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March 2021

APLAnews is a free monthly bulletin for everyone who works to support and promote Australia's public library services. We'd love to hear news and comments from readers - contact details are at the end of this newsletter. Please feel free to pass APLAnews on to your colleagues. Permission is granted to re-broadcast, in part or in full, please acknowledge the source if you do so. 

ALIA news
State and territory news
Other news 
International news
Professional learning
Conferences, exhibitions and events dates
ALIA news

The ALIA team is monitoring the ongoing flooding situation occurring across Eastern Australia, and is reaching out to libraries in those affected communities. If your library has been impacted by flooding, please contact ALIA and Blue Shield Australia to let us know, particularly if you require support with your disaster recovery processes, or if we can help in any other way. For resources and guidance on disaster preparation, planning and recovery, see ALIA's disaster planning webpage and the Blue Shield Australia page.
ALIA is thrilled to announce that NASA Astronaut Shannon Walker will be our #NSS2021 reader. Shannon will read Give me some space! by Philip Bunting from the International Space Station. To find out more about Shannon, check out the YouTube video and her biography. The event is supported by Scholastic Australia, the Office of the Chief Scientist, and the Australian Space Agency
ALIA Members are encouraged to vote in the ALIA 2021 Board Election. Voting closes on 16 April 2021. The successful candidates will take office following our Annual General Meeting on 24 May 2021 and serve on the Board for two years.  

The winners of the ALIA-run Australian Library Design Awards were announced on 18 March at the Changing Spaces Library Design Conference 2021. Marrickville Library and Pavilion in NSW won both the Public Library and ALIA Members' Choice categories. Details on the winning and commended entries can be found on the ALIA website. You can also read the Architecture AU and Designing Libraries articles on the awards. The awards were sponsored by Architecture AU, Raeco, and the State Library of Queensland. ALIA will be running the awards again in 2023.

There are now 211 titles available for public libraries to read as part of ALIA's Online Storytime Agreement. Interested public libraries can register by emailing

The Library Information Week 2021 (LIW2021) merchandise has proved very popular, especially our library technician pin. Make sure to order your merchandise today before it's all sold out. We have our two pins (library technician and LIW2021), bookmarks, stickers and a promo pack. Library and Information Week 2021 runs from 17-23 May 2021. 

A group of more than fifty participants from across the library and information sector have made a commitment to working together to support and embed ALIA's Professional Pathways initiative. This commitment came following ALIA's recent Professional Pathways virtual summit. For more information about the Professional Pathways initiative, contact

The ALIA Information Online 2021 virtual conference saw more than 2,700 delegates come together to engage in a wide range of thought-provoking topics to appeal across the sector. Continue your educational journey with this three-part series. The first event on 22 April covers all things leadership, from leading the profession to taking charge of your own future.  

Join ALIA and National & State Libraries Australia for the one-hour session, Media Literacy: A primer for libraries on 13 April 2021.

The March/April issue of INCITE is now available to read online. This digital-only issue is freely available for all to read, and features a range of articles following the theme of Education, from teacher librarians to university/TAFE librarians, and facilitators of lifelong learning and family literacies. Read it now.
Want more ALIA and industry news? Subscribe to ALIA Weekly.
State and territory news

Public libraries 



The ACT Heritage Library is set to run its first exhibition since the pandemic began.


Public libraries can partner with Plumtree in developing services for young children with disabilities and their families. ALIA Members are invited to attend the NSW ALIA membership pin presentation evening on 20 April at Burwood Library. 

Bega Valley Shire Library is participating in a project to help identify local barriers to library visits and engagement with library activities; Bayside Library is no longer charging fines; Blue Mountains Library was Highly Commended in the NSW Public Libraries Innovation In Outreach Services Awards for their Pop-Up Library @ Home service; Central West Libraries has selected the books for its One Library One Book community reading program for 2021; the new Fairfield Library has opened; Friends of Grenfell Library is looking for new members; Hawkesbury Library Service is once again running pre-school storytime sessions; plans have been submitted for Lake Macquarie's first co-located library museum; MidCoast Council is seeking tender applications for the expansion of Wingham Library; and Wollongong Library is celebrating the city's history.


An architecture firm has been selected to design the new Hervey Bay Library and Fraser Coast Regional Council administration building; Ipswich Libraries recently opened their new Ipswich Central Library; Sunshine Coast Council may approve proposed designs for a new green-star, district level library; Townsville CityLibraries is trialling food libraries at its branches and the city's council has advised the community to disregard scam phone calls about overdue library fines.


Blackwood Public Library has received a grant via the Local Government Infrastructure Partnership Program; the City of Onkaparinga and Neporendi Aboriginal Forum Inc won the 2020 Jim Crawford Award for Innovation in Libraries; commendation awards were also presented to: Yorke Peninsula Council for the Minlaton School Community Library (Library Story Time); City of Port Adelaide Enfield Libraries (eStorytime App); Light Regional Council Library Service (Once Upon a Story Trail); Tatiara District Council for the Bordertown Library; and City of Tea Tree Gully Library has embarked on a project called 26 Stories to tell the real story of the value their community members place on their library service. 


The Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts is showing a selection of intricate botanical prints and rare journals from Banks’ Florilegium – an enduring record of human survival, courage, curiosity, obsession and creativity. The exhibition will be on show from 25 March to 31 July. Launceston Library held the Friends of the Library annual book sale.


The State Library Victoria (SLV) and PLV are developing a Libraries for Health and Wellbeing Strategic Framework (LHWSF). The LHWSF both describes and shapes the contribution of Victorian public libraries in driving positive community health and wellbeing outcomes. It includes key strategic concepts, an impact assessment approach, and an action roadmap, developed in consultation with library CEOs and managers, public library staff, and library users. As visitation rates to libraries across the state are on the up, PLV is working with its LibMark Special Interest Group to roll out a state-wide campaign to encourage more people to visit public libraries.

City of Greater Geelong is seeking suggestions for the design of a new library and community hub; Maria Andriotis celebrated 50 years of working across Mildura Rural City Council libraries, the new Ivanhoe Library and Cultural Hub has opened; and Swan Hill Regional Library is trialing a new online journal database. 


The online services provided by City of Wanneroo Libraries has proved very popular.

WA’s public library services are delivered by local governments, in partnership with the State Library. To help guide the development of a new shared public libraries strategy, the Public Library Working Group is encouraging participation in sessions designed to inspire 'blue sky thinking' through showcasing innovative programs and services. The working group would love to have its library colleagues join in for any or all of the following showcase events, available both in person or online.
Libraries supporting communities
Wednesday 21 April 2021
Belmont Public Library
9:00am to 11:30am
Library led learning
Monday 17 May 2021
Western Australian Local Government Association
9:00am to 11:30am

Other news

The Digital Industry Group Inc has released the Australian code of practice on disinformation and misinformation; and the Office of the eSafety Commissioner has released the report The digital lives of Aussie teens

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation is once again running its Great Book Swap

In book awards news, the longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021; the shortlists for the Penguin Literary Prize 2021; the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards; the 2021 Stella Prize; the Carnegie Medal, and the Kate Greenaway Medal for Illustration; and the winners of the Indie Book of the Year were all announced. The programs for the Brisbane Writers Festival and the Sydney Writers' Festivals have been announced. The US-based reading subscription business service Scribd has launched in Australia. 

International news

IFLA has submitted a response to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. IFLA has also published the article, Sustaining libraries in a digital worldNominations are open for the IFLA 2021 honours and awards. It has also promoted its Risk Register, which libraries can use to help prevent the loss of documentary heritage collections. 

In New Zealand, Auckland Libraries is set to scrap library fines.

In the US, an article published by The Atlantic discusses the role of library workers in combating conspiracy theories including QAnon. Business Insider has published the article 'Amazon reveals why it doesn't sell the e-books and audiobooks it publishes to libraries'. American Libraries has published the article 'What the American Rescue Plan Act means for libraries'. The magazine also asked, how user friendly is your website? The American Library Association is accepting applications for its International Librarians Networking Program.

In the UK, Thomas Plume's Library, one of England's oldest public libraries, has received a grant of £67,000 (more than $119,000 AUD) for urgent repairs. There are concerns that the Bethnal Green Library, where people sheltered during air raids in WWII, could be closed

In Canada, public libraries are increasingly choosing to no longer charge late fees, including Toronto Public Library.

In Helsinki, Finland, public libraries will no longer be using plastic book coverings and Asta Sjöblom, a freelance journalist in Finland, would like to interview Finnish library and information science professionals working in Australia for an upcoming article. Please email her for more information at

The design for the new Songdo Library in South Korea is inspired by the human brain, and a designer has been chosen for a new library in Macau, China

Professional learning
ALIA Members are able to freely access a collection of LIS ebooks from EBL and can investigate the Public Library Specialisation of the ALIA PD Scheme that recognises the specific skills needed for the public library sector. Members can also sign up for the monthly PD Postings enewsletter.
Conferences, exhibitions and events dates
APLAnews is an initiative of the Australian Public Libraries Alliance. Can't get enough ALIA and industry news? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

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The Australian Library and Information Association acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to lands, waters, cultures and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; and to Elders past, present and emerging.
APLAnews is an initiative of the Australian Library and Information Association's Australian Public Library Alliance. We want to know what you would like to see in this newsletter, and how you would like to see it.
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