The Library’s corporate management activities aim to maximise service to clients by realising the full potential of staff and other available resources. Major activities during the financial year focused on implementing the Leadership Capability Model, Strategic Workforce Plan, Strategic Building Master Plan, and Work Health and Safety and Environmental Management systems, along with preparations for the proposed shared services and related initiatives. Through participation in the Corporate Management Forum and related subcommittees, the Library also played a part in corporate management across other collecting and portfolio agencies.

People Management

The Library has a consistent and dedicated plan to identify its people priorities, develop initiatives and allocate resources commensurate with need. The Strategic Workforce Plan was extended to 30 June 2015 and a new plan has been developed to inform and respond to initiatives set out in the Library’s Corporate Plan 2015–2019. The Library intends to build on workforce achievements resulting from the current plan rather than change course; that is, continue building leadership capability, digital confidence and sustainability as priorities.

Recruitment in the APS was subject to Interim Recruitment Arrangements aimed at reducing APS-wide staffing levels. This continues to be a factor in managing the Library’s workforce and its ability to manage staffing levels smoothly.

During the reporting period, the Library participated in an APS-wide forum to consider strategies and share best practice in unscheduled leave management. The Library actively monitors unscheduled leave absences with a view to reducing the average days used per full-time equivalent staffing numbers. In addition, the Library sought external assistance to help with a comprehensive assessment of the Library’s unscheduled leave use. The Library intends to implement a range of tailored strategies to improve the management of unscheduled leave in 2015–16.

The Library participates in the APS State of the Service survey annually. Overall, the indicators from the State of the Service Report show the Library continues to maintain a positive work environment with no significant movement in staff satisfaction. The Library also continues to compare favourably with the broader APS.

Staff Engagement

The Library’s Consultative Committee is the mechanism through which Library management, staff and unions discuss issues affecting the workplace. During the financial year, the Consultative Committee met on four occasions. In addition to the updates they receive from other committees, including Environment Management, Work Health and Safety, Disability Contact Officers Network, Enterprise Bargaining and Council, members considered the following issues:

  • the planned introduction of shared corporate services across the portfolio;
  • a new Enterprise Agreement;
  • the Reading Room Integration project;
  • requirements for engaging in employment outside the Library;
  • grievance, bullying and harassment reporting;
  • the introduction of pay parking in the Parliamentary Zone.

It is noted that in recent years, and in consultation with staff, the Library has been making incremental changes to its Performance Management Framework. The changes are intended to enhance the relevance of performance management by improving usability and aligning the process with the Library’s business practices. Following the re-alignment of the performance cycle from the calendar year to the financial year and budget process in 2013–14, a two-dimensional rating scale was implemented in July 2014. Under the dual rating system, business deliverables and behavioural capabilities are both assessed as part of individual performance management. The new behavioural capability measure is aligned with the three fixed elements from the Library’s Consistent Selection Criteria. The introduction of this new assessment is intended to improve both the process and content of performance discussions and provide a holistic assessment for staff.

The Library’s Enterprise Agreement notionally expired on 30 June 2014, although it continues to govern pay and conditions for non-SES employees until superseded by a new agreement. The Library issued a Notice of Representational Rights to all staff on 19 August 2014 and began formal bargaining in October. On 19 August, an indicative new Enterprise Agreement was made available to staff as bargaining commenced but, at the time, it did not contain a remuneration offer. In March 2015, the Minister approved the Library’s remuneration offer, which had to be funded from productivity offsets and assessed as affordable.

A formal offer of remuneration increases was made to staff in March 2015 and negotiations for a new Enterprise Agreement are continuing.


In accordance with the Australian Government’s regime for Principal Executive Officers, Council determines the Director-General’s remuneration.

At 30 June 2015, terms and conditions of employment for SES staff, such as non-salary benefits including access to motor vehicles (or payment in lieu) and mobile phones, continued under common law contracts.

At 30 June 2015, nine non-SES staff had enhanced benefits through Individual Flexibility Arrangements.

Table 2.4 shows the salary ranges for classifications below SES level and the number of employees at each level.

Table 2.4: Salary Ranges below SES Level and Number of Employees, 30 June 2015


Salary Range ($)

Employees (no.)

EL 2



EL 1



























All ongoing and long-term non-ongoing staff were required to participate in the Performance Management Framework, with pay-point progression subject to achieving a satisfactory rating.

Fraud Risk Assessment and Control

The Library is committed to the prevention of fraud, and works to minimise the risk of fraud in the workplace.

The Library is required to examine and update its Fraud Risk Assessment and Fraud Control Plan every two years; this review was completed in 2013–14. In accordance with the Library’s Fraud Management Policy, staff must be aware of their responsibilities in relation to fraud against the Commonwealth. Fraud awareness training is required to be undertaken by all Library staff and, during 2014–15, training sessions were made available through an online program to new staff and to staff who had not attended such training in the past four years.

Fraud prevention, detection, investigation, reporting and data collection procedures are in place. These, along with the Fraud Risk Assessment and Fraud Control Plan, meet the Library’s needs and comply with Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines.

Ethical Standards

The Library promotes and endorses the ethical behaviour of its employees by informing staff of their responsibilities. The Library utilises a mandatory online training module on fraud and ethics, which includes details of APS employee responsibilities as well as ethical scenarios and examples of workplace fraud. All new staff are required to complete the module on commencement and existing staff complete the program at regular intervals.

Awareness of APS Values and the APS Code of Conduct is also achieved through:

  • regular review and feedback under the Library’s Performance Management Framework;
  • provision of information about the Australian Public Service Commission’s Ethics Advisory Service;
  • support of policies and procedures, such as the fraud awareness policies and the new Public Interest Disclosure procedure;
  • clearly identified channels and support networks through which employees can raise matters of concern.

Disability Strategy

The Library aspires to develop the full potential of its staff through workforce initiatives that build upon existing staff capabilities. These initiatives include the commitment to continuously improve support for individuals (both staff and clients) with disabilities as part of the Library’s Disability Action Plan. The plan for 2015 has three key focuses based on continuous improvement and reasonable adjustment, including initiatives to enhance relationships, ensure respect and provide education.

As at 30 June 2015, 5.6 per cent of Library staff self-identified as having a disability. However, the Library’s commitment extends beyond gathering data to quantify disability; it seeks to enable and accentuate ‘capability’ through acknowledging individuals' talents, skills, abilities and career aspirations. To date, the Library has been able to make all reasonable adjustments requested of it to support any staff with disabilities.

During the reporting period, the Library committed to improving working relationships with disability stakeholders. This was demonstrated through continuance of its Disability Working Group meetings, held during December 2014 and May 2015, for which the Disability Contact Officers acted as important conduits between management, staff and clients on disability matters. This commitment was further demonstrated through renewal of the Library’s membership plan with the Australian Network on Disability and through working collaboratively with this organisation to access their expert advice. The Library was represented at their round table meetings for members, held in March and June, which provided an opportunity to network with other organisations and share knowledge and resources.

The Library invited employees to participate in a series of in-house information sessions, which had a focus on key disability categories. These included sessions on chronic pain as a physical disability, hearing loss and vision impairment, held during March, April and June respectively. In addition, the Library committed to providing additional information sessions, which will focus on intellectual and/or developmental disorders, dyslexia and mental health. Library staff were also offered the opportunity to participate in disability confidence training during May.

It is intended that as the Library’s practices mature in responding to the needs of individuals with disabilities, it will attempt to enhance the existing disability framework and explore opportunities to build disability planning and service delivery into the Library’s broader Diversity Strategy.

Workplace Diversity

At 30 June 2015, 68 per cent of staff were female, 22.1 per cent of staff identified as being from a culturally and linguistically diverse background, 1.6 per cent (7 ongoing employees) identified as Indigenous (down from 1.8 per cent last year) and 5.6 per cent identified as having a disability (up from 5.3 per cent last year). Appendix F includes a more detailed breakdown of workplace diversity figures.

Work Health and Safety

The Library commissioned a risk assessment of its motorised mobile storage systems by the National Safety Council of Australia. The report indicated the Library is taking appropriate measures to ensure safe installation and use of the storage systems.

Comcare completed a review of the Library’s asbestos management procedures and confirmed that the Library is meeting its obligations in relation to asbestos management under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011.

Management and staff discussed work health and safety management arrangements at quarterly meetings of the following committees:

  • Work Health and Safety Committee;
  • First Aid Committee.

Training courses offered during the year to ensure the health, safety and welfare of workers included:

  • Work Health and Safety Overview for Senior Staff;
  • Work Health and Safety for Managers and Supervisors;
  • Health and Safety Representative Skills;
  • Senior First Aid Certification;
  • Manual Handling;
  • Asbestos Awareness;
  • Assertiveness;
  • ‘Bootcamp for the Brain’ Resilience and Wellbeing;
  • Mindfulness in the Workplace.

Seminars on health and wellbeing topics included:

  • Stroke Awareness;
  • How to Beat Cholesterol;
  • ‘NewAccess’ Mental Health Initiative;
  • Tobacco and Alcohol;
  • Body Maintenance;
  • Chronic Pain Management;
  • Low Vision;
  • Hearing Loss.

Employee assistance program topics included:

  • Planning for Retirement;
  • Embracing Diversity;
  • Sleep Your Way to Better Health;
  • Men’s Health.

The offer of in-house influenza vaccination was taken up by 182 staff.

The Australian Public Service Commission’s Agency Benchmark Report provided the Library with reliable data from the 2014 State of the Service survey (i.e. 65 per cent response rate). Library employees’ views were compared against the overall APS average for safety culture.

The positive results achieved for employees’ views on safety culture are presented in Table 2.5.

Table 2.5: Employee Views on Safety Culture, 2014

Measures of a Safety Culture

NLA Employees

Total APS


(% Strongly agree/agree)

The people in my work group are committed to
workplace safety



My supervisor is committed to workplace safety



My agency genuinely cares about employees being healthy and safe at work



My agency supports employees who are injured or become ill due to work




The Library’s work health and safety statistics are presented in Table 2.6.

Table 2.6: Reporting under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, 30 June 2015




Section 38 occurrences

Notification of notifiable incidents

There were no notifications

Section 39 directions

Directions to preserve incident sites

No directions were issued

Section 95 notices

Issue of provisional improvement notices

No notices were issued

Section 191 notices

Issue of improvement notices

No notices were issued

Section 195 notices

Issue of prohibition notices

No notices were issued

Section 198 notices

Issue of non-disturbance notices

No notices were issued

Part 10 enforcement measures

Issue of improvement notices

No notices were issued

During 2014–15, there was one new injury case that resulted in a claim being accepted for workers’ compensation.

The Library’s premium rates for injuries over the past three years are shown in Table 2.7.

Table 2.7: Premiums for Injuries Suffered, 2012–16 (as a percentage of wages and salaries)

Premium Rates*





Latest premium rates for the Library





Premium rates for all agencies combined (for comparison)





Library premium rates as a percentage of all agencies (%)





 *Including as amended retrospectively by Comcare.

Asset Management

Collection Asset

The collection is the Library’s major asset, on which many of its services are based. The total value of the collection (both tangible and intangible) is $1.381 billion. For the tangible collections, there is an annual stocktake and revaluations are conducted using sampling methodologies.

Plant and Equipment, and Software

The Asset Management Committee oversees the Library’s Strategic Asset Management Plan and coordinates operational asset acquisition programs. It also develops and monitors a four-year forward asset acquisition program for strategic planning purposes and an asset disposal program for items reaching the end of their working life. Major asset acquisitions in 2014–15 included compactus shelving for storage of the national collection, information technology systems, hardware and software, including the DLIR project.

The total value of plant and equipment at 30 June 2015 was $14 million.

The total value of software at 30 June 2015 was $6.9 million.

Land and Buildings

The total value of the Library’s land and buildings at 30 June 2015 was assessed at $232 million, including the main building in Parkes and the repository in Hume. Management of the Library’s property is overseen by the Building Works Coordinating Committee, which meets quarterly. A 15-year Long-Term Strategic Building Management Plan is used to set directions for building works, and incorporates an annual maintenance plan and a five-year capital works program, which are reviewed each year by Council. The Long-Term Strategic Building Management Plan ensures that building works are consistent with the long-term direction of the Library and underpins Library facility planning and budgeting. The plan was last reviewed and updated in 2011–12.

In 2014–15, work continued on the Reading Room Integration project. This project is a major component of the Library’s 2008 Strategic Building Master Plan and is sanctioned within the 2013 Conservation Management Plan. The project will improve and modernise the public spaces in keeping with a twenty-first-century national library, and it builds on the addition of the Treasures and Exhibition galleries and improvements to the Main Reading Room completed in 2012.

In January, the Special Collections Reading Room was completed and opened to the public. This significant new space provides for the integration of the Pictures and Manuscripts, Maps and Petherick reading rooms. In May, the first stage of the expanded Main Reading Room opened, which facilitated the integration of the Main and Newspapers and Microforms reading rooms. As well as improving reader services and service delivery, the project will improve energy efficiency, provide an upgrade to building services, such as fire systems and air-conditioning plant, and meet the latest Building Code compliance requirements. The project is on schedule for completion by early 2016.

The outside of the Library building is clad in marble, travertine and trachyte, and these natural materials do much to make it the majestic and luminous landmark that it is. The Library assesses the condition of this cladding regularly. The review completed in 2012 led to a detailed assessment of the 568 roof-edge fasciae and capping panels in 2014. Based on this, the Library will begin planning and procurement to replace all of the roof-edge fasciae and capping panels, with a scheduled completion date of mid-2017.

During the course of some of these building works, specifically the demolition of existing services and partitioning, asbestos materials were identified. Appropriate procedures and reporting were implemented to manage these occurrences. This included notifying the relevant authority and building occupants, engaging appropriately licensed contractors, and conducting air quality testing before, during and after the removal process. The Library maintains an active Asbestos Management Plan. The plan was reviewed by Comcare on 13 August 2014 and they advised that they were satisfied that the Library was meeting its obligations with regard to the management of asbestos.

During the year, a range of other capital expenditure building projects was undertaken, including:

  • refurbishment of change-room facilities on Lower Ground 2;
  • installation of new energy-efficient lighting and control
  • systems in the Main Reading Room and Foyer;
  • upgrade of the fire detection system throughout the building;
  • upgrades to CCTV and the security access control system;
  • refurbishment of collection storage areas to facilitate replacement of motorised shelving, increasing storage capacity and improving efficiency.

Consultation and design work commenced on a number of other major projects, including:

  • strategic review of air-conditioning systems;
  • refurbishment of the Theatre.

Heritage Management Strategy

The National Library of Australia and its surrounds are included on the Commonwealth Heritage List and the Library is committed to the conservation of the heritage values of the building. This includes consulting with recognised heritage specialists before undertaking building works in sensitive areas. Consultation with heritage specialists has continued in relation to the Reading Room Integration project, the replacement of lighting in the Main Reading Room and Foyer, and the evaluation of the marble façade.

Re-use of heritage furniture has been carefully considered during the Reading Room Integration project. Twenty-two original Fred Ward chairs, designed specifically for Library reading rooms, have been used in the Special Collections Reading Room. Another 48 were refurbished for the Newspapers and Family History zone in the Main Reading Room, together with a number of other heritage furniture pieces, such as carrels and reading tables.

While this project does not refurbish any spaces of heritage significance, a small selection of heritage building fabric has been carefully incorporated into the new rooms.

Security and Business Continuity

The Library’s Emergency Planning Committee oversees protective security and business continuity planning for disaster preparedness, recovery and response. This committee comprises senior staff with responsibility for critical areas across the Library, including corporate communications, and the security of staff, the collection, visitors, buildings and other assets.

On 12 September 2014, the Australian Government raised the general National Terrorism Public Alert System threat level for Australia to High (i.e. terrorist attack is likely). In response to this escalation, the Library reviewed a range of existing security measures, increased the frequency of testing of security procedures and called for heightened vigilance by security officers and staff. The Library maintains close contact with the relevant Australian Government intelligence, protective security and law enforcement agencies in relation to ongoing and emerging threats.

The Library’s Business Continuity Framework incorporates detailed planning strategies for collection disasters, storage, information technology (IT) recovery and critical building systems recovery.

In 2014–15, the Library’s emergency management and business continuity planning systems were tested to ensure effectiveness. Testing included physical review during both planned and unplanned events, such as power and internet outages and building evacuations. Additionally, in September 2014, all members of the Emergency Planning Committee and their deputies participated in an externally facilitated desktop business continuity training exercise, involving responses and recovery actions to a major disruption to services and building facilities.

Energy Consumption and Environmental Management

The Library’s Environmental Management Committee meets quarterly to coordinate sustainability efforts and achieve sustainability targets. Environmental performance is reported annually to Council.

Sustainable development principles have been incorporated in the design and installation of the new lighting in the Foyer and Main Reading Room, which replaced lights at end of life. The new LED lights, designed by an Australian manufacturer, provide energy savings, reduce maintenance costs and meet the heritage requirements of these significant heritage spaces.

Reviewing climate control parameters for the collections and making required changes to the building plant and equipment remain a major focus. Further seasonal trials were conducted throughout the year to test our ability to continue to reduce energy usage in collection storage areas while maintaining appropriate conditions. Planning has commenced on a project to upgrade the overall efficiency of the air-conditioning plant for the main building. Operational efficiencies and improvements, such as ongoing recycling training and the addition of new waste streams, have been implemented with the assistance of the Environmental Management Committee. The Library has commenced reporting against new targets for reductions in energy, water and paper consumption, using 2013–14 as a base year. A new target has also been set for reducing waste to landfill.

In comparison with the previous year, the Library has reduced electricity consumption by 3 per cent to 5,667,832 kWh and increased gas consumption by 4 per cent to 4,363,720 MJ, as illustrated in Figure 2.3. Water usage was 13,823 KL—an estimated reduction of 21 per cent compared with 2013–14.

Waste to landfill decreased by 4 per cent compared with the base year, from 46,723 kg to 39,966 kg. Waste to landfill was 20 per cent of total waste in 2014–15 compared with 24 per cent in the previous year.

Paper consumption has reduced by 22 per cent to 1,198,821 kg compared with the base year, as illustrated in Figure 2.4.

Figure 2.3: Energy Consumption, 2012–2015

2015 figure 2.3

Figure 2.4: Paper Consumption, 2012–2015

2015 figure 2.4


The Library maintained a focus on cost-effective contract management and procurement practices consistent with Commonwealth Procurement Rules. All the Library’s procurement and contract templates were reviewed to ensure currency and compliance with the recent changes to the Commonwealth legislation, including the PGPA Act.

Large purchasing activities for the year included: continuing construction for the Reading Room Integration project; valuing the Library’s national collection; reviewing the lighting throughout the main building; and purchasing replacement map compactus and IT acquisitions.

There were no contracts of $100,000 or more that did not provide for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises.

Cooperation on Corporate Management Issues

The Corporate Management Forum consists of senior executives from agencies in the Arts portfolio and a small number of non-portfolio agencies. The forum considers a range of corporate issues, including human resource management, financial management, procurement, risk, and IT and facilities management, with a view to achieving economies of scale, sharing experiences and encouraging better practice.

The forum met three times during 2014–15 and matters considered included:

  • the PGPA Act and related issues;
  • pay parking in the Parliamentary Zone;
  • records management;
  • security;
  • the 2014–15 and 2015–16 Budgets and related initiatives;
  • work health and safety;
  • capital planning and funding;
  • energy management;
  • risk management and insurance;
  • enterprise bargaining;
  • performance indicators and reporting;
  • shared services.


During the reporting period, the Library operated one grant program.

Community Heritage Grants

The Library awarded 73 grants of up to $15,000 to assist community organisations to preserve and manage nationally significant cultural heritage collections. Financial support and assistance for this grants program was received from the Ministry for the Arts within the Attorney-General’s Department; the National Library of Australia; the National Archives of Australia; the National Film and Sound Archive; and the National Museum of Australia.

Fellowships and Scholarships

During the reporting period, the Library operated eight supported programs.

National Library of Australia Fellowships

The Library’s former program of Harold White Fellowships and Japan Fellowships, which has supported over 150 research fellows since 1983, was suspended for 2014–15 while the Library sought funding from philanthropic sources. In March 2015, a new scheme of National Library of Australia Fellowships was launched and applications opened for six funded fellowships to be offered in 2016.

Japan Study Grants

Funded through the Harold S. Williams Trust, these grants support scholars in Japanese studies who live outside Canberra to do research using the Library’s Japanese and western languages collections for up to four weeks. Grants were awarded to Gwyn McClelland, Dr Barbara Hartley, Darren Swanson, Dr Alison Broinowski and Professor Sandra Wilson.

National Folk Fellowship

In partnership with the National Folk Festival, the Library funded a four-week residency for Miriam Jones to research bluegrass and old-time music in Australia, and to prepare and develop a performance with her band, Catgut, which premiered at the festival.

Norman McCann Summer Scholarships

Funded by Mrs Pat McCann, the Library awarded six-week scholarships to young Australian postgraduate students Bethany Phillips-Peddlesden, Henry Reese and Emma Shortis to do research on topics in Australian history or literature. A fourth scholar, Rohan Lloyd, was awarded a National Library Summer Scholarship funded by an anonymous donor.

Seymour Summer Scholarship

Funded by Dr John and Dr Heather Seymour, this six-week scholarship supports research, preferably in biography, by a young Australian postgraduate student. The scholarship was awarded to Michael Kilmister.

Friends of the National Library Creative Arts Fellowship

A Creative Arts Fellowship, funded for four years by the Friends of the National Library, was awarded for the first time. The fellowship provides $10,000 to a practising artist to undertake a residency at the Library to develop new work, creatively using or inspired by the Library’s collections. The inaugural fellow is composer Chris Williams, who is composing a musical response to an incomplete opera by Nigel Butterley, to be performed by the Sydney Chamber Opera.

Kenneth Binns Travelling Fellowship

Funded by Mrs Alison Sanchez, the fellowship supports travel for professional development by Library staff in the early stages of their career. The 2015 fellowship was awarded to Nicole Hinton.

Friends of the National Library Travelling Fellowship

Funded by the Friends of the National Library of Australia, the fellowship provides a significant professional development opportunity for a Library staff member. The 2015 fellowship was awarded to Susan Thomas.