Recent activities and events at Libraries Australia, and our new approach for our mid-year visits

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about some of the recent activities and events at Libraries Australia, and our new approach for our mid-year visits.

The Libraries Australia team comes to you

Libraries Australia is re-shaping the way we do the annual visits across the country.  We are trying to maximise our time and meet with as many  of our members as possible in each visit.  We know that members value the annual presentation that Libraries Australia has provided to local communities groups, and enjoy the opportunity for Q&A and open discussion when we have attended mid-year meetings – we want to continue and build on that tradition by extending our on-site visits.

The on-site visits will look different this year: to be able to spend more time at each site and meet with different groups, two Libraries Australia staff members will visit over two days and conduct a more focussed consultation visit with groups.  As such, we will only be able to visit 1-2 states or territories each year.  This approach is in line with our focus on developing deeper connections with communities of practice around library systems, projects, and local issues.

From this year we will trial a new format to deliver our presentation to members ‘virtually’, opening it up to a wider number of members.  The ‘virtual’ visit, aimed for late July/ early August, will include a presentation and/or video call from a number of our Libraries Australia representatives to give the Libraries Australia community an overview of activities and an update on services.   We would like more of our Libraries Australia team to be able to connect with the community and will have 2-3 team members join each ‘virtual’ visit.  Our representatives will be available for Q&A and discussion following the presentation.  This format allows members to either attend individually, or gather in groups to network with colleagues as well. It will also provide participants the opportunity to hear from colleagues beyond their local groups.

Following each ‘virtual’ visit we will be conducting a survey and would really like to hear your feedback about your experience to help us maximise their value to our members.  More information will be provided shortly.

Beyond The Summer Sessions

Following the highly successful webinar series “ The Summer Sessions” aimed at practitioners and frontline managers using Libraries Australia services, we held an event for library leaders and strategists on 22 June.  As we were using a small venue we had to limit this event to 45 people by invitation only – the event was titled “Meet the Transformers” and highlighted updates from national services in New Zealand, the UK, and Canada.  The event and invitation list was developed in consultation with the Libraries Australia Advisory Committee.  We were very pleased to have strong representation from Libraries Australia members in special, public, state, and academic libraries and will send more information about the event to our members in the next newsletter.

Libraries Australia presented an evaluation of the webinar series The Summer Sessions as an easy-to-follow infographic to the Libraries Australia Advisory Committee (LAAC) at their meeting last month. Overall, the six webinars attracted 526 participants from all states and territories. Participants were surveyed after each webinar and members responded extremely positively to the new event format.   The evaluation infographic, capturing the facts, figures, images and voices of the participants, is now available on our website. Thank you to all those that joined us and provided feedback.

New Libraries Australia website

We are also in the process of redeveloping the Libraries Australia website.  We received valuable feedback from our members about the usability of the website and the content within. The aims of the redevelopment are to create a website that:

  • has a user-centred website structure which takes into account the various needs of our users, from the curious Libraries Australia ‘newbie’ to the experienced ‘veteran’
  • showcases Libraries Australia activities and member stories
  • is visually appealing, easy to navigate, dynamic and up to date.

The new website is expected to go live early August 2017.

We look forward to continuing to meet with you, virtually or in person, in the coming months.



Nikki Darby


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