes a more detailed breakdown of workplace diversity figures. 

Work Health and Safety

The Library’s leadership and commitment to work health and safety continues to be demonstrated with bi-monthly and annual reports to Council and CMG.

The Library is committed to developing a Rehabilitation Management System and a formalised health and wellbeing program. Initial planning was undertaken, with implementation of both of these projects determined as a focus for the forthcoming year.

Further to the chemical storage and handling review, undertaken during 2013, the Library has developed an action plan to implement the resulting recommendations.

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

  • Senior First Aid Certificate;
  • Mental Health First Aid Training;
  • Reframe and Refocus: Building Resilience;
  • Assertiveness in Action;
  • Manual Handling.

Seminars on work health and safety topics included:

  • Food Choices—What the Labels Tell Us;
  • Boost Your Energy;
  • Meal Planning and Healthy Eating on a Budget;
  • Gender Identity;
  • Trauma;
  • Headaches and Migraines;
  • Stroke and Stroke Prevention;
  • Information for Carers;
  • Getting to Know Anxiety;
  • Body Stressing.

Employee assistance program topics included:

  • Manager’s Hotline;
  • Managing Stress;
  • Adapting to Change;
  • Motivation and Morale in Teams;
  • How to Beat Fatigue;
  • Work Life Balance.

The offer of in-house influenza vaccination was taken up by 173 staff, and 134 staff elected to participate in a health assessment.

The Library’s work health and safety statistics are presented in Table 2.5.

Table 2.5: Reporting Requirements under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, 30 June 2014




Section 38 occurrences

Notification of notifiable incidents

There were no notifications

Section 39 directions

Directions to preserve incident sites

No directions were issued

Section 95 notices

Issue of provisional improvement notices

No notices were issued

Section 70 notices

Obligations of person conducting business or undertaking to health and safety representatives

No notices were issued

Section 191 notices

Issue of improvement notices 

No notices were issued

Section 195 notices 

Issue of prohibition notices

No notices were issued

Section 200 notices

Issue of non-disturbance notices

No notices were issued

Part 10 investigations

Investigations addressing non-compliance with notices

There were no investigations

During 2013–14, there were no new injury cases that resulted in claims being accepted for workers’ compensation.  There was one claim for workers’ compensation accepted by Comcare which had been lodged in the previous year. The Library’s premium rates for injuries over the past three years are shown in Table 2.6.

Table 2.6: Premiums for Injuries Suffered, 2011–15 (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 $1.535 billion. An annual stocktake and revaluation is undertaken using sampling methodologies.

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 2013–14 included the purchase of IT equipment and infrastructure, and shelving.

The total value of plant and equipment at 30 June 2014 was $13.239 million.

The total value of software at 30 June 2014 was $6.291 million.

Land and Buildings

The total value of the Library’s land and buildings at 30 June 2014 was assessed at $226.599 million, including the main building in Parkes and the repository in Hume. Management of the Library’s facilities is overseen by the Building Works Coordinating Committee, which meets quarterly. A 15-year Long-Term Strategic Building Management Plan is used to set directions for building works, and incorporates an annual maintenance plan and a five-year capital works program, which are reviewed each year by Council. The Long-Term Strategic Building Management 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 last reviewed and updated during 2011–12.

In 2013–14, the Library completed planning and design for the Reading Room Integration project. This project is a major component of the Library’s 2008 Strategic Building Master Plan and the 2013 Conservation Management Plan. It will complete the refurbishment of the prominent public areas of the Library with works being undertaken on Levels 2, 1, Ground and Lower Ground 1. The project will improve and modernise the public spaces to make them fit for a twenty-first-century national library, and it builds on the expansion of the galleries in 2012 and associated changes to the Main Reading Room.

Outcomes for the project include the integration of the Pictures and Manuscripts, Maps and Petherick Reading Rooms on the first floor and the integration of the Main and Newspapers and Microforms Reading Rooms on the ground floor. The Asian Collections Reading Room will remain unchanged. As well as improving reader services, the project will improve sustainability, upgrade building services such as fire systems and air-conditioning plant, and meet compliance requirements for buildings and fit-out mandated in the Building Code. The project is expected to be completed by early 2016.

During the year, a range of capital expenditure building projects was undertaken, including:

  • the design of new energy-efficient lighting and control systems for the heritage-listed Main Reading Room and foyer;
  • the refurbishment of the Executive and Public Programs office area to provide flexible staff accommodation and meet government standards;
  • the upgrade of the Fire Control Panel to improve early fire detection;
  • the installation of energy efficient lighting and controls to service areas;
  • the installation of an equipment lift to storage areas on Lower Ground 2 (LG2);
  • the replacement of motorised shelving to increase storage capacity and improve efficiency.

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

  • the refurbishment of external windows and the marble façade of the main building;
  • the refurbishment of staff change-room facilities on LG2;
  • the design of an entry door for large objects;
  • the master planning for refurbishment of services areas on LG2;
  • the strategic review of air-conditioning systems.

Heritage Management Strategy

The National Library of Australia and its surrounds are included on the Commonwealth Heritage List and the Library is committed to the conservation of the heritage values of the building. This includes consulting with recognised heritage specialists before undertaking building works in sensitive areas. In 2013–14, the Library conducted further consultation with heritage specialists in relation to the plans for the Reading Room Integration project and the replacement of lighting in the Main Reading Room and foyer.

During the year, the National Capital Authority transferred ownership to the Library of the ‘Robb panels’. These seven bronze artworks were fixed to the exterior of the building above the windows to the Main Reading Room during the original construction in 1968. The Library arranged for the artworks to be professionally cleaned and restored after the transfer.

The Library completed the annual audit of its heritage furniture collection. A number of heritage furniture items have been identified for refurbishment and reuse in the new Special Collections Reading Room.

Security and Business Continuity

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

In 2013–14, the Library completed an update of the Business Continuity Framework. This framework incorporates detailed planning strategies for collection disasters, storage, IT recovery, and critical building systems recovery.

During the year, the Library’s emergency management and business continuity planning systems were thoroughly tested. The Library also implemented new procedures for managing critical incidents on weekends when staff numbers are limited. 

Energy Consumption and Environmental Management

The Library is committed to improving environmental performance across all areas of operations. An Environmental Policy and Environmental Action Plan guide the Library’s work. The Environmental Management System helps to set, implement and review objectives and targets.

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

The Library incorporates sustainable development principles into major projects. For example, the Reading Room Integration project design specifies the use of energy-efficient lighting and controls, efficiencies in air-conditioning, use of sustainable building materials where possible and water-saving initiatives.

In comparison with the previous year, the Library has reduced gas consumption by 4 per cent to 4,191,085 MJ and electricity consumption by 4 per cent to 5,838,419 kWh. Water consumption has had to be estimated over the past two years, due to a faulty water meter, and therefore reliable usage figures are not available.  

Compared to 2012–13, waste to landfill decreased by 2 per cent from 45,573 kg to 44,469 kg in 2013–14. Waste to landfill was 24 per cent of total waste in 2013–14 compared to 32 per cent in the previous year. Major variations can be attributed to an increase in metal recycling from the compactus shelving replacement and an increase in organic and paper recycling.

In 2010–11, the Library developed three-year targets for reductions in energy and water usage. June 2013–14 marks the end of the reporting period and these targets have been met, with the exception of water usage where reliable figures are not available. Electricity consumption and gas consumption have reduced by 15 per cent and 26 per cent respectively over the three-year period as illustrated in Figure 2.3.

Figure 2.3: Energy Consumption, 2010–2014

 Figure 2.3 shows the Library's targeted and actual electricity and gas consumption for 2010-2014.

While no target was set for a reduction in paper consumption in 2013–14, it has reduced by 42 per cent over the three-year period, as illustrated in Figure 2.4.

Figure 2.4: Paper Consumption, 2010–2014

 Figure 2.4 shows the Library's paper consumption from 2010-2014.

The Environment Management Committee has set new targets for the next 3 years and broadened the targets to include waste to landfill. 

During 2013–14, the Library continued to improve waste management practices, and reduced its energy consumption and carbon footprint by:

  • achieving re-accreditation with the ACTSmart Office Recycling program, a best-practice program on managing waste;
  • commencing recycling of halogen light globes;
  • installing energy-efficient lighting and controls to service areas;
  • commencing a project to install energy-efficient lighting in the Main Reading Room and Foyer;
  • conducting further trials of reducing run times of air-conditioning in collection storage areas where this can be achieved without impacting adversely on the preservation of collections.

The overall results compared to 2013–14 are also due to the full-year effect of initiatives implemented the previous year.


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 for the year included construction for the Reading Room Integration project and new change rooms; replacement lighting for the Main Reading Room; and IT acquisitions, shelving and digitisation services for newspapers.

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.

Cooperation on Corporate Management Issues

The Corporate Management Forum consists of senior executives from agencies in the Arts portfolio and a small number of non-portfolio agencies. The forum considers a range of corporate issues including human resource management, financial management, procurement, risk, IT and facilities management, with a view to achieving economies of scale, sharing experiences and encouraging better practice.

The forum met four times during 2013–14 and matters considered included:

  • the PGPA Act and related issues;
  • paid parking in the Parliamentary Zone;
  • records management;
  • the 2013–14 and 2014–15 Budgets and related initiatives;
  • work health and safety;
  • capital planning and funding;
  • energy management;
  • risk management and insurance;
  • enterprise bargaining;
  • performance indicators and reporting; 
  • shared services.


During the reporting period, the Library operated nine 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 was received from the Attorney-General’s Department Ministry for the Arts; 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 writers and researchers to spend up to six months at the Library researching collection material in their areas of expertise. Fellowships were awarded to Dr Penelope Allison, Dr Peter Griggs, Dr Deborah Jordan, Dr Catherine Kelly and Professor John Williams. Honorary Fellowships were awarded to Associate Professor Ann Elias and Associate Professor Paul Sharrad.

Japan Fellowships

Awarded to established scholars and writers to spend up to six months at the Library researching Japanese collection material, the fellowships are funded through the Harold S. Williams Trust. One fellowship was awarded to Dr Emiko Okayama and one Honorary Fellowship was awarded to Professor Rikki Kersten.

Japan Study Grants

Funded through the Harold S. Williams Trust, these grants support scholars in Japanese studies who live outside Canberra to undertake research using the Library’s Japanese and western languages collections for up to four weeks. Grants were awarded to Mr Alexander Brown, Ms Prue Holstein, Dr Shigeru Sato, Mr Ross Tunney and Mr Martin Veres.

National Folk Fellowship

With assistance from the National Folk Festival, the Library funded a four-week residency for Jan Wositzky to research original manuscripts and sound recordings of W.E. (Bill) Harney, and to prepare and develop a performance which premiered at the Festival.

Norman McCann Summer Scholarships

Funded by Mrs Pat McCann, the Library awarded three six-week scholarships to young Australian postgraduate students Mr Edward Cavanagh, Ms Lucy Davies and Ms Kate Laing to undertake research on topics in Australian history or literature. 

Seymour Summer Scholarship

Funded by Dr John and Dr Heather Seymour, this six-week scholarship supports research, preferably in biography, by a young Australian postgraduate student. The scholarship was awarded to Ms Ashley Barnwell.

Kenneth Binns Travelling Fellowship

Funded by Mrs Alison Sanchez, the fellowship supports travel for professional development by Library staff in the early stages of their career. The 2014 fellowship was awarded to Ms Elizabeth Caplice.

Friends of the National Library Travelling Fellowship

Funded by the Friends of the National Library of Australia, the fellowship provides a significant professional development opportunity for a Library staff member. The 2014 fellowship was awarded to Ms Kate Ross.

Information Technology

Information technology (IT) is used to facilitate and support the development of new online services and ongoing infrastructure, 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 in-house.

Digital Library Infrastructure Replacement Project

Core infrastructure and capability to sustain and develop the Library’s digital collections and associated services is fundamental to the Library’s future. The Library faces critical issues in its ability to manage and maintain access to its born-digital and digitised collections, and its ability to support new types of collection materials over time. Our digital library infrastructure is inadequate for maintaining what we have now; it limits our capacity to develop the collection and meet client service needs, including through ways of collecting and increased digital access to our non-digital collections.

The DLIR project is a multi-year project to replace the Library’s existing digital library systems used to support digital collecting, digitisation, and delivery of digital content. It will also provide systems to support the active management and preservation of the Library’s digital collections. The project will deliver systems and a scalable infrastructure capable of supporting enhanced activities should additional funding be provided.

Central to the project approach was an open market procurement activity to purchase pre-existing software or services to deliver the software, supplemented by in-house development activities to implement components that cannot be purchased. In 2012–13, the project moved from planning and procurement to its implementation phase with the purchase of a digitisation workflow management system and a digital preservation repository system.

During 2013–14, the first of four implementation stages of the DLIR project was completed. Achievements for this period include:

  • deployment of the DocWorks digitisation workflow system, for content and structure analysis of books and journals;
  • development and deployment of a new collection management system (CMS), providing support for digitisation of books and journals;
  • development and deployment of a new digital library content repository;
  • commencement of the second implementation phase, which enhances new digital library systems to support the Pictures and Manuscripts Collections.

Infrastructure and Services

During 2013–14, the Library’s digital collection increased in size by 30 per cent (728 terabytes), and now exceeds 3 petabytes of storage (see Figure 2.5). Digitisation of Australian newspapers and collecting of Australian web content accounted for 75 per cent of this storage growth. Figure 2.6 shows the allocation of storage by collection material type.

Figure 2.5: Ten-year Growth in Digital Collection Storage

 Area graph showing the National Library of Australia's increasing digital storage requirements from 2004 to 2014

Figure 2.6: Digital Collection Storage by Material, 30 June 2014

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

The Library also supports substantial infrastructure to enable the discovery of, and access to, its own and other collections. Figure 2.7 shows the trend in raw transaction load on the Library’s web services since 2000–01. Following what appears to be a spike in 2012–13 due to the behaviour of major internet search engines, growth has returned to trend in 2013–14. Raw transaction load continues to be driven by the use of Trove, especially its digitised Australian newspapers.

Figure 2.7: Use of Web Services, 2000–01 to 2013–14

 Column graph showing the National Library of Australia's increasing webserver requests from 2001 to 2014

In 2013–14, the Library migrated its intranet into the Drupal content management system, which involved updating the design and reviewing the information architecture to allow for more efficient access to everyday work tools. 

Reliable IT infrastructure is essential to the Library’s digital storage and access services. Table 2.7 shows the average availability of ten key service areas. The target availability of 99.5 per cent was exceeded for all service areas. This is a considerable improvement on the outcome for the previous year. Significant time and effort was put into restructuring aspects of the Library’s IT infrastructure to reduce single points of failure, enhance storage capacity and take advantage of the benefits of server virtualisation.

Table 2.7: Availability of Ten Key Service Areas, 2013–14


Availability (%)



File and print






Integrated Library Management System


Digital Library


Corporate systems


Document supply


Libraries Australia




High-profile online services—namely Trove and Libraries Australia—which include user interaction and access by web bots from search engines such as Baidu and Google continued to be a source of substantial traffic. This has been managed by improved bandwidth controls. In 2013–14, the Library continued enhancements to search functions for Trove newspapers and Libraries Australia, which involved 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.

As part of its Strategic Asset Management program, the Library continued to replace and upgrade IT infrastructure, including:

  • installation of an additional 324 terabytes of storage to allow for growth in newspaper and web archives;
  • utilisation of a de-duplication backup system to achieve significant efficiencies in data backup. The de-duplication technology provides for 37 terabytes of actual storage that would otherwise consume 710 terabytes of disk space;
  • a full refresh of the Library’s fleet of printers and copiers and the introduction of ‘follow-me’ printing that allows employees to print from any network printer and has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of printers and paper consumption, reducing energy use and asset replacement expenditure;
  • a doubling in the number of systems managed as virtual servers to 280. This includes the extension of the server cluster to support digital library systems;
  • enhancement of the Library’s IT Disaster Recovery capability through shared storage and a multi-node, highly available virtualisation cluster.

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

  • released three updated IT security policies;
  • conducted staff IT security awareness seminars and continued to update the IT security website.

The Library continued improving IT services and operations by:

  • enhancing the capability of Libraries Australia, the ILMS, Copies Direct and other systems to meet the cataloguing standard, Resource Description and Access (RDA);
  • further developing Trove;
  • introducing a new Drupal-based platform for support documentation to assist members of the public, content partners, researchers and developers to use the Library’s online services. The new Trove Help Centre, made available in May 2014, is the first content on the new platform, with other services to follow in 2014–2015.