Australia’s largest online library opens for business

Libraries Australia, a service that enables anyone with an Internet connection to select from more than 40 million items held in over 800 libraries across the nation, will be launched at 12.30pm Monday 27 February at Parliament House, Canberra by Senator Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts.

This innovative service is an Australian first, opening up the collections of Australia’s libraries to the public.

Libraries Australia, developed by the National Library of Australia, is an e-ticket to a world of information consisting of books, journals, newspapers, theses, pictures, music, manuscripts, maps and much more. Many online resources such as digitised images and full text government publications can also be accessed immediately online.

Underpinned by cutting edge technology and data contributed by the nation’s libraries, Libraries Australia makes it easy to search for information across the collections of the national, state and university libraries and most public, research, government, health and other special libraries.

Jan Fullerton AO, National Library Director-General, says that Libraries Australia changes the dynamics of the way people use libraries. “Libraries have continually been at the forefront of technology to improve the way people find the information they need.

“The beauty of Libraries Australia is that it uses a very simple search mechanism to find the item the person requires. Once found, the item can be borrowed, copied or purchased. All this can be done from home or work in regional centres or major cities.

“It puts the individual looking for the information in charge of their search, rather than a librarian. This saves time and is empowering for the information seeker.”

Some of the features of Libraries Australia are the ability to instantly access many digitised items; borrow from a local library or order from another library; copy selections of items at a small price; buy from online bookshops; and find library locations nationwide.

Libraries Australia can be used to further education or personal interests, advance research, obtain information to develop business opportunities or to facilitate lifelong learning. It is available at librariesaustralia.nla.gov.au

Want to know more about Libraries Australia? Find out about the background of the service, its beginnings and development.

Video of 27 February national launch.

Media contact:

Yvonne Kennedy
Director Communications and Marketing
Telephone: 02 6262 1353 or 0411 753 891
Email: ykennedy@nla.gov.au

Susan Grigson
Communications and Marketing Coordinator
Telephone: 02 6262 1571 or 0410 627 684
Email: sgrigson@nla.gov.au