Introduction

This is the National Library of Australia’s medium term Strategic Plan for supporting national resource sharing activities, covering the period July 2012 to June 2015. 
 
The Resource Sharing Division’s vision, mission and planning processes are aligned to support the Library’s Strategic Directions statement. The Plan should also be considered alongside the activities outlined in the Information Technology Strategic Plan 2012-2015, and the Trove Strategic Directions 2012-2015. 
 
The Resource Sharing Strategic Plan will be revised annually to reflect changes in the strategic environment and current priorities.  

Strategic Context

The National Library’s Strategic Directions 2012-2014 statement identifies a number of strategic objectives and actions directly associated with Resource Sharing activities. These include:
  • Provide national infrastructure to underpin efficient and effective library services across the country, and to support Australian libraries in the twenty-first-century digital world. 
  • Renew the Libraries Australia Search service to meet the collection management needs of over 1,000 Australian libraries. 
  • Harness new and emerging opportunities in the digital environment, including the National Broadband Network, to engage with diverse Australian audiences, including those in regional and remote communities. 
  • Support research and lifelong learning for all Australians by maximising online access to our collections and services.
  • Strengthen our engagement with Australian communities through social media opportunities and services optimised for mobile devices. 
  • Develop a robust and sustainable business model for Trove, to ensure we can expand and enrich its content and invest in new services for our users. 
  • Make it easy for educational content developers and researchers to access Trove resources for use in their curriculum products and innovative research spaces. 
  • Lead and collaborate in National and State Libraries Australasia projects to improve Australians’ access to library resources
The Library’s Information Technology Strategic Plan identifies a range of trends and technologies that are important to the Library, a number of which directly impact on Resource Sharing activities. 
 
A number of additional trends are important to the Resource Sharing Division. They represent opportunities, changes and potential threats that will influence what the Division will do and how it goes about its business.
 
These include mergers in the companies that provide library services, development of software as a service, and development of large and small cloud-based library management systems. These developments are likely to change the relationships between library system vendors and their customers (including lowering reliance on local IT staff to support LMS) and change ways in which we need to approach gathering data for the National Bibliographic Database. The development and uptake of OCLC’s WorldShare Management platform is just one example. 
 
We expect the Libraries Australia membership base to remain stable or reduce slightly, in what is effectively a ‘saturated’ market. Membership reductions are likely to result from closures and downsizing of Australian government libraries in an environment of fiscal restraint. 
 
Australian libraries are rapidly changing what and how they collect. Some library sectors spend up to 90% of acquisitions budgets on eResources and eBooks. Australian libraries are increasingly outsourcing cataloguing or acquiring catalogue records as part of eReource and eBook product bundles. This means there is a marked decrease in resources devoted to original or copy cataloguing, and will result in a gradual reduction in the value of the efficient copy-cataloguing 
offered through Libraries Australia. 
 
Australian libraries now have access to a range of competitively priced, fast-turnaround document delivery options, and some sectors are increasingly purchasing documents for their patrons rather than using traditional Inter Library Loan or document delivery services. Together with restrictive eResources and eBooks licensing conditions – which reduce options for loaning electronic between organisations –these alternative options mean we expect Libraries Australia Document Delivery traffic to decline at a modest pace. 
 
Beyond the library sector, there is increased interest among cultural institutions and content producers in contributing to Trove, as its success becomes more visible. At the same time, severe technical capability constraints inhibit many of those organisations from providing their content for effective and efficient Trove harvesting. Other parts of the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums sectors will need to address those constraints in an environment in which there are increased expectations that public domain content will be available for content producers content producers (and individual members of the public) to access and use in their own curated web spaces or products. 
 
Alongside the expectation that Trove and similar content will be re-usable is increased public demand for a significant body of content that is online, free and accessible at the place and time of the user’s choosing. We are seeing increased user preference for commencing searches from large search engines rather than local or specialist services, heightening the importance and value of exposing content to large search engines for indexing. Mobile technologies (iPads, iPhones and Androids) are rapidly encroaching on the space previously occupied by desktop and laptop computers, and bring new requirements for mobile friendly design for Trove and other discovery services. The Australian public it increasingly participating in a wider range of social networking activities; integrating social media based service delivery and communication is now an essential part of the outreach work required to reach our target audiences. 
 
In responding to these trends, the Library’s policy is that it will focus its discovery investment in Trove, and will not develop or host specialist discovery services or portals. The Library will also assess and and refine the relationships between its Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC),  eResources, digital delivery services, Libraries Australia and Trove over the period of this plan. 

Key Objectives for 2012-2015

The Resource Sharing Division of the National Library of Australia has three main streams of activity: Libraries Australia; Trove; and the National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) eResources consortium. Common to all three streams are: a commitment to ensuring that all Australians can access, enjoy and learn from a national collection that documents Australian life and society; a belief that Australian libraries can achieve the best outcomes for their patrons by working together in a national system and that the lessons of 30 years of successful collaboration by Australian libraries can be extended across the entire Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums sector; and a need to develop and implement sustainable business models for all of our services.
 
We lead collaboration to achieve national aims, and are committed to a continuous program of analysing our activities and identifying opportunities for improved workflows and efficiencies to benefit all. 

Libraries Australia

Support the collection management and document delivery activities of more than 1000 Australian libraries, and aggregation and syndication of bibliographic metadata describing library collections. 

Libraries Australia and its predecessor services have been an essential element of national library infrastructure for more than 30 years. Libraries Australia currently offers a suite of services delivered through a mix of: purchased software implemented locally to support national utilities (CBS for cataloguing; VDX for document delivery); software developed in-house (Libraries Australia Search, Australian Libraries Gateway, Inter Library Resource Sharing directory, Record Import Service, Record Export Service, National Library of Australia Harvester; Libraries Australia Administration); mutually beneficial relationships with other aggregator services (OCLC WorldCat, and New Zealand’s Te Puna, among others); purchase and loading of datasets; and
helpdesk, data loading and products services offered locally. 
 
The majority of Libraries Australia’s costs are met by member subscriptions. Libraries Australia has had a stable member base for many years, and we expect this stability to continue for the life of this Plan, with the possibility of minor declines in the government library sector. 
 
Our research into our members’ priorities, workflows and future plans suggests that the value Libraries Australia currently offers our membership may decline in the next five to seven years, as Australian libraries change their collection management and delivery priorities, workflows and practices. The Library and its members are operating in an environment of fiscal restraint which precludes large-scale investment in developing new services at a national level (for example, new cloud-based services to support additional collection management requirements such as centrally managing knowledge about eResource licence conditions), and an environment in which we expect new services to be offered at ‘webscale’ by international organisations and vendors. However, in contrast to this picture of significant change in Australian library business, use of most Libraries Australia services is increasing, with the exception of Libraries Australia Document Delivery which is declining after a five year growth period. 
 
This means that in the period 2012-2015, Resource Sharing Division’s priority will be to maintain and - where it is necessary, possible and cost-effective to do so – develop our current suite of services, while simultaneously positioning Libraries Australia to change its service and business model to reflect the Australian library community’s needs post 2015. The latter tasks will require us to review what services Libraries Australia should offer to and beyond 2017, including deciding which services should continue to be managed in-house, and which services might be better brokered in a changing library environment. 
 
The Division’s priorities will be to ensure that:
  • The most comprehensive possible aggregation of bibliographic metadata describing Australian library collections – including a comprehensive record of Australia’s published documentary heritage – is developed and is available for re-use in multiple contexts
  • The collection management and document delivery workflows of Australian libraries are met effectively and efficiently
  • The services offered by the Library are sustainable, with an equitable cost-sharing model across the Australian library community. 

Trove

Support Australian and international users to access and engage with a broad range of online and other resources held or managed by more than 1000 libraries and cultural institutions.

In its few years of operation, Trove has become an indispensable part of Australia’s research infrastructure, with much of that value existing in the digitised newspaper corpus and its utility for a broad range of research agendas. 
 
Trove’s content and user base has grown rapidly over the last 3 years, and we expect this rapid growth to continue over the life of this plan. Trove’s growth offers the Library new and exciting opportunities to reach and engage with all Australians, regardless of their location. However, its rapid growth also poses challenges, as our use base expands, diversifies and increases its expectations of what Trove can deliver. These expectations will require Resource Sharing Division to develop new collaborative partnerships to source content of interest, and to continue developing an innovative service mix. 
 
Two major elements of Trove’s content – the National Bibliographic Database aggregated by Libraries Australia, and the digitised newspaper content supported by the Library’s Newspapers Contribution Model – are substantially financially supported by contributing libraries, with Libraries Australia running on a membership subscription basis. The Newspapers contribution model funds the initial creation of content, but does not cover the ongoing management, storage and delivery costs associated with this content. Aggregation of other content of interest – including freely available digital Australiana contributed by individual galleries, libraries, archives and museums, and inclusion of international content aggregations – is supported solely from the National Library’s recurrent budget. Similarly, development and maintenance of the Trove website and associated services (including efficiently storing and indexing a very large body of content) is supported solely from within the National Library’s recurrent budget. Trove’s high level of use and continuing growth in content is placing a great strain on the systems that deliver Trove services, and significant resources will need to be devoted to ensuring that Trove is a fast, responsive and reliable service. This will constrain potential for the development of new and enhanced services, and new full text content streams. 
 
This means that in the period 2012-2015, Resource Sharing Division’s priorities will be to effectively balance the Australian public’s growing demand for online Australian content and innovative discovery, delivery and engagement services with the Library’s capacity to meet those demands. This will require working with the Library’s Information Technology Division and external providers to maximise efficiency of content and service development, while simultaneously exploring the potential to develop external revenue streams to support Trove’s growth into the future. 
 
The Division’s priorities will be to ensure that:
  • Trove’s content base grows to best fit users’ needs to learn about Australia and its place in the world, with a special emphasis on freely available digital Australiana
  • Trove’s service mix continues to evolve to deliver high quality, high performance access to a broad range of resources via the Trove website and other services incorporating Trove content, and to offer new ways for Australians to engage with Trove content
  • The services offered by the Library are sustainable, with investigation of potential external revenue streams to support development beyond what the Library’s recurrent budget will allow. 

NSLA eResources 

Support Australians to access high quality electronic resources at the time and place of their choice.

The National Library administers NSLA (National and State Libraries Australasia) eResources, a consortium of nine Australian libraries. The consortium makes collective decisions on priority resources, including aiming to achieve a ‘core set’ of resources available to patrons of all NSLA libraries. Purchasing is managed centrally by the National Library of Australia, with NSLA members contributing to the Library’s administrative costs. Over the life of this plan, NSLA libraries’ contributions will increase to a point at which the Library’s direct administrative costs are fully supported. In the period 2012-2015, the Consortium will continue to negotiate and purchase content on behalf of members (aiming for licence conditions which support ‘walk-in’ onsite access, offsite access for registered library patrons, and the right to make content available for Inter Library Loan and document delivery purposes), reconsider the principle of the ‘core set’, and address licensing issues surrounding the advent of eBook platforms.
 
The Division’s priorities will be to ensure that:
  • Australians’ access to quality eResources is maximised by harnessing the strength of joint negotiations on price and conditions
  • The service mix best meets the developing needs of member libraries and their patrons
  • The service offered by the Library is sustainable, with an equitable cost-sharing model across the consortium members. 

Resource Sharing and Information Technology

Many of the activities outlined below are dependent on Information Technology resourcing to deliver the required outcomes. This means that the timing and delivery of some initiatives contained in this plan will require ongoing prioritisation and scheduling consultations between the Resource Sharing and Information Technology Divisions. 

Appendix 1: Activities to support key objectives

Objective 1: Libraries Australia

Goal Activities Timeframe
Libraries Australia Search redevelopment Redevelop Libraries Australia Search to support the performance and capacity required by Australian libraries, and to improve Libraries Australia users' onlin experience.  2012-2013
Libraries Australia Cataloging
Implement CBS6.0 to improve service to member libraries.
 
Implement CBS configuration to support all required (Resource Description for Access) RDA fields and data
 
Implement CBS Job Manager to improve Library staff self-sufficiency in National Bibliographic Database (NBD) management
 
Review need to offer a cataloguing client and whether the CBS system best meets our needs, including exploration of the implications of Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative (BibFrame) for future business requirements, workflows and skills. This work needs to take into account the Library’s coming process to replace its LMS, and whether there are further efficiencies to be made via system consolidation
 

2012-2013 [Complete] 

2012-2013

2013-2014

2013-2015

Libraries Australia NBD quality
Continue with Duplication Detection Removal program to identify and remove duplicate records
 
Implement Relate program to relate headings in bibliographic records with authority records
 
Shift effort from human reviewing of data loads to automated processes delivering an effective balance between quality and cost
 
Merge and de-duplicate the Libraries Australia name and subject authority files to improve database quality
Investigate options for improving detection of broken URL links and providing users with options for navigating to content of interest (NB. A single approach may be viable for the Library’s OPAC, Libraries Australia and Trove).
 

Ongoing

2012-2013 [Complete]

2012-2014

2013-2014

Libraries Australia NBD coverage
Assess gaps in coverage, and promulgate Libraries Australia options for libraries to add and maintain their NBD holdings 
 
Investigate sources of bibliographic metadata for eBooks and options for representing Australian library eBook holdings
 
Improve coverage of NSLA special collections as NSLA Accessible Collections projects improve description of pictures, manuscripts, maps, oral history and other special collections
 

Ongoing

 

2013-2015

 

2012-2015

Libraries Australia NBD currency
Continue to work with OCLC and others to simplify and lower barriers to update capability, especially positioning ourselves to take advance of moves to cloud-based systems.
 
Encourage Australian libraries to regularly contribute holdings, rather than relying on periodic refreshes every few years 
 
Undertake major holdings refreshes for Australian libraries which have not maintained their holdings

2012-2014

Ongoing

Ongoing but should reduce over time

Libraries Australia and OCLC
Improve synchronisation between Libraries Australia and OCLC WorldCat by implementing detailed serial holdings and expanding interoperability with the WorldCat Synchronisation Gateway
2012-2014
Libraries Australia RIS and RES Maintain and develop Record Import Service and Record Export Service to impove opportunities for aggregating and disseminating Libraries Australia records 2012-2015
Libraries Australia products
Ensure that our current product suite is successfully migrated with the Libraries Australia Search redevelopment
 
Investigate options to support Australian libraries downsizing or consolidating their print collections, e.g. by exploiting our current product suite; by exploring the benefit of working with the Hathi Trust to compare its digital collections with Australian print collections
 
Review need for and cost-benefit of the eResources collection service

2012-2013

 

2012-2014

 

2012-2013

Libraries Australia Document Delivery
Closely monitor LADD transactions, including sectoral trends
 
Implement detailed member serial holdings in OCLC WorldCat to reduce number of unfillable document delivery requests received by Australian libraries
 
Analyse options for providing a national ILL/DD utility as OCLC phases out support for the supporting VDX software, and ensure we are well prepared to meet or facilitate member needs in a post VDX and post ISO ILL world
 
Participate in international processes surrounding developing a new standard to replace the current ISO ILL standard

Ongoing

2012-2013

2012-2015

2012-2015

Libraries Australia directories Integrate Australian Libraries Gateway (ALG) and Inter Library Resource Sharing (ILRS) directories to ensure one source of data to supoprt directory needs for both Libraries Australia and Trove 2013-2014
Libraries Australia administration Redevelop Libraries Australia administration (specifically the membership datastore), which controls permissions for users to access a range of Libraries Australia systems, and generates reports statistics. Examine potential for redeveloping in concert with LA directories, to achieve a single datastore of member details. 2013-2014
Libraries Australia helpdesk
Implement new Reftracker versions to streamline answering member enquiries and continue supporting users
 
Assist users to exploit the opportunities offered by the new Libraries Australia Search
 
Further improve website information to improve member self-sufficiency relating to Libraries Australia Document Delivery

2012-2015

 

2013-2014

 

2013-2014

Libraries Australia users

Implement and manage panel of Libraries Australia trainers

Answer user enquiries to meet the Library’s service standard.

Communicate with Libraries Australia users using social media and other methods 

Host Libraries Australia Forum on an annual or bi-annual basis

Engage with Libraries Australia Advisory Committee to ensure that sectoral and member perspectives are well understood, and to communicate Libraries Australia strategic and operational activities. 

Present papers and presentations at major library and information conferences, and to smaller groups of stakeholders, especially state based Libraries Australia User Groups.

Publish papers to maximise impact of our professional research and explorations. 

Use the information gained during our 2011-2012 business environment review to meet our users’ needs.

2012-2013 [Complete}

 

Ongoing

Libraries Australia Business Model
Ensure we have and exploit the right metrics to support our decision making
 
Ensure we have a strong understanding of the impact of cloud-based Library Management Systems on member library workflows, and the impact changed workflows will have on our members’ need for our current suite of services and potential impact on revenue.
 
Investigate options for aggregation and syndication of bibliographic metadata describing Australian library collections
 
Work with Collections Management Division to assess the relationships between the Library’s OPAC, eResources, digital delivery systems, Libraries Australia and Trove (also included in Trove Business Model)
 
Undertake full costing of the service, to help the Library to understand current and future resource requirements, and to amend the Libraries Australia business model to ensure that the service is sustainable
 
Undertake full costing of the LADD service and investigate alternative charging models
 
Review and promote the Libraries Australia Value Proposition to members and potential members. 
 
As our business context changes, assess which services we should continue to offer inhouse, which services we should broker on behalf of Australian libraries, and what new skills sets we may require in a more heavily ‘brokered’ environment
 
Implement decisions arising from costings and business modelling

Ongoing

Ongoing

2013-2015

2013-2014

2012-2013

2012-2013

2013-2014

2012-2015

2013-2015 and beyond

Objective 2: Trove

Goal Activities Timeframe
Trove performance
Upgrade systems to address current performance and reliability issues; work with Information Technology staff to identify, monitor, understand, prioritise and mitigate
 2012-2014
Trove performing arts
Improve user experience of finding Australian music and performing arts material by completing tasks remaining after closure of Picture Australia, Music Australia and Australia Dancing in June 2012, and implementing a performing arts selected subject view
 

2012-2013

Trove selected subject views

Review utility, sustainability and any risks associated with the performing arts selected subject view to assess viability and issues associated with offering additional subject views, e.g. resources documenting Indigenous Australia

 

2013-2014

Trove newpapers

Redevelop Trove newspapers to improve performance and the newspaper interface  (including enabling for mobile devices) to deal with Trove’s increasing newspaper content base

With Information Technology and Collection Management Division, investigate software options to improve newspaper OCR quality

 

2012-2013

2014-2015

Trove people Improve Trove's party (people and organisations) infrastructure to increase use and utlity of this content

2012-2014

Trove articles Complete review of inclusion of licensed articles in Trove, communicate with vendors and users on the outcomes, implement resulting recommendation 2012-2014
Trove books and journals Support the inclusion of increased digitised published text content resulting from the Library's implementation of a Books and Journals digisitation system in 2013 2012-2014
Trove lists Improve Lists functionality to support more user choice in how they present and share their curated Lists, including museums and galleries wishing to showcase digital content

2013-2015

Trove user engagement

Explore new options for higher value user engagement features (e.g. geotagging, adding subject terms from a thesaurus)

2013-2015

Trove information and help

Develop and implement new information architecture for Trove’s about, help and other information pages

2012-2013
Trove harvesting

Enhance the Library’s Harvester to improve Trove and Libraries Australia support team ability to harvest digital content using a variety of protocols, and to develop additional mechanisms (including instructional resources) to lower barriers to contribution

2013-2014
Trove data syndication

Continue to promulgate opportunities to reuse Trove content via the API and other methods including by GovHack developers as a NSLA initiative. This work will include assessing the opportunities and risks of allowing commercial vendors to expose Trove content in their services

Explore opportunities, issues and options surrounding provision of open linked data, including considering the most appropriate repository for making data available (Libraries Australia, WorldCat or Trove)

Ongoing, GovHack in 2012-2013

 

2013-2014

Trove content

 

Liaise with the Library’s Newspaper, Books and Journal Digitisation Program to ensure digitisation plans are understood, delivery needs are met, and discovery is optimised.

Review and prioritise all current and potential contributors in Trove Contributors Database

Add Australian researcher data to Trove via Australian National Data Store (ANDS) metastores

Refocus on adding unique digital Australiana

Negotiate to add content from other national collecting agencies =

Focus on adding content from small museums using a single collection management system

Develop new approaches to assist potential contributors with limited technical capacity

Add relevant content from other aggregators including the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF), Hathi Trust, Digital NZ and Europeana

 

Ongoing, with new focus on Books and Journals in 2013-2014

2012-2013

Ongoing

2012-2013

2012-2015

2013-2015

Trove users

Undertake major evaluation survey of Trove users to help us understand our user  demographics, their needs, and their responses to Trove.

Develop response to results of evaluation survey

Leverage the roll-out of NBN broadband to increase use of Trove and social media engagement with Australians living in rural, remote and regional areas

Answer user enquiries to meet the Library’s service standard

Present papers and presentations at major library and information conferences, and to smaller groups of stakeholders; publish papers to maximise impact of our professional research and explorations

2012-2013

2013-2014

Ongoing

Ongoing

Ongoing

Trove business model
Ensure we have and exploit the right metrics to support our decision making
 
Implement outcomes of Trove Value Edge activity study
 
Undertake full costing of Trove service, to help the Library to understand current and future resource requirements
Document current Trove business model and consider the opportunities and risks associated with growing the service in a sustainable manner
 
Work with Collections Management Division to assess the relationships between the  Library’s OPAC, eResources, digital delivery  systems, Libraries Australia and Trove 
 
Integrate Trove into the Library’s fundraising and development programs

Ongoing

2012-2014

2012-2013

2012-2013

2013-2014

2012-2015

Trove corporate governance

Finalise and publish Trove scope statement, Strategic Directions, Content Inclusion Statement and Content Inclusion Policy

Trove Reference Group to meet quarterly to discuss strategic and planning issues

Review rle and terms of Trove Reference Group

2012-2013

Ongoing

2013-2014

Objective 3: eResources consortium

Goal Activities Timeframe
NSLA eResources business model Implement sustainable business model to sustain the NSLA Consortia into the future  2012-2014
NSLA eResources content
Review concept of the core set and explore the value of reframing effort to common selection criteria rather than common products
 

2013-2014

NSLA eResources licensing

Investigate options for common licensing terms and conditions for eBook licences across NSLA

Continue to negiotiate for licence conditions allowing onsite, walk-in and remote access

 

2012-2014

 

Ongoing