40th million item added to Australian libraries catalogue

Australian libraries reached a major milestone with the addition of the 40th million item to the Australian National Bibliographic Database. The database is at the heart of "finding" and "getting" activities of Australian libraries. It records material held by state, national, university, public and special library collections including books, journals, online resources, theses, newspapers and many other materials. Users can search the database through Libraries Australia.

Libraries and their users can find and request items of interest from their own and other library collections. They can immediately access online resources and keep up-to-date in areas of interest. Libraries can copy records from the database into local catalogues for resources they hold. Over 1000 libraries throughout Australia utilise the Libraries Australia service and the majority contribute to the database.

Libraries Australia , the search service launched by the National Library in December 2004, enables Australian libraries and library users to search the Australian National Bibliographic Database very easily - through a "Google" style interface. By cooperating, Australian libraries have been able to build a pathway to the nation’s collection which is based on modern technology and enables Australians to easily access the resources through one single search.

"I am pleased to announce that the Australian National Bibliographic Database now includes over 40 million items” said Director-General, Jan Fullerton . “This is a significant landmark for all Australians and libraries in the resource sharing community. For more than twenty four years the National Library has provided an online resource sharing service which is now recording the majority of resources held in Australian national, state, university, public and special library collections. Australians can access significant collections through their libraries and libraries can operate more efficiently by sharing their resources”.

Naida Tattersall, Manager, Library Services and Cultural Development, Gold Coast City Council commented, "For public libraries and the Australian public, the development of the Libraries Australia service by the National Library is tremendous. Public libraries have fabulous historical and social collections, and by sharing information about these collections, all Australians can use their public libraries to support their study, information and recreational needs. The increase in coverage of the database means that libraries can provide better services to their users and also be more efficient."

"Whether to help a child become a great tennis player, help a student complete an assignment or someone to write their family history, sharing our collections can help all Australians access the information they need wherever they are."

Currently the service is being redeveloped and a new software system, with significantly improve functionality which simplifies the addition of records, will be introduced later this year.

Further information:

Roxanne Missingham , Assistant Director-General, Resource Sharing Division,
Phone: 02 6262 1143
Email: rmissingham@nla.gov.au