Strategic Directions 2012-2014

The National Library of Australia’s objective is to ensure that all Australians can access, enjoy and learn from a national collection that documents Australian life and society. We are committed to providing open access to the national collection and our online services. Australians—whoever they are and wherever they live—should be able to easily discover and obtain the information they are seeking and to engage with rich digital content to support their lifelong learning.

Continuity and change mark the work of the National Library. Our core responsibilities for collecting and preserving the Australian publishing record, in whatever form, will endure. As the publishing world transitions from print to digital form, we have re-engineered our traditional roles to meet new needs in the digital environment. We are committed to expanding our digitisation program so that Australians can engage online with their past, as well as with their present.

However, the growth of our digital collections is outpacing our capacity to manage, preserve and deliver them. Australians must know that whether the National Library’s collections are in print or digital form, they will be stored, preserved and made accessible to future generations. To do this, we need better systems to collect and manage both digitised and born-digital Australian content. We will meet the most urgent of these critical needs through our Digital Library Infrastructure Replacement project, as we work towards a National Digital Library of Australia.

The National Library is a leader of libraries and collecting institutions. We assist users to access digital content held by collecting institutions across Australia through our successful national discovery service Trove. We will extend the content and reach of Trove in collaboration with a wide range of collecting and research partners. We will seek to develop relationships with user communities and the broader public to enhance understanding of our collections.

At the same time that the Library needs to invest in digital content and online services, we face significant resource constraints. To achieve our vision for the national collection over the next three years will require all our imagination and ingenuity, supported by equally visionary partners within and outside government.

Strategic Direction 1: Collect and Preserve Documentary Heritage

We aspire to:

Document Australia’s cultural, intellectual and social life by collecting, storing and preserving Australian print and digital publishing, personal papers, paintings, photographs, maps and oral histories.

Inform Australians about their region and their place in the world through our Asian and other overseas collections.

To achieve these aims we will:

Build a new digital library infrastructure to acquire, preserve and deliver digital collections.

Seek a mandate to collect and preserve Australian-created digital materials through change to the legal deposit provisions of the Copyright Act 1968.

Expand our Australian digital collecting and preservation programs to ensure that Australian digital publications are accessible, now and in the future.

Build on the national and international strengths of our Asian and Pacific collections, and progressively move our overseas collecting from print to digital form to better meet the needs of our users.

Develop a strategy for managing collection growth after 2017–2018, when our current storage will be at capacity.

Review our preservation storage standards to ensure sustainable solutions for caring for our growing collections.

Strategic Direction 2: Make Our Collections and Services Accessible to All Australians

We aspire to:

Harness new and emerging opportunities in the digital environment, including the National Broadband Network, to engage with diverse Australian audiences, including those in regional and remote communities.

Support research and lifelong learning for all Australians by maximising online access to our collections and services.

To achieve these aims we will:

Develop a robust and sustainable business model for Trove, to ensure we can expand and enrich its content and invest in new services for our users.

Expand digitisation of regional and community newspapers in partnership with communities and benefactors.

Find faster and cheaper ways of making our collections discoverable in the online environment.

Continue redeveloping reading room services to meet the changing needs and expectations of twenty-first-century library users.

Offer fast, reliable and efficient document delivery services for Australians who cannot visit the Library to access our non-digital collections.

Make it easy for educational content developers and researchers to download Trove resources for use in their curriculum products and innovative research spaces.

Support and strengthen our online engagement with Australian communities through social media opportunities and services optimised for mobile devices.

Enrich understanding of what it is to be Australian through our exhibitions, publications and community programs.

Strategic Direction 3: Deliver National Leadership

We aspire to:

Provide national infrastructure to underpin efficient and effective library services across the country, and to support Australian libraries in the twenty-first-century digital world.

Share our knowledge and innovation experiences with the Australian and international sectors and collaborate to respond to new challenges and opportunities.

To achieve these aims we will:

Lead and collaborate in new National and State Libraries Australasia projects to collect Australian digital content, to improve Australians’ access to library resources and services and to explore a national approach to digital preservation.

Engage with libraries in the Asia and Pacific region.

Lead and support the Australian library community to adopt Resource Description and Access, a new bibliographic standard that will transform the ways in which communities discover and navigate library resources.

Renew the Libraries Australia Search service to meet the collection management needs of over 1,000 Australian libraries.

Continue to openly share our research, discoveries and workflow solutions so that other cultural organisations can learn from our successes.

Participate in international collaborations, with a focus on standards and practices for the creation and exchange of data describing collections.

Strategic Direction 4: Achieve Organisational Excellence

We aspire to:

Integrate social and environmental goals into our governance and business operations.

Develop the full potential of our staff to achieve our vision.

Diversify our funding sources to support our need to deliver collections and services to all Australians.

Maximise returns on government and private sector investment by managing financial resources effectively.

To achieve these aims we will:

Implement workforce initiatives in three priority areas: leverage and build on existing staff capabilities; build responsiveness to digital change; and cultivate operational and career sustainability.

Establish a healthy and safe workplace culture through the implementation of a work health and safety management system.

Undertake ecologically sustainable management practices through the implementation of an environmental management system.

Strengthen and develop new personal giving, philanthropic and commercial partnerships to expand our reach to new communities.

Maintain our sound governance arrangements and effective financial management so that the Australian Government and community can be confident that their investment is being well managed.

Address and contact details

Director-General
National Library of Australia
Parkes Place, Canberra ACT 2600
Enquiries 02 6262 1111  Facsimile 02 6257 1703  nla.gov.au