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.