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 in the Ministry for the Arts within the Attorney-General’s Department with responsibilities for collecting Australian cultural heritage materials and making them available to the Australian public. Senator the Hon. George Brandis QC, appointed Minister for the Arts on 18 September 2013, is the responsible Minister for the Library. 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 corporate Commonwealth entity, the Library is 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 2015

2015 Figure 2.1


Corporate Governance

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

Figure 2.2: Corporate Governance Structure, 2014–15

2015 figure 2.2


The National Library Act 1960 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 2015, there was one vacancy on Council. Appendix A lists Council members and their attendance at Council meetings. On 16 June 2015, the House of Representatives appointed the Member for Werriwa, Mr Laurie Ferguson MP, to the Council.

In 2014–15, in addition to general administrative, compliance and financial matters, Council considered a range of matters, including:

  • the Corporate Plan 2015–2019;

  • the Enhanced Commonwealth Performance Framework;

  • implications of the PGPA Act;

  • shared services arrangements;

  • the DLIR project;

  • the 2015–16 Budget;

  • use of Library trust accounts;

  • new acquisitions;

  • integration of the Library’s reading rooms;

  • Libraries Australia

  • Strategic Workforce planning;

  • work health and safety;

  • environmental management;

  • the activities of the Library’s Foundation Board;

  • Council’s evaluation of its performance;

  • changes to services and opening hours.

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

Audit Committee

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 2014–15, the Audit Committee considered a range of matters, including:

  • financial statements for 2013–14;
  • 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 2014–15 financial statement audit strategy;
  • the compliance report required under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997
  • the Public Management Reform Agenda and the PGPA Act;
  • the Internal Audit Plan 2015–16;
  • internal audits of:
    • the Fraud Risk Assessment and Fraud Control Plan
    • stocktake of Sales and Promotion, and the Bookshop
    • information and communication technologies (ICT) governance
    • the Building Works project (Reading Room Integration project);
  • Australian National Audit Office reports and recommendations;
  • valuation of the collection;
  • reports on legal services, compliance, fraud and ethics, risk management and business continuity, insurance, whistleblower complaints, public interest disclosures, contract management and training, audit committee training, the DLIR project and shared services.

Corporate Governance Committee

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 coopt other non-executive Council members.

Appendix A lists the Corporate Governance Committee members. In February 2015, the Corporate Governance Committee met to consider the results of the 2014 Council Self-Evaluation Survey and, in June 2015, 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. In 2014–15, the Library completed a review of its performance indicators and explored alternative reporting systems to the Balanced Scorecard. This work was initiated to assist the Library to develop and implement performance frameworks under the PGPA Act.

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 records risks to the Library, as well as risk mitigation and 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 officers representing all business areas. The committee provides a clear control structure to identify, monitor, respond to and mitigate risks that may affect the Library.

Section 16 of the PGPA Act, which came into effect on 1 July 2014, provides that accountable authorities of all Commonwealth entities must establish and maintain appropriate systems of risk oversight, management and internal control for the entity. The Commonwealth Risk Management Policy was introduced to support the PGPA Act framework and is supplemented by a draft Risk Management Better Practice Guide. The goal of the policy is to embed risk management within the culture of Commonwealth entities, so the shared understanding of risk leads to well-informed decision-making.

Corporate Commonwealth entities, such as the Library, are not formally required to comply with the policy but should review and align their risk management frameworks and systems with the policy as a matter of good practice. The Library has commenced a review of internal arrangements and risk management practices to assess performance in relation to the policy and in relation to the recommendations and guidance provided in the Better Practice Guide.

An internal audit review of the Library’s Risk Management Framework is scheduled for 2015–16, which will provide further assurance that the Library’s framework is in alignment with the requirements of the PGPA Act.

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 2014–15, the Library implemented the Auditor-General's recommendations contained in the following Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) reports:

  • Implementation of ANAO Performance Audit Recommendations (No. 34, 2013–14);

  • Managing Conflicts of Interest in FMA Agencies (No. 47, 2013–14);

  • The Management of Physical Security (No. 49, 2013–14);

  • Cyber Attacks: Securing Agencies’ ICT Systems (No. 50, 2013–14);

  • Business Continuity Management (No. 6, 2014–15);

  • Implementation of Audit Recommendations (No. 7, 2014–15);

  • Administration of the Export Market Development Grants Scheme (No. 15, 2014–15);

  • Management of the Disposal of Specialist Military Equipment (No. 20, 2014–15).

Internal Audit Reports

The Audit Committee considered a number of internal audit reports; see page 27.

Parliamentary Committees and Government Inquiries

During 2014–15, the Library made no submissions to Parliamentary Committees or
Government Inquiries.

Ministerial Directions

Under subsection 22(1) of the PGPA Act, the Minister for Finance (Finance Minister) may make a government policy order that specifies a policy of the Australian Government that is to apply in relation to any or all corporate Commonwealth entities, including the Library, provided the Finance Minister is satisfied that the Minister responsible for the policy has consulted the entity on the application of the policy. The Library has not been formally consulted on any new general policy orders and none which apply 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. In August 2012, the court found in favour of the Library. The outcome was under appeal by Wagdy Hanna and Associates Pty Ltd at the Court of Appeal of the ACT. The Court of Appeal handed down its judgement in favour of the Library and dismissed the appeal in August 2014. The Court of Appeal handed down its decision and orders regarding the costs of the appeal in June 2015. The court ordered costs payable in the Library’s favour on an indemnity basis.


During 2014–15, the Commonwealth Ombudsman did not advise referral of any issues relating to the Library.


The Library responded to one request for access to information under the Privacy Act 1988 in 2014–15.

Public Interest Disclosure

During 2014–15, the Library received one public interest disclosure, which is being investigated.

Freedom of Information

During 2014–15, the Library finalised one request for the release of information and finalised a review of a decision by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

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 9.26 per cent discount as a result of its performance measured by Comcover’s Risk Management Benchmarking Survey. The Library was the second-best performing agency of 15 like agencies in the survey’s Cultural Institutions Community of Practice Peer Group. 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 Society. 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 2014–15, 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 the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, National Simultaneous Storytime, Children’s Book Week, National Volunteer Week, NAIDOC Week, Autism Asperger ACT, and Libraries and Information Week;
  • supported the development of youth arts activities through events and education programs;
  • improved access technologies and lighting in the new Special Collections Reading Room;
  • provided an ongoing customer service training program for front-of-house staff and volunteers;
  • implemented online accessibility guidelines in relation to event podcasts and promotional videos, ensuring transcripts are available;
  • engaged Gundabluey Research to investigate the needs of students, teachers and people from non–English speaking backgrounds (NESB) in relation to Trove;
  • digitised three Chinese language newspapers—The Chinese Advertiser, The Chinese Australian Herald and the Chinese Times—and made them available in Trove;
  • worked with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) to add records to Trove from their collections, including images depicting Indigenous life in Australia from the 1820s to today, journal articles published from the mid-1980s, audio collections, and records from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Biographical Index (ABI).

In NAIDOC Week, the Library held an event for staff to view and hear materials selected from the rich and wide-ranging collections by Indigenous staff and collection managers to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. This event aimed to develop staff knowledge about collections documenting Indigenous Australian history, culture and experience, and to underline the importance of the Library as a respectful and inclusive workplace.

Indigenous Graduate Shannon Sutton undertook a project to identify Indigenous language material held in the Library’s Manuscripts Collection. Initial discoveries included language lists, familial terms, place names and names for local customs and people in the papers and records of missionaries, ethnographers, linguists and Aboriginal Protectorates dating back to the 1860s. Information uncovered through the project has been published in an online Research Guide as the first phase of a project to increase accessibility of first language material.

The Library continued to expand its collection of oral history interviews with Indigenous Australians and people from a range of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. A new oral history project involving interviews with Australian Muslim women commenced.

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.

The Service Charter is available online and as a print publication.

During 2014–15, the Service Charter standards were met as follows:

  • 97 per cent of general reference inquiries were answered within time frames (target: 90 per cent);
  • 93 per cent of collection items were delivered within time frames (target: 90 per cent);
  • the Library’s website was available for 99.9 per cent of the agreed service time frames (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, 257 formal compliments and 82 formal complaints were received from users, as indicated in Tables 2.1 and 2.2 respectively.

Table 2.1: Compliments Received, 2014–15




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 support for events




In addition, several hundred informal compliments were received from visitors for the Library’s exhibitions and from users of the Trove, Copies Direct and reading room services.

Table 2.2: Complaints Received, 2014–15




The collection


•  Cataloguing and attribution of information for collection material

•  Repatriation of collection material

•  Processing of donor material

Information and online services to individuals


•  Use of mobile phones by Library users

•  Changes to services and opening hours

•  Wireless connectivity problems and slow
response times

•  Access to e-Resources

•  Use of 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

•  Event cancellation

Facilities and support


•  Car parking availability and bicycle facilities

•  Restrictions in reading rooms

•  Uncomfortable furniture in reading rooms

•  Café facilities

•  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 27 new consultancy contracts during 2014–15 involving total actual expenditure of $484,154 (inclusive of GST). Appendix E lists the new consultancies with an individual value of $10,000 or more. There were also 11 ongoing consultancy contracts that were active during the same period, involving total actual expenditure of $510,217, bringing the total level of expenditure on consultancy contracts in 2014–15 to $994,371.

Advertising and Market Research

Advertising and market research in excess of $12,565 for non-recruitment and non-tender services amounted to $132,451 (inclusive of GST).

Table 2.3 summarises expenditure by the Library in 2014–15.

Table 2.3: Library Expenditure, 2014–15



Value ($)

Mitchell & Partners

Media advertising in The Canberra Times



Media monitoring services


Gundabluey Research

Student, teacher and NESB use of Trove






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, along with preparations for the proposed shared services and related initiatives. 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.

People Management

The Library has a consistent and dedicated plan to identify its people priorities, develop initiatives and allocate resources commensurate with need. The Strategic Workforce Plan was extended to 30 June 2015 and a new plan has been developed to inform and respond to initiatives set out in the Library’s Corporate Plan 2015–2019. The Library intends to build on workforce achievements resulting from the current plan rather than change course; that is, continue building leadership capability, digital confidence and sustainability as priorities.

Recruitment in the APS was subject to Interim Recruitment Arrangements aimed at reducing APS-wide staffing levels. This continues to be a factor in managing the Library’s workforce and its ability to manage staffing levels smoothly.

During the reporting period, the Library participated in an APS-wide forum to consider strategies and share best practice in unscheduled leave management. The Library actively monitors unscheduled leave absences with a view to reducing the average days used per full-time equivalent staffing numbers. In addition, the Library sought external assistance to help with a comprehensive assessment of the Library’s unscheduled leave use. The Library intends to implement a range of tailored strategies to improve the management of unscheduled leave in 2015–16.

The Library participates in the APS State of the Service survey annually. Overall, the indicators from the State of the Service Report show the Library continues to maintain a positive work environment with no significant movement in staff satisfaction. The Library also continues to compare favourably with the broader APS.

Staff Engagement

The Library’s Consultative Committee is the mechanism through which Library management, staff and unions discuss issues affecting the workplace. During the financial year, the Consultative Committee met on four occasions. In addition to the updates they receive from other committees, including Environment Management, Work Health and Safety, Disability Contact Officers Network, Enterprise Bargaining and Council, members considered the following issues:

  • the planned introduction of shared corporate services across the portfolio;
  • a new Enterprise Agreement;
  • the Reading Room Integration project;
  • requirements for engaging in employment outside the Library;
  • grievance, bullying and harassment reporting;
  • the introduction of pay parking in the Parliamentary Zone.

It is noted that in recent years, and in consultation with staff, the Library has been making incremental changes to its Performance Management Framework. The changes are intended to enhance the relevance of performance management by improving usability and aligning the process with the Library’s business practices. Following the re-alignment of the performance cycle from the calendar year to the financial year and budget process in 2013–14, a two-dimensional rating scale was implemented in July 2014. Under the dual rating system, business deliverables and behavioural capabilities are both assessed as part of individual performance management. The new behavioural capability measure is aligned with the three fixed elements from the Library’s Consistent Selection Criteria. The introduction of this new assessment is intended to improve both the process and content of performance discussions and provide a holistic assessment for staff.

The Library’s Enterprise Agreement notionally expired on 30 June 2014, although it continues to govern pay and conditions for non-SES employees until superseded by a new agreement. The Library issued a Notice of Representational Rights to all staff on 19 August 2014 and began formal bargaining in October. On 19 August, an indicative new Enterprise Agreement was made available to staff as bargaining commenced but, at the time, it did not contain a remuneration offer. In March 2015, the Minister approved the Library’s remuneration offer, which had to be funded from productivity offsets and assessed as affordable.

A formal offer of remuneration increases was made to staff in March 2015 and negotiations for a new Enterprise Agreement are continuing.


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

At 30 June 2015, 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 contracts.

At 30 June 2015, 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 2015


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 2014–15, 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. The Library utilises a 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 complete the program at regular intervals.

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.

Disability Strategy

The Library aspires to develop the full potential of its staff through workforce initiatives that build upon existing staff capabilities. These initiatives include the commitment to continuously improve support for individuals (both staff and clients) with disabilities as part of the Library’s Disability Action Plan. The plan for 2015 has three key focuses based on continuous improvement and reasonable adjustment, including initiatives to enhance relationships, ensure respect and provide education.

As at 30 June 2015, 5.6 per cent of Library staff self-identified as having a disability. However, the Library’s commitment extends beyond gathering data to quantify disability; it seeks to enable and accentuate ‘capability’ through acknowledging individuals' talents, skills, abilities and career aspirations. To date, the Library has been able to make all reasonable adjustments requested of it to support any staff with disabilities.

During the reporting period, the Library committed to improving working relationships with disability stakeholders. This was demonstrated through continuance of its Disability Working Group meetings, held during December 2014 and May 2015, for which the Disability Contact Officers acted as important conduits between management, staff and clients on disability matters. This commitment was further demonstrated through renewal of the Library’s membership plan with the Australian Network on Disability and through working collaboratively with this organisation to access their expert advice. The Library was represented at their round table meetings for members, held in March and June, which provided an opportunity to network with other organisations and share knowledge and resources.

The Library invited employees to participate in a series of in-house information sessions, which had a focus on key disability categories. These included sessions on chronic pain as a physical disability, hearing loss and vision impairment, held during March, April and June respectively. In addition, the Library committed to providing additional information sessions, which will focus on intellectual and/or developmental disorders, dyslexia and mental health. Library staff were also offered the opportunity to participate in disability confidence training during May.

It is intended that as the Library’s practices mature in responding to the needs of individuals with disabilities, it will attempt to enhance the existing disability framework and explore opportunities to build disability planning and service delivery into the Library’s broader Diversity Strategy.

Workplace Diversity

At 30 June 2015, 68 per cent of staff were female, 22.1 per cent of staff identified as being from a culturally and linguistically diverse background, 1.6 per cent (7 ongoing employees) identified as Indigenous (down from 1.8 per cent last year) and 5.6 per cent identified as having a disability (up from 5.3 per cent last year). Appendix F includes a more detailed breakdown of workplace diversity figures.

Work Health and Safety

The Library commissioned a risk assessment of its motorised mobile storage systems by the National Safety Council of Australia. The report indicated the Library is taking appropriate measures to ensure safe installation and use of the storage systems.

Comcare completed a review of the Library’s asbestos management procedures and confirmed that the Library is meeting its obligations in relation to asbestos management under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011.

Management and staff discussed work health and safety management arrangements at quarterly meetings of the following committees:

  • Work Health and Safety Committee;
  • First Aid Committee.

Training courses offered during the year to ensure the health, safety and welfare of workers included:

  • Work Health and Safety Overview for Senior Staff;
  • Work Health and Safety for Managers and Supervisors;
  • Health and Safety Representative Skills;
  • Senior First Aid Certification;
  • Manual Handling;
  • Asbestos Awareness;
  • Assertiveness;
  • ‘Bootcamp for the Brain’ Resilience and Wellbeing;
  • Mindfulness in the Workplace.

Seminars on health and wellbeing topics included:

  • Stroke Awareness;
  • How to Beat Cholesterol;
  • ‘NewAccess’ Mental Health Initiative;
  • Tobacco and Alcohol;
  • Body Maintenance;
  • Chronic Pain Management;
  • Low Vision;
  • Hearing Loss.

Employee assistance program topics included:

  • Planning for Retirement;
  • Embracing Diversity;
  • Sleep Your Way to Better Health;
  • Men’s Health.

The offer of in-house influenza vaccination was taken up by 182 staff.

The Australian Public Service Commission’s Agency Benchmark Report provided the Library with reliable data from the 2014 State of the Service survey (i.e. 65 per cent response rate). Library employees’ views were compared against the overall APS average for safety culture.

The positive results achieved for employees’ views on safety culture are presented in Table 2.5.

Table 2.5: Employee Views on Safety Culture, 2014

Measures of a Safety Culture

NLA Employees

Total APS


(% Strongly agree/agree)

The people in my work group are committed to
workplace safety



My supervisor is committed to workplace safety



My agency genuinely cares about employees being healthy and safe at work



My agency supports employees who are injured or become ill due to work




The Library’s work health and safety statistics are presented in Table 2.6.

Table 2.6: Reporting under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, 30 June 2015




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 191 notices

Issue of improvement notices

No notices were issued

Section 195 notices

Issue of prohibition notices

No notices were issued

Section 198 notices

Issue of non-disturbance notices

No notices were issued

Part 10 enforcement measures

Issue of improvement notices

No notices were issued

During 2014–15, there was one new injury case that resulted in a claim being accepted for workers’ compensation.

The Library’s premium rates for injuries over the past three years are shown in Table 2.7.

Table 2.7: Premiums for Injuries Suffered, 2012–16 (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 (both tangible and intangible) is $1.381 billion. For the tangible collections, there is an annual stocktake and revaluations are conducted 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 2014–15 included compactus shelving for storage of the national collection, information technology systems, hardware and software, including the DLIR project.

The total value of plant and equipment at 30 June 2015 was $14 million.

The total value of software at 30 June 2015 was $6.9 million.

Land and Buildings

The total value of the Library’s land and buildings at 30 June 2015 was assessed at $232 million, including the main building in Parkes and the repository in Hume. Management of the Library’s property 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 in 2011–12.

In 2014–15, work continued on the Reading Room Integration project. This project is a major component of the Library’s 2008 Strategic Building Master Plan and is sanctioned within the 2013 Conservation Management Plan. The project will improve and modernise the public spaces in keeping with a twenty-first-century national library, and it builds on the addition of the Treasures and Exhibition galleries and improvements to the Main Reading Room completed in 2012.

In January, the Special Collections Reading Room was completed and opened to the public. This significant new space provides for the integration of the Pictures and Manuscripts, Maps and Petherick reading rooms. In May, the first stage of the expanded Main Reading Room opened, which facilitated the integration of the Main and Newspapers and Microforms reading rooms. As well as improving reader services and service delivery, the project will improve energy efficiency, provide an upgrade to building services, such as fire systems and air-conditioning plant, and meet the latest Building Code compliance requirements. The project is on schedule for completion by early 2016.

The outside of the Library building is clad in marble, travertine and trachyte, and these natural materials do much to make it the majestic and luminous landmark that it is. The Library assesses the condition of this cladding regularly. The review completed in 2012 led to a detailed assessment of the 568 roof-edge fasciae and capping panels in 2014. Based on this, the Library will begin planning and procurement to replace all of the roof-edge fasciae and capping panels, with a scheduled completion date of mid-2017.

During the course of some of these building works, specifically the demolition of existing services and partitioning, asbestos materials were identified. Appropriate procedures and reporting were implemented to manage these occurrences. This included notifying the relevant authority and building occupants, engaging appropriately licensed contractors, and conducting air quality testing before, during and after the removal process. The Library maintains an active Asbestos Management Plan. The plan was reviewed by Comcare on 13 August 2014 and they advised that they were satisfied that the Library was meeting its obligations with regard to the management of asbestos.

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

  • refurbishment of change-room facilities on Lower Ground 2;
  • installation of new energy-efficient lighting and control
  • systems in the Main Reading Room and Foyer;
  • upgrade of the fire detection system throughout the building;
  • upgrades to CCTV and the security access control system;
  • refurbishment of collection storage areas to facilitate replacement of motorised shelving, increasing storage capacity and improving efficiency.

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

  • strategic review of air-conditioning systems;
  • refurbishment of the Theatre.

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. Consultation with heritage specialists has continued in relation to the Reading Room Integration project, the replacement of lighting in the Main Reading Room and Foyer, and the evaluation of the marble façade.

Re-use of heritage furniture has been carefully considered during the Reading Room Integration project. Twenty-two original Fred Ward chairs, designed specifically for Library reading rooms, have been used in the Special Collections Reading Room. Another 48 were refurbished for the Newspapers and Family History zone in the Main Reading Room, together with a number of other heritage furniture pieces, such as carrels and reading tables.

While this project does not refurbish any spaces of heritage significance, a small selection of heritage building fabric has been carefully incorporated into the new rooms.

Security and Business Continuity

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

On 12 September 2014, the Australian Government raised the general National Terrorism Public Alert System threat level for Australia to High (i.e. terrorist attack is likely). In response to this escalation, the Library reviewed a range of existing security measures, increased the frequency of testing of security procedures and called for heightened vigilance by security officers and staff. The Library maintains close contact with the relevant Australian Government intelligence, protective security and law enforcement agencies in relation to ongoing and emerging threats.

The Library’s Business Continuity Framework incorporates detailed planning strategies for collection disasters, storage, information technology (IT) recovery and critical building systems recovery.

In 2014–15, the Library’s emergency management and business continuity planning systems were tested to ensure effectiveness. Testing included physical review during both planned and unplanned events, such as power and internet outages and building evacuations. Additionally, in September 2014, all members of the Emergency Planning Committee and their deputies participated in an externally facilitated desktop business continuity training exercise, involving responses and recovery actions to a major disruption to services and building facilities.

Energy Consumption and Environmental Management

The Library’s Environmental Management Committee meets quarterly to coordinate sustainability efforts and achieve sustainability targets. Environmental performance is reported annually to Council.

Sustainable development principles have been incorporated in the design and installation of the new lighting in the Foyer and Main Reading Room, which replaced lights at end of life. The new LED lights, designed by an Australian manufacturer, provide energy savings, reduce maintenance costs and meet the heritage requirements of these significant heritage spaces.

Reviewing climate control parameters for the collections and making required changes to the building plant and equipment remain a major focus. Further seasonal trials were conducted throughout the year to test our ability to continue to reduce energy usage in collection storage areas while maintaining appropriate conditions. Planning has commenced on a project to upgrade the overall efficiency of the air-conditioning plant for the main building. Operational efficiencies and improvements, such as ongoing recycling training and the addition of new waste streams, have been implemented with the assistance of the Environmental Management Committee. The Library has commenced reporting against new targets for reductions in energy, water and paper consumption, using 2013–14 as a base year. A new target has also been set for reducing waste to landfill.

In comparison with the previous year, the Library has reduced electricity consumption by 3 per cent to 5,667,832 kWh and increased gas consumption by 4 per cent to 4,363,720 MJ, as illustrated in Figure 2.3. Water usage was 13,823 KL—an estimated reduction of 21 per cent compared with 2013–14.

Waste to landfill decreased by 4 per cent compared with the base year, from 46,723 kg to 39,966 kg. Waste to landfill was 20 per cent of total waste in 2014–15 compared with 24 per cent in the previous year.

Paper consumption has reduced by 22 per cent to 1,198,821 kg compared with the base year, as illustrated in Figure 2.4.

Figure 2.3: Energy Consumption, 2012–2015

2015 figure 2.3

Figure 2.4: Paper Consumption, 2012–2015

2015 figure 2.4


The Library maintained a focus on cost-effective contract management and procurement practices consistent with Commonwealth Procurement Rules. All the Library’s procurement and contract templates were reviewed to ensure currency and compliance with the recent changes to the Commonwealth legislation, including the PGPA Act.

Large purchasing activities for the year included: continuing construction for the Reading Room Integration project; valuing the Library’s national collection; reviewing the lighting throughout the main building; and purchasing replacement map compactus and IT acquisitions.

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, and IT and facilities management, with a view to achieving economies of scale, sharing experiences and encouraging better practice.

The forum met three times during 2014–15 and matters considered included:

  • the PGPA Act and related issues;
  • pay parking in the Parliamentary Zone;
  • records management;
  • security;
  • the 2014–15 and 2015–16 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 one grant program.

Community Heritage Grants

The Library awarded 73 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 Ministry for the Arts within the Attorney-General’s Department; the National Library of Australia; the National Archives of Australia; the National Film and Sound Archive; and the National Museum of Australia.

Fellowships and Scholarships

During the reporting period, the Library operated eight supported programs.

National Library of Australia Fellowships

The Library’s former program of Harold White Fellowships and Japan Fellowships, which has supported over 150 research fellows since 1983, was suspended for 2014–15 while the Library sought funding from philanthropic sources. In March 2015, a new scheme of National Library of Australia Fellowships was launched and applications opened for six funded fellowships to be offered in 2016.

Japan Study Grants

Funded through the Harold S. Williams Trust, these grants support scholars in Japanese studies who live outside Canberra to do research using the Library’s Japanese and western languages collections for up to four weeks. Grants were awarded to Gwyn McClelland, Dr Barbara Hartley, Darren Swanson, Dr Alison Broinowski and Professor Sandra Wilson.

National Folk Fellowship

In partnership with the National Folk Festival, the Library funded a four-week residency for Miriam Jones to research bluegrass and old-time music in Australia, and to prepare and develop a performance with her band, Catgut, which premiered at the festival.

Norman McCann Summer Scholarships

Funded by Mrs Pat McCann, the Library awarded six-week scholarships to young Australian postgraduate students Bethany Phillips-Peddlesden, Henry Reese and Emma Shortis to do research on topics in Australian history or literature. A fourth scholar, Rohan Lloyd, was awarded a National Library Summer Scholarship funded by an anonymous donor.

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 Michael Kilmister.

Friends of the National Library Creative Arts Fellowship

A Creative Arts Fellowship, funded for four years by the Friends of the National Library, was awarded for the first time. The fellowship provides $10,000 to a practising artist to undertake a residency at the Library to develop new work, creatively using or inspired by the Library’s collections. The inaugural fellow is composer Chris Williams, who is composing a musical response to an incomplete opera by Nigel Butterley, to be performed by the Sydney Chamber Opera.

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 2015 fellowship was awarded to Nicole Hinton.

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 2015 fellowship was awarded to Susan Thomas.

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 Trove, 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 are 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. Current digital library infrastructure is inadequate for maintaining what the Library has now; it limits the Library’s capacity to develop the collection and meet client service needs, including by restricting ways of collecting and limiting 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 provide systems to support the active management and preservation of the Library’s digital collections, and a scalable infrastructure capable of supporting enhanced activities should additional funding be provided.

Central to the project approach was the open-market procurement of pre-existing software, and services to deliver the software, supplemented by the in-house implementation of components that could not 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 2014–15, the second and third of five implementation stages of the DLIR project were completed. Achievements for this period include:

  • extension of the new digital library systems to support the Pictures, Manuscripts, Sheet Music, Oral History and Folklore collections;
  • successful migration and provision of online public access of approximately 5,000 books digitised by Document Supply Service and Digitisation and Photography;
  • integration of the books and journals delivery system with the Trove discovery service;
  • development of workflows to support collection of published digital material;
  • integrated specification of acquisition and preservation requirements for published digital material.

Infrastructure and Services

During 2014–15, the Library’s digital collection increased in size by 22 per cent (714 terabytes), and now exceeds 3.8 petabytes of storage, as illustrated in Figure 2.5. Digitisation of Australian newspapers and collection of Australian web content accounted for 83 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

2015 figure 2.5

Figure 2.6: Digital Collection Storage by Material, June 2015

2015 figure 2.6

The Library 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 12 years of rapid growth, transaction load has stabilised at a level of approximately 7 billion transactions per annum.

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 2014–15

2015 figure 2.7

Reliable IT infrastructure is essential to the Library’s digital storage and access services. Table 2.8 shows the average availability of ten key service areas. The target availability of 99.5 per cent was exceeded for all service areas. This continues a trend of improving system availability. 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 2.8: Availability of Ten Key IT Service Areas, 2014–15


Availability (%)



File and print






Integrated Library Management System


Digital Library


Corporate systems


Document supply


Libraries Australia




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

  • installation of an additional 216 terabytes of storage and additional server capacity to support growth in size and usage of the Library’s digital collection;
  • a full refresh of the public access PCs in the Library’s reading rooms;
  • upgrading of the Library’s existing telephone system to provide improved internal communication capability. The system now supports multiple devices, and desk phone mobility, with the integration of smart phones and instant messaging features. It also supports open multimedia standards, such as Session Initiation Protocol, which is used to create, manage and terminate voice and video calls over Internet Protocol (IP) networks;
  • migration of the Library’s tape backup and archive systems from LT04 to LT06 tape technology;
  • replacement of network floor switches to provide gigabit connectivity—much faster data transmission rates—to the desktop for staff and in public areas in the Library.

In line with the Government’s Protective Security Policy Framework and Information Security Manual, the Library:

  • released updated IT security policies;
  • conducted staff IT security awareness seminars and continued to update the IT security website;
  • automated patch management for all Microsoft desktops and a large number of third-party applications;
  • successfully completed security assessments for new systems and major system updates;
  • installed improved firewalls to provide better visibility and control of all reading room traffic and provide a powerful and flexible platform to improve overall IT security and minimise cyber attacks and intrusions;
  • upgraded the Library’s remote access system to use two-factor authentication outside the Library network (wired and wireless) and provide better support for remote devices, such as iPhones and iPads.

The Library continued improving IT services and operations by:

  • enhancing the capability of Libraries Australia and the ILMS systems;
  • further developing Trove;
  • replacing the end-of-life collection management system used by Pictures and Manuscripts with ArchivesSpace;
  • developing a variety of enhancements to the Library’s primary website, including upgraded news and events, a new media centre, and a reworked 'support us' and donation portal;
  • launching a new Drupal-based intranet for Library staff.