ALIA Board | 9 April 2020
The ALIA Board has released a further message in regards to COVID-19.
While many organisations have closed their doors and reduced services, we can assure you that your Association continues to be highly active on your behalf. The ALIA House team and our State Managers are mainly working from home, but a few staff remain at the office, to keep the building open for those of our tenants who remain on site.
Training and professional development has moved online, and the teams are producing more resources to enable our Members to take advantage of down time to refresh their knowledge and skills. ALIA Connects is up and running, with lots of ways of keeping connected with library colleagues during lockdown. ‘After work drinks’ began last Friday, takes place this evening and continues every Friday from 5pm, thanks to our ALIA State Managers, who are the perfect hosts, with ALIA Directors on screen, keen to hear what’s happening in your area.
New for this week, the copyright agreement for virtual storytimes has been extended to school libraries, which were previously operating under the Statutory Education Licence. Australian publishers and authors have been terrific supporters of libraries at this time, despite experiencing tough times with sales through bookshops taking a tumble. Next week we will be launching a couple of new initiatives in partnership with the Australian Society of Authors to help Australian writers and illustrators generate income at this difficult time. We will keep you posted about other activities through ALIA Weekly every Wednesday and INCITE, which will land in your in-box at the start of May.
Financial hardship has affected every sector and we are pleased to say that the ALIA Relief Fund now stands at over $11,300 – a big thank you to the Members who have already topped up the ALIA Board’s original seed funding of $10,000. This week, our Board sub-committee signed off on the first payment. The $500 went to someone who had a casual position at a university library but was stood down at the end of March. We’re particularly concerned about casual workers, especially as in the library sector, very few organisations are covered by the federal government JobKeeper stimulus package and Child Care payments. We support the Australian Local Government Association and the unions in their lobbying for councils to be included in these schemes.
Our membership team is at the other end of an email during normal business hours, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch, and you can reach us through ALIABoard@alia.org.au.
Although it is hard for everyone at this time, we would like to wish you a Happy Easter. With so many other activities shut down, we hope you can curl up with a good book and a favourite chocolate indulgence.
Robert Knight, ALIA President, and Viv Barton, ALIA Vice-President