1. Introduction 

1.1 The National Library of Australia:

  • collects documentary resources of all kinds, including digital material
  • puts accessibility at the forefront of all of its services
  • works in partnership with Australian libraries
  • supports the creative work of the nation's writers and researchers
  • plays an active role in the community of world libraries.

1.2 The Library's objective is to:

ensure that all Australians can access, enjoy and learn from a national collection that documents Australian life and society (Strategic Directions 2012 – 2014).

1.3       It is within this context that the Library's Events Program will be developed and implemented.

1.4       The Library offers events to a broad range of audiences and in a variety of contexts. Events encompass public lectures, conferences, concerts and film screenings and school holiday activities. They may also include bookshop events, collection viewings for the general public, donors and sponsors, corporate functions, including development activities, media and other promotional activities.

1.5       This policy addresses events activities planned, developed and implemented by the Events and Education Section, Executive and Public Programs Division.

2. Policy Aims 

2.1       This policy aims to provide a framework for the development and implementation of the Library's Events Program.

2.2       Events activities organised by the National Library of Australia will explore key aspects of the Library's collections and services in order to contribute to an understanding of Australian culture and history.

2.3       The Events Program will aim to raise the Library's profile within both the broad general community and the Australian library community and will selectively interpret the Library's activities, services and collections in order to achieve this goal. The Events and Education Section will consider matters of current scholarship, research, policy, ideas and issues in devising the Events Program.

3. Events Strategies

3.1       The Events Program is organised around four broad categories of events.

3.2       Flagship Events are high quality, high profile events featuring culturally significant contributors and able to attract capacity audiences. Generally, they will be supported by off budget funding, including but not limited to ticketing. Flagship Events may include:

Ray Mathew Lecture; Ken Myer Lecture; Seymour Biography Lecture; Friends Celebration; NLA conferences; exhibition openings.

3.3       Major Events are high quality, high profile events featuring culturally significant contributors and able to attract capacity audiences. Generally, they will be supported by off budget funding, including but not limited to ticketing. They may involve collaborations if those collaborations are consistent with the Library's broader objectives. Examples of Major Events include one-day and half-day seminars based on Library collections or projects (or similarly 'curated' events).

3.4       Program Events are low cost or cost-recoverable events aimed at supporting National Library activities or programs. They are subject to the availability of annual budget allocations. Examples of Program Events include those relating to Innovative Ideas Talks, exhibitions, NLA publications, collection highlights, Harold White Fellow Lectures, concerts, or online events relating to national initiatives such as, NAIDOC Week, and/or National Simultaneous Storytime.

3.5       Audience Development Events are aimed at developing new audiences. They are low cost or cost recoverable events, presented subject to available resources.

3.6         This event framework is based on the following assumptions:

3.6.1    For events to proceed, funding must be identified prior to the event being planned and promoted. Events which do not fall into the proposed framework or which do fall into one of the event priorities but cannot be funded from either recurrent budgets, trust funds, sponsorship or ticketing would not proceed as part of the Events Program.

3.6.2      Proposed collaborations must be discussed with the Assistant Director-General, Executive and Public Programs and/or the Events and Education Committee before being confirmed. Collaborations will occur only if they provideidentifiable benefits to the Library and those benefits outweigh the costs incurred by the Library in participating. Proposed collaborations or externally generated events which do not fall into the framework may be redirected to Venue Hire.

3.6.3    Program Events and Audience Development Events would depend on available resources and Library priorities.

3.6.3      Events which are not expected to attract a 'reasonable' audience relative to the cost of the event or without significant effort in gaining the audience will not be supported (the definition of 'reasonable' needs to be considered but it is proposed that events likely to attract audiences below 30 would not proceed).

3.7       Events will be aimed at National Library users, scholars, researchers, creative writers and artists, other cultural practitioners, and the general public.

3.8       A list of major events will require corporate approval approximately 12 to 18 months in advance of being staged. Other events will generally be scheduled four to 12 months in advance.

3.9       The Events Program and schedule of dates will be determined after considering the Library's corporate calendar, Library activities and activities in the broader community. Consideration will also be given to the need for ensuring that events are conducted regularly, are coordinated, and are appropriately marketed.

3.10     An Events Committee will convene two to three times per year to approve the forward program. The organisation of these meetings and papers for the meetings will be the responsibility of the Manager of the Events and Education Section.

3.11     The Library's Events Program will be promoted through the quarterly events program, appropriate print and online advertising, and editorial where possible.

3.12     Collaborative and/or offsite activities, including partnerships with other institutions and organisations, will be considered and pursued where such partnerships are practicable and clearly fulfil the Library's strategic objectives.

3.13     The Events program will support, complement and promote other Library activities and programs, including publications, exhibitions, Information Services activities, online and social media learning program activities such as Google Hangouts, Friends activities and fellowship programs.

3.14     All significant event proposals will be accompanied by a budget outlining anticipated costs and revenue. However, it is acknowledged that many of the benefits of such a program are of an intangible nature. The Events Section will regularly review financial outcomes and canvass stakeholder opinions.

3.15     Events funded in full or part by means of sponsorship, donation or relevant grants – or for which sponsorship, donation or grants are sought – will be planned and managed in consultation with the Library's Development Office.

4. Key outcome(s) and output(s)

4.1       Projected targets for quantity, quality, timeliness and effectiveness will be set prior to the beginning of the new financial year, and will be based on prior commitments, resources and corporate priorities.

4.2       Performance will be determined by:

  • Conducting formal evaluations;
  • Assessing solicited and unsolicited comments;
  • Attendance rates;
  • Comparing events and services against approved benchmarks and standards, including financial outcomes.

5 Implementation process

How will we implement this policy?

Responsibility for overseeing the implementation of this policy rests with the Events and Education Committee.

6 Revision schedule

How often will this policy be revised?

This policy will be reviewed at least every two years or more frequently if deemed necessary.

7.References and related documents

What are the key references for this policy?

The following documents and/or legislation were considered when developing this policy

  • Reader Services policy
  • Policy on Sponsorship and Fundraising
  • Exhibitions Policy
  • Learning Policy
  • Guidelines on Venue Hire
  • Guidelines on Charging for Events