ALIA Weekly Volume 8 Issue 12–25 March 2020  
View this email in your browser
ALIA Weekly Volume 8 Issue 12–25 March 2020  



Connect with the best, advance your career, and make a difference by getting involved. Become an ALIA Member today.
Join ALIA now
Subscribe free to ALIA Weekly


Further restrictions on public gatherings include public libraries

Prime Minister of Australia | 24 March 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced further restrictions on public activities including attendance at libraries, galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites. ALIA’s understanding is that these restrictions refer specifically to public libraries, and come into effect midnight, Wednesday 25 March 2020. The statement did not mention academic, school, special or health libraries, and ALIA will continue to liaise with these sectors to clarify requirements as the situation progresses. The transcript of the speech is available on the Prime Minister’s website.

Message from the ALIA Board

ALIA Board | 20 March 2020

The ALIA Board has released a message in regards to COVID-19. 

COVID-19 has created difficult and anxious times for people working in libraries and for our users. The ALIA Board supports library leaders across the country who are having to make difficult decisions about whether to keep libraries open to support students, educators, researchers, health professionals, people without digital access at home, and those who would feel an intense sense of loss if they weren’t able to visit their local library. Libraries are adapting, promoting digital resources and accurate information, as well as offering innovative virtual services in order to support their communities. At the same time, managers are thinking about the health and wellbeing of their staff, and how they can minimise their teams’ exposure to the Coronavirus. While for many staff, health is the major concern, we also know that a significant number of you work on a casual basis and are worried about how you will make ends meet if you have reduced hours or your library closes altogether.

There are no easy answers to the many challenges that face us on a professional and personal basis at this time. We would like to assure you that the ALIA Board is monitoring the situation on a daily basis, while managing the issues in our own workplaces.

You will see on the ALIA website that the ALIA team is posting changes to library services across Australia on an hourly basis, to help inform local decisions about service cancellations, reductions and library closures. There is also a regularly updated list of resources and news of a special agreement on copyright for library storytimes, and special arrangements for Diploma industry placements to help our LIS students.

We have cancelled our major National Conference and other events and meetings. We have put in place work-from-home procedures for ALIA employees. As the situation unfolds we will do more – and we welcome any suggestions you have about information or resources which would support you.

Please contact us at any time

Robert Knight, President, and Viv Barton, Vice-President

On behalf of the ALIA Board

Host a virtual storytime today

Books Create Australia | 18 March

Host an virtual storytime to keep engaged with your community. A new agreement on copyright allows for public libraries to share their storytime sessions online. We are sharing libraries which have already hosted virtual storytimes on our webpage, please let us know if you are hosting one at

Special edition of PD Postings

ALIA Learning Team

ALIA released a special edition of PD Postings to more than 10,500 subscribers, full of free learning activities to keep library and information professionals up-to-date and on top of their game during the pandemic. The issue contains information on topics including working, learning and teaching from home; online courses; virtual tours; and wellbeing. Normally PD Postings is an ALIA Member benefit, but we have made this issue free to read for everyone.

Keep your library patrons informed 


ALIA has worked with the IFLA Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section to develop translated signage and text to support libraries communicating with their linguistically diverse communities, particularly in relation to library closures and accessing online information. Libraries are welcome to adapt and use this content as best meets their needs to communicate with their community. Translations will be made available in more languages as they are developed. To download the posters see the website. 

Win an NSS 2020 prize pack

ALIA | 1 May 2020

ALIA is running a competition to win National Simultaneous Storytime 2020 (NSS 2020) merchandise packs. To be in the running to win one of seven packs and a copy of the book all you need to do is register to take part in the campaign and share with us your most creative egg picture on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #NSS2020 by 1 May 2020. 

Become a Regional Coordinator

ALIA Student & New Graduates Group

The ALIA Student & New Graduates Group is seeking new Regional Coordinators for QLD, VIC, WA, SA and the ACT. For more information see the website. 

ALIA Graphic Novels and Comics 

ALIA Graphic Novels and Comics

ALIA Graphic Novels and Comics is seeking new members for its Collections Committee. For more information contact them on Twitter. 

ALIA's submission in response to the Australian Government Online Safety Legislation Reform Discussion Paper

ALIA  | February 2020

ALIA's submission in response to the Australian Government Online Safety Legislation Reform Discussion Paper can now be read on the website. 

Response package from the Australia Council for the Arts

Australian Council for the Arts | 25 March 2020

The Australian Council for the Arts has announced its first relief response package to support artists, arts practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations coping with the impact of COVID-19. For more information see the webpage. 

Information for libraries and archives during the COVID-19 shutdown

Australian Libraries Copyright Committee | 24 March 2020

The Australian Libraries Copyright Committee, of which ALIA is a founder member, has published an article on the materials libraries and archives can provide to their patrons online and in which formats. 

Access copyrighted materials during COVID-19

Australian National University Library | March 2020

The Australian National University Library has published the articles Copyright - helping to providing access to resources during COVID-19 and Publishers offering free access to scholarly materials in response to COVID-19 which feature information on legally accessing copyrighted materials during COVID-19. 

COVID-19's impact on the arts

National Association for the Visual Arts | 16 March 2020

The National Association for the Visual Arts is seeking information on how COVID-19 has affected artists and art organisations. You can contribute by completing the survey. For more information see the website. 

NSW TAFE classes suspended 

The Sydney Morning Herald | Anna Patty | 25 March 2020

The Community and Public Sector Union NSW is concerned that TAFE is keeping its libraries open, and is currently seeking clarification from TAFE about the reasons behind this.

Discussing the affect of COVID-19 on the arts sector

ArtsHub | George Dunford | 19 March

Arts Ministers across Australia met on 19 March to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on creative industries. The communique from the meeting can be read on the ArtsHub article. 

Cyber safety during COVID-19

Australian Signals Directorate | March 2020

The Australian Signals Directorate has published the webpage Cyber security is essential when preparing for COVID-19.  

Sustainable Australian libraries 

Sanctuary | Jessamie Yule | 25 February 2020

In late February, Sanctuary published the article Biblio-tech: Libraries leading sustainable design which praised the sustainable approach taken by libraries including Marrickville Library and Pavilion, NSW and the State Library Victoria


Update from IFLA

IFLA | March 2020

IFLA has announced the winner of its Green Library Award 2020. The award was presented to the Rangsit University Library in Thailand. The library was praised for its professional, systematic and well-documented approach to sustainability. IFLA has also released a newsletter which provides an update to IFLA WLIC 2020

Macmillan Publisher embargo lifted 

NPR | Rose Friedman | 18 March 2020

Publishing house Macmillan is lifting his embargo on multiple ebooks being purchased by public libraries in the US. The letter announcing the change can be read online. 

New Zealand's response to COVID-19

NZ | Derek Cheng | 23 March 2020

New Zealand has declared that the nation is moving to level four alert level with schools, childcare centres and universities and all non-essential services closed. 

The importance of libraries in the US

WIRED | Boone Ashworth | 23 March 2020

WIRED has published an article on the importance of US public libraries in the midst of COVID-19. 

Library fine amnesty in Edinburgh, Scotland

EdinburghLive | Joe Smith | 18 March 2020

Public libraries across Edinburgh, Scotland, have waived their overdue fines in the wake of COVID-19. 

Digital display of rare items from the British Library

The Guardian | Mark Brown | 19 March 2020

The British Library is hosting a digital display of its hidden treasures including is historic maps and globes.

Volunteer to decipher handwriting 

Atlas Obscura | Jessica Leigh Hester | 23 March 2020

Libraries and cultural institutions across the US are seeking volunteers to help transcribe reams of historic documents, letters and audio files. 

The world's worst bookmark

Atlas Obscura | Matthew Taub | 11 March

Library staff at the Cambridge University Library, UK, have discovered an unusual bookmark found in a Renaissance era volume of Saint Augustine’s complete works, a preserved half-eaten snack. 


ALIA Schools seminar

ALIA Schools | 14 March 2020

ALIA Schools held their half day seminar, Students need schools libraries, on 14 March at Avila College, Mt Waverley. The keynote speaker for the seminar was Holly Godfree, Campaign Coordinator for the Students Need School Libraries campaign. This session was followed by a workshop on exploring and writing stocktake policy.
Pictured left: Sandra Ryan, ALIA Schools Committee; Holly Godfree, Students Need School Libraries and Sharon Roth, ALIA Schools Committee. 
Pictured right: Attendees at the seminar.

Appointment: University of Sydney

The University of Sydney has appointed Philip Kent (right) as its new University Librarian. Philip has returned to Australia after a period as the University Librarian at Bristol, UK, he has also held positions as the University Librarian at Victoria University and the University of Melbourne.
Do you have a photograph from ALIA Group events or gatherings? We would like to feature it in ALIA Weekly. Email a high resolution image, a description of the event and the names of people in the photograph to


COVID-19 update

ALIA has asked ALIA Groups to postpone, cancel or run activities via videoconference. The events listed below can be attended and supported from home. 
What's On lists ALIA events, ALIA group events and free library and information sector activities for the benefit of ALIA Members.

Call for papers for the Electronic Theses and Dissertations Conference

 United Arab Emirate University | 31 March 2020

The Electronic Theses and Dissertations Conference, set to run in November 2020, is calling for papers. For more information see the webpage. 

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day | 15 June 2020

ALIA is pleased to support World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, 15 June 2020. Libraries which wish to participate can download the free bookmarks and posters. For more information see the website. 

International Day for the Universal Access to Information

UN | 28 September 2020

The International Day for the Universal Access to Information has been formally added to the United Nations calendar. The first official celebration of the day will take place on 28 September 2020.


Library and Information Week 2020
25–31 May 2020

National Simultaneous Storytime 2020
27 May 2020




Readers' advisory

ALIA | 21 April 2020

Readers’ advisory is a core skill for those working in public and school libraries. Readers’ advisors assist readers in finding the right book for the right time or right mood, provide guidance in trying new authors, themes, and genres, and provide programs and services to promote reading, literacy and library use. Registrations close 21 April 2020. For more information see the website.

Community Engagement

ALIA | 19 May 2020

Community engagement is the collaboration between an organisation and the community they serve. For libraries and information services to remain relevant they need to be proactive and connect with those communities. This is applicable to all types of libraries and information services. Registrations close 19 May 2020. For more information see the website.

Cataloguing basics

ALIA | 4 August 2020

The great challenge of this digital age we find ourselves in will be to ensure that what we do - the collection, preservation and management of information is done in a consistent manner which ensures it is accessible in the future. Cataloguing remains one of the best tools we have to guarantee that information, irrespective of its format or content, can be accessed. Registrations close 4 August 2020. For more information see the website. 


To advertise your job in ALIA Weekly contact


Wholehearted libraries

A worldwide virtual mini-conference was held on 10 March. The recordings for the keynote and regular sessions are now all posted at the main event page on Library 2.0. Please note that you need to be a member of Library 2.0 (free) to view them. There are seventeen recorded sessions from the mini-conference to view, including: Opening keynote panelFinding the heart of library service; Library cat herding: holding the herd together without getting ripped to shreds; Soft skills needed for human library leadershipPutting the heart [back] into an online library and Wholehearted training: fostering connection, compassion and joy in digital literacy.

ALIA Members can access more free PD in PD Postings, which comes out on the first Thursday of each month and provides quick access to selected, free learning activities. PD Postings features information specific to each PD specialisation. For more information contact

Text and logos are Creative Commons

Photos are copyright protected.
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.
Copyright © 2020 Australian Library and Information Association, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list