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March 2020

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.

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

ALIA has created an online space for Australian libraries to share their strategies in responding to the pandemic. 

Sue McKerracher, ALIA CEO, was interviewed on ABC Radio Sydney Afternoons about how libraries are supporting their patrons during the pandemic. The timestamp for the interview is 1:03:55 to 1:18:55.

ALIA has negotiated a special arrangement for library storytimes during the COVID-19 outbreak. For the duration of the pandemic, virtual storytimes will be sanctioned by an agreement with the Australian Publishers Association, and the Australian Society of Authors. The deal was featured in an article published in ABC Life. For more information see the website. 

Alongside more than 30 other cultural institutions and organisations ALIA has cosigned a creative industry COVID-19 stimulus letter addressed to the Hon Scott Morrison MP Prime Minister and the Hon Michael McCormack MP Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Regional Development. The letter calls for a targeted stimulus package to the value of 2% of the $111.7 billion industry as well as a public statement recognising the value of the creative industry to all Australians, and the debilitating impacts of COVID-19 on the arts, cultural and entertainment industries and the creative sector as a whole. 

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.

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. 

From Wednesday 25 March, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced further restrictions on public activities including attendance at libraries, galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites. The transcript of the speech is available on the Prime Minister’s website.

Libraries can continue to book author talks and presentations virtually, the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) has updated the rates of pay on its website. 

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. 

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. 

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. 
ALIA news

Every year, News Corp newspaper titles run a campaign with a collection of books for purchase encouraging parents to support their kids in the run up to the new school year. The campaign talks about the need to read and the proven benefit of reading. This year, ALIA's Australian Public Library Alliance partnered with News Corp to promote library storytimes as part of the campaign. It was a huge success, reaching more than 7 million readers through publications including The Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun, The Courier-Mail, The Adelaide Advertiser, and News Corp's regional and community network.

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. 

The Australia Reads campaign will run from 1–17 September 2020, culminating in the main event the Australian Reading Hour. The Ambassadors for the Hour are the inaugural illustrator Ambassador Beck Feiner, the adult Ambassador is Dervla McTiernan and the children's Book Ambassadors Anna Fienberg AM, Jacqueline Harvey, Peter Helliar and Will Kostakis. For more information see the website. 

ALIA is seeking nominations for several awards including its HCL Anderson Award; the Metcalfe Award; and the Redmond Barry Award. Nominations for these awards close on 30 June 2020. For more information see the website today. 

The March/April issue of INCITE has been released, the theme for this issue is leadership. The free to read article is 'Leading a greener library'. For more information see the website. 

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. 

ALIA is pleased to announce that it has joined the EveryAge Counts coalition. The coalition aims to tackle ageism faced by older Australians through a grassroots campaign. For more information see the website. 

Did you miss the last #AusLibChat on workplace culture? You can catch up on the wakelet. 

Want more ALIA and industry news? Subscribe to ALIA Weekly.
State and territory news

Australian Capital Territory

During the COVID-19 outbreak Libraries ACT has created a special page on its website, called At Home Brain & Boredom Busters, with links to its eResources and to a selection of other reading and literacy related activities. Libraries ACT has also, like many libraries around the country, started offering online story times, with new online story time videos being added regularly. Library staff are working on how to deliver other programs online, to enable them to remain engaged with the community.

New South Wales

Kempsey Shire Library will no longer be charging late fees for overdue items as of 1 July 2020. However fines will remain in place for lost or damaged items.

Springwood Library has secured more than $400,000 in funding to design and construct a library entry. This funding will be delivered as part of a $2.5 million library upgrade.

The Mosman Library Service  is running the early literacy program, ‘1,000 Books Before School’ which was a statewide initiative in Victoria. 

Port Macquarie Library has recently celebrated 20 years of operation. 

Lake Mac Libraries has announced a new library app and website.


A new Civic Hub has been proposed for City of Gold Coast which would include a public library. 

Brisbane Libraries has shared pictures on social media of notes and crochet flowers which were left at Chermside Library by a library patron. The notes include uplifting words intended as a nice message for other patrons. 


Peter Gutwein, Premier of Tasmania, has released an update on the Bringing Back Libraries initiative. In the last seven months Libraries Tasmania has expanded its collections; removed fees for Book Groups; and expanded its Express Service, as well as many other improvements. 


A fundraising campaign has been launched to upgrade Tatura Library. The library is hoping to raise $100,000. 

The Belgrave Library is set to receive an upgrade worth $450,000. The upgrade will include improved exterior spaces, a modern service desk and ‘zoned’ areas. 

Federation Square, Melbourne, could be the site for a new public library if a proposal by the City of Melbourne goes ahead. 

Western Australia

The Hon Mark McGowan MLA, Premier of Western Australia, has directed the closure of WA public libraries, State Library of WA, and cultural institutions effective from noon 23 March 2019 until further notice. WA public libraries are actively working to develop creative alternatives to assist library customers, promote digital resources at this time.

Other news

The report Driven by demand: public library perspectives on the elending market has been released by RMIT University, the university has also published an article on the important role that libraries play in preserving history

OCLC has published the article Five data analytics questions to help secure—or increase—your e-resource budget.

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. 

International news

IFLA has opened nominations for its IFLA/Systematic Public Library of the Year Award 2020, submissions close 15 April 2020. The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and the International Council on Archives have released a joint Statement on Privacy Legislation and Archiving. The winner of the IFLA Green Library Award 2020 has been presented to the Rangsit University Library in Thailand for its professional, systematic and well-documented approach to sustainability. IFLA has also released a newsletter which provides an update to IFLA WLIC 2020

To mark its 75th anniversary, the United Nations has launched a global conversation on the role of international cooperation, UN75 2020 and beyond. You can provide your feedback via the survey

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 National Library of New Zealand has published the article Keeping teens reading.

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. 

Staff at the Brooklyn Public Library are calling for children and teens to longer have to pay late fees; the Allegheny County Library Association, Pittsburgh; has seen increased library usage since it ceased charging late fees; and Richmond Public Library, California has also cancelled late fees. 

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

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

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

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

The UK Government is set to remove the 20% 'reading tax' on ebooks and online newspapers from December 2020. 

A recent article published in Book Riot has ruminated on the future of libraries. The article features details about the Future Library Project in Norway and other projects. 

BBC Reel has published a video Inside the abandoned city of ancient librariesThe video features information on the African town of Chinguetti which has some of the oldest libraries in the world. 
Campaigns, events and programming ideas
The ALIA Campaigns and Events page provides ideas for all year round advocacy. These campaigns and events give you the opportunity to run fun, informative activities in the library, online and through social media every month of the year.
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

Library and Information Week 2020
25–31 May 2020

National Simultaneous Storytime 2020
27 May 2020

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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Previous editions of APLAnews are also available. Contributions to APLAnews should be sent to by the 15th day of each month.

Australian Library and Information Association
PO Box 6335 Kingston ACT 2604 AUSTRALIA
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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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