Strategic Direction Four: Achieve Organisational Excellence

The Library aspires to integrate social and environmental goals into its governance and business operations; develop the full potential of its staff to achieve the Library’s vision; diversify its funding sources to support the need to deliver collections and services to all Australians; and maximise returns on government and private sector investment by managing financial resources effectively.

In 2012–13, the Library undertook to provide its staff with:

  • a work environment that promotes career development, work–life balance, and work health and safety
  • the opportunity to participate in, and contribute to, sound governance arrangements and effective financial management.

Major Initiatives

Strategic Workforce Plan

The Library reinvigorated its mentoring program, developed a set of core leadership capabilities and a related leadership model, and implemented a diversity work-experience program and a reflective senior leadership forum to assist with career sustainability. To prepare for the Library’s changing digital environment, a process to identify potential workforce gaps has also begun. This will be followed by a review of initiatives across similar institutions.

The Library is forming working groups to explore issues and initiatives relevant to each of the plan’s three priority areas: building on existing staff capabilities, developing responsiveness to digital change, and cultivating operational and career sustainability.

Work Health and Safety Management

Work health and safety continues to be a high priority for Council and the Corporate Management Group. Over the course of the year, the Library consolidated its work health and safety systems and processes. The documentation for the Work Health and Safety Management System was endorsed by the Corporate Management Group and is now available to staff via the intranet.

Environmental Management

The Library continued to make significant gains in environmental management, as outlined in the Corporate Overview. More than 75 per cent of staff were trained in best-practice approaches to managing waste, resulting in accreditation with the ACTSmart Office Recycling program.

The Library completed a trial at the Hume Repository, which involved turning off the air-conditioning for a period of 12 months to see how well the building passively maintained conditions. Temperature and relative humidity levels remained suitable for collection storage, and the trial was extended to other collection storage areas.

In addition, a review of collection storage practices was completed, to better align preservation requirements, stacks practices, and energy use and requirements.

Personal Giving, Philanthropic and Business Partnerships

In 2012–13, 24.4 per cent of Library revenue came from non-appropriation sources, including 0.9 per cent from personal giving and philanthropic partnerships.

Assisted by the Chair of Council and the Library’s Foundation Board, the Library raised $559,000 in cash donations and $20,000 of in-kind sponsorship. A major priority was to raise funds and secure in-kind support for the international exhibition, Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia, which will open in November 2013. By June, over $1.2 million in cash had been pledged, with $298,500 received. The Library also sought to develop stronger relationships with its donor communities and, through the annual fundraising appeal and two fundraising dinners, gained support for the preservation and digitisation of an important collection of panoramic photographs, and for an early atlas. Building on the Library’s strong supporter base, work on a formal bequest program was completed in June.

The Library also entered into fee-for-service partnerships with various state libraries to digitise collections, mostly newspapers. The value of the work undertaken in 2012–13 was $3.090 million.

Governance Arrangements

The Library has continued its sound governance practices. These include strategic plans and policies to manage the collection, workforce, buildings and other plant and equipment. At the time of writing, no compliance issues had been identified in respect of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act and no issues of significance were identified during the course of the internal or external audit programs. Regular reporting was provided to Council and Government on major projects, and additional reports and processes were set in train to manage identified budget risks.

Individual performance management cycles were aligned to the financial year, to achieve better integration of performance and management with Government performance targets.

A new regime for valuing the collection asset was also established, to provide greater assurance to Council and Government of its overall value.