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July 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

As many states are currently in lockdown due to COVID-19. ALIA would like to remind its Members that they can seek financial support through the ALIA Relief Fund.

Have you registered to attend the upcoming ALIA Virtual Showcase on 28 July? ALIA will be speaking with representatives from the Google Chrome Enterprise Team about the future of simple computing and secure management of cloud devices in libraries; and much more. Registrations close 27 July 2021.

ALIA is seeking proposals for ALIA National 2022 that explore the theme of diversity. We want your presentations on your libraries' successes, or struggles, in supporting diversity. Maybe you run great AUSLAN storytime sessions, English language classes or maybe your library goes all-out for IDAHOBIT. Head over to the conference website for further information and to submit your proposal and direct any questions to The deadline for submissions is 18 October 2021. Interested parties can also read the ALIA INCITE workforce diversity supplement.

It's not too late to start planning an event for the Australian Reading Hour on 14 September. The event is run as part of the year-long Australia Reads literacy campaign and encourages participants to read for an hour on this day. Libraries in particular are encouraged to host events on the day as they are uniquely positioned to support literacy and a love of reading. Sign your library up today using the online form and let us know how you're celebrating by emailing

Have you read the July/August 2021 issue of ALIA's INCITE magazine? This digital only, free to read issue features an update on Professional Pathways; wrap-up articles on ALIA campaigns and much more.

The first meeting of the Professional Pathways Board was held on Monday 5 July and confirmed the strategic direction of the initiative. You can read the take home messages on the ALIA website.

Library staff who have undertaken ALIA's digital health literacy training program can now move into the next phase and run digital health literacy community programs in their libraries. We ask that all participating libraries run their community engagement sessions between now and the end of 2021. If you have not yet participated in the program, you can now access the online training program.

ALIA Members are encouraged to join the new ALIA Disability group. Interested parties can also subscribe to the group alert by emailing

ALIA has commissioned a team from Charles Sturt University to carry out a Greening Libraries research project, which will underpin ALIA’s new sustainability drive, in line with the Association’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. The research team is made up of Dr Jane Garner, Dr Kasey Garrison, Dr Sabine Wardle and Associate Professor Karen Bell. Their report is scheduled for publication at the beginning of November.

Recently ALIA has been sending out information about the new ALIA website and database. This new website will make your membership easier and more convenient to manage, and will make information more findable for all our website users. More information will be coming out in the lead-up to the launch on 23 August. Please direct any questions to

Read the latest article from the ALIA Sustainable Libraries Group, Four reasons to feel exuberance about the future. You can read all their back articles on the website.

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

Public libraries 

Public libraries were featured in the report, Infrastructure for social connection from the Social Innovation Research Institute. Read the article from Jane Cowell, Managing a library service through a crisis: part one - the governance.

Ash Faulkner, a librarian at Ohio State University, is researching financial capability and the role of libraries around the world. She is looking for library professionals knowledgeable about financial education in Australia. Interviews will be via online meeting software, or by email. Please email for information.

Registrations are now open for Can Stories Save Us? Using fiction and creative non-fiction to start conversations about climate change, part of the Inspiring Victoria #ACCLIMATISE program for National Science Week. This online event, scheduled for 17 August, is a professional development session. Presented by PLV and open to library staff nationally. This event will showcase Australian fiction and creative non-fiction that engages with the big scientific issues of the day—including climate change, environment, mass extinctions and pandemics. The registration charge of $10 per person includes a resource pack and entry into a book prize draw.  



August is a busy month for Libraries ACT with Family History Month events and an exhibition, Heritage Matters, and themed story times and Bush Foods and Science workshops for National Science Week. There will also be themed story times for Children’s Book Week and a Low Fuss, Low Waste, All Taste panel discussion about creating Book Week costumes


The NSW Government has published information on how to complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan for libraries, museums, galleries, zoos, reptile parks and aquariums.

City of Sydney will no longer charge library fines; Cowra Library is hosting an art exhibition; the City of Newcastle has declared that its fine-free initiative will be extended indefinitely; Wagga Wagga residents are encouraged to complete a survey on the city's public library services; and Wangi Library Creative Hub has opened as the region's first self-access library. Congratulations to Marrickville Library, which is in the running to win the IFLA/Systematic Public Library of the Year 2021 Award. ALIA CEO, Sue McKerracher, was interviewed about the shortlisting on 2GB Radio.

The Sydney Morning Herald has published the article 'New sport complexes, libraries ‘at risk’ from developer levy shake up'. 


Library & Archives NT has launched Black, Red & Yellow: Unity and Identity, an exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first raising of the Aboriginal flag. The exhibition will run until October 2021.



Bundaberg Library is hosting a Mini Beasts exhibition.


Port Lincoln Library has received a donation from the local Port Lincoln Lions Club


Boroondara Library Service no longer charges overdue fees; Frankston City Libraries is hosting a series of author talks; and St Arnaud Library has received funding of $3,000 from the local National Backyard Cricket program and the St Arnaud Friends of the Library group.

Victoria’s public libraries remain closed due to the extended COVID-19 lockdown. However, many library services continue to provide click & collect, access to e-resources, and online programming. Some are involved in essential services delivery including food relief. Others are offering Click and Collect for essential printing, as well as assistance by phone and online. A creative state-wide campaign to encourage patrons to come back to the library – ‘Return Yourself to the Library’ – has been planned and will be delivered once circumstances allow.


Old books and illustrations have been rediscovered at Burnie Library

Libraries Tasmania continues to support the Island Study Linking Ageing and Neurodegenerative Disease (ISLAND) Project. The ISLAND Project is the world’s largest dementia prevention study, conducted through the University of Tasmania Wicking Dementia Education and Research Centre. Libraries Tasmania will welcome the ISLAND Project team to libraries across Tasmania, to conduct pop-up, face-to-face promotion, and information sessions, and will provide participants with basic support to access and navigate the ISLAND Project portal and online activities. For more information about the ISLAND Project please visit The ISLAND Project – we’re getting ready to begin - Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre | University of Tasmania. 

Earlier this year, Libraries Tasmania invited the Tasmanian community to nominate their favourite items from the cultural collections of the Tasmanian Archives and State Library, and to say what these items mean to them. These submissions have helped create the 91 Stories exhibition
Other news

The Australian Search Experience project is seeking participants for its citizen science project to independently assess the information search engines recommend to users. For more information see the website.

The Queensland Government has announced that resource communities can apply for 'infrastructure projects that will benefit the community and the regional workers and their families that live in those communities'. This funding could theoretically be used for the creation or upgrade of libraries.

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation is hosting a free virtual event on 1 September 2021 to celebrate Indigenous Literacy Day.

Read The Sydney Morning Herald article, Why book clubs are a therapist approved form of self-care.

In book awards news, the longlist for the recipient of the 2021 Reading Australia Fellow for Teachers of English Literacy, and the winners of the 2021 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction; the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the 2021 Readings Young Adult Book Prize, and the Island Nonfiction Prize were all announced.

International news

Explore the program for IFLA's World Library and Information Congress. Watch presentations from the IFLA Literacy and Reading and Public Libraries Sections webinar. Read the IFLA article, Recognising libraries as SDG implementation partners in 2021

In New Zealand, Auckland Council Libraries will no longer be charging overdue fines.

In Canada, the city of Montreal is pushing for library fines to be abolished throughout all its public libraries.

In the US, public libraries are hopeful for a funding boost to upgrade outdated infrastructure. In Massachusetts, a man has returned books overdue since the 1930s. The New York Public Library is set to provide book kits to help children stay engaged during the summer holidays. The ALA's Committee on Diversity has created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion scorecard for library and information organisations.

In the UK, there are calls to create a libraries board for the Isle of Man. The UK Government has published the corporate report Report under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 for 2020/21.

In Finland, public libraries are lending out ecargo bikes. In India, the plan to demolish a 130-year-old library to build a flyover has faced backlash.

Professional learning
Keep up-to-date with the latest PD opportunities via the ALIA PD webpage. 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 ALIA Weekly.
Join us for a free online session reflecting upon mental health and community support in line with R U OK? Day on 9 September 2021. 

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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
ph 02 6215 8222
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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