The Library aspires to develop the full potential of its staff to achieve the Library’s vision; integrate social and environmental goals into its governance and business operations; diversify its funding sources to support the need to deliver collections and services to all Australians; and maximise returns on government and private sector investment by managing financial resources effectively.

In 2013–14, the Library undertook to provide its staff with:

  • a work environment that promotes career development, work–life balance, and work health and safety;
  • the opportunity to participate in, and contribute to, sound governance arrangements and effective financial management.

Issues and Developments

Strategic Workforce Plan 

In 2013–14, activity focused on three priorities aimed at building staff capability, responding to change and developing digital competency and confidence in staff. The internal mentoring program was successfully reinvigorated, a diversity work experience program was developed, and a reflective senior leadership forum was established to assist with career sustainability and to help deliver major strategic initiatives and projects across the Library. The implementation of the Library Leadership Development Resource Kit and the launch of the Library’s Indigenous Employment Strategy were both proud and significant achievements. The introduction of the Interim Arrangements for Recruitment to the Australian Public Service has impacted the Library’s ability to manage staffing levels smoothly in 2014.

Work Health and Safety Management

The Library prioritised improving workplace health and safety. As well as implementing stronger governance regimes linked to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, there was a focus on training and awareness of issues including work–life balance, stress management and resilience, risk management, dealing with hazardous substances, working with contractors and first aid. The Library consolidated its work health and safety systems and processes. 

Environmental Management

In 2010–11, the Library set three-year targets for a reduction in electricity (-10 per cent), gas (-10 per cent) and water (-10 per cent) consumption. As a result of initiatives implemented, the Library achieved all of its targets except for water consumption. Electricity consumption was reduced by 15 per cent and gas consumption was reduced by 26 per cent. Water consumption was not able to be accurately measured due to a faulty ActewAGL water meter. While no target was set for a reduction in paper consumption in 2013–14, usage has decreased by 42 per cent since 2010–11.

The Library also commenced measuring waste to landfill over the period and has set new targets for the next three years for a reduction in electricity, gas, water and paper consumption, and waste to landfill. The major focus over the period will be to review climate control parameters for the collections and factor the required changes into the scheduled building plant and equipment upgrades over the period.  

Personal Giving, Philanthropic and Business Partnerships

In 2013–14, 26 per cent of Library revenue came from non-appropriation sources, including 1.2 per cent from personal giving and philanthropic partnerships.

Assisted by the Chair of Council and the Library’s Foundation Board, the Library raised $1.5 million in cash donations and sponsorship, and $2.42 million in in-kind support. A major priority was to raise funds and secure in-kind support for the international exhibition, Mapping Our World. In total, $4.8 million was realised in cash donations, sponsorship and in-kind support for the exhibition.

The Library has continued to develop stronger relationships with its donor communities, raising a combined total of $355,707 through its 2013 End of Year and 2014 Tax Time Appeals. These funds will support the preservation of Joan Blaeu’s map, Archipelagus Orientalis, sive Asiaticus, preservation and digitisation of the Library’s small but significant collection of medieval manuscripts, and access programs for the Treasures Gallery. The Library’s repeat donors have increased from 355 to 375 and the number of Patrons (financial donors who have given $1,000 or more) has increased from 170 to 204. 

The Library also entered into fee-for-service partnerships with various state libraries to digitise collections, mostly newspapers. The value of the work undertaken in 2013–14 was $3.22 million.

Governance Arrangements

The Library has continued its sound governance practices. These include strategic plans and policies to manage the collection, workforce, buildings and other plant and equipment. No compliance issues were identified with respect to the CAC Act and no issues of significance were identified through external audit programs. The internal audit program confirmed two issues of significance which related to cost attribution of digitisation projects and the strategy for ingesting new digital content into the collection. Both issues are being addressed. Regular reporting was provided to Council and Government on major projects, and additional reports and processes were set in train to manage identified budget risks.

Individual performance management cycles were aligned to the financial year, to achieve better integration of performance and management with Government performance targets.

In consultation with the Australian National Audit Office and the Department of Finance, the Library continued improving the regime for valuing the collection asset. The Library developed cost-effective strategies which provide assurance to Council and Government of the collection asset’s value and ensure disclosures in the Financial Statements meet the requirements of the new accounting standard, AASB 13 Fair Value Measurement.

The Library prepared for the 1 July 2014 implementation of the PGPA Act. The Council, Audit Committee members and Library employees were provided with briefings, information and training. Policies, procedures and delegations were updated where necessary.

As part of the 2014–15 Budget, the Government announced a new savings measure to consolidate the back-office functions of various Canberra-based collecting institutions including the Library. The functions include accounts processing, payroll and records management. A future focus will be to ensure that the new arrangements meet the business needs of the Library.