ALIA Weekly Volume 8 Issue 11–18 March 2020  
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ALIA Weekly Volume 8 Issue 11–18 March 2020  



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ALIA negotiates special agreement on copyright

Books Create Australia | 18 March 2020

Books Create Australia, the collaboration between the Australian Booksellers Association (ABA), the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), the Australian Publishers Association (APA) and the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) has announced a special arrangement for library storytimes during the COVID-19 outbreak. For the duration of the pandemic, virtual storytimes will be sanctioned by an industry agreement. It is the policy of the Boards of the APA and ASA that their members suspend any requirements for copyright permission to be sought, in order to allow libraries to make recordings or livestream storytimes so children aren’t denied this important and much-loved service. This policy is temporary and will remain in force whilst COVID-19 remains as a WHO-declared pandemic. For more information see the website. 

ALIA's response to COVID-19

ALIA | March 2020

As COVID-19 continues to affect communities across the nation ALIA has responded by taking the following steps.

  • We have cancelled our National Conference. This decision is in line with health advice regarding social distancing, as an effective and proven intervention in the minimisation of the spread of infectious disease in the workplace and the community. 
  • We have prepared an online space for libraries to share their knowledge, strategies and communications around responding to COVID-19. We encourage Members to let us know how their library is responding to COVID-19, in order to keep this information updated.
  • We have updated the LIS Educators webpage with information on how COVID-19 is affecting LIS students and educators. 
  • We have communicated with other relevant associations and organisations about how to address this crisis.
  • We are cancelling our ALIA Leadership & Innovation Forums, and asking ALIA Groups to postpone, cancel or run activities via videoconference.
  • We are preparing and implementing work-from-home procedures for ALIA employees.

ALIA supports the decision of organisations to close libraries at their discretion to mitigate risks associated with COVID-19, and stresses the importance of the role of libraries in maintaining the welfare of their community and their staff during times of crisis. 

Libraries have responded by:

  • Staying open and providing information to their community on COVID-19
  • Suspending delivery of public library programs, events and outreach services
  • Closing all public spaces and cancelling library programs and events
  • Continuing to deliver online library reference services and maintain access to online resources.

We acknowledge that this is a fast-changing situation, and that circumstances may vary depending on the geographic location and nature of services provided by the library. We encourage libraries to monitor information provided by their local health department. ALIA has created a poster for staying safe in the library.

Announcing the Australia Reads Ambassadors

Australia Reads | 1–17 September 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. 

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. 

The latest issue of JALIA released

Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association | March 2020

The latest issue of the Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association (JALIA) has been released. 

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. 

Library celebrates 20 year birthday

Macquarie Port News | 11 March 2020

Port Macquarie Library, NSW, has recently celebrated 20 years of operation. 

New technology for Lake Mac Libraries, NSW

Lakes Mail | Kay Fraser | 11 March 2020

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


Update on the Macmillan ebook saga

Publishers Weekly | Anthony Albanese | 6 March 2020

Macmillan Publishers recently met with members of the American Library Association to discuss new ebook licensing options. In each of these three proposals the publisher's controversial ebook embargo would be scrapped. 

Your eresource budget

OCLC | Justin Parker | 4 March 2020

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

Ideas for keeping teenagers engaged in running

National Library of New Zealand | Jo Buchan | 2 March 2020

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

No more 'reading tax' for the UK

The Guardian | Jim Waterson | 12 March 2020

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

Minecraft 'library'

BBC News | Tom Gerken | 13 March 2020

Players have created a virtual 'library' of controversial and banned works using the video game Minecraft.  


The Digital Preservation Coalition

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) launched its new Australasia office digitally, as its physical launch could not take place, at the University of Melbourne on 17 March 2020. More than 100 members of the digital preservation community from Australasia and around the world gathered online for the event. For more information see the website. 

Pictured right: attendees at the digital launch. 
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.

Ursula Dubosarsky the 2020–2021 Australian Children's Laureate

 The School Magazine | 24 March 2020

The School Magazine is running the free webinar on Ursula Dubosarsky the 2020–2021 Australian Children's Laureate on 24 March 2020. For more information see the website. 

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. 


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Learn in isolation 

A period of isolation, self-imposed or otherwise, presents an opportunity to explore topics that we have been curious about, knowing that they can enrich our work in the library and information sector, but haven’t previously found time for. Open Culture offers a selection of more than 1,500 free online courses on subjects including tech, data science, marketing, leadership, literature and personal development. There are even courses specifically designed to help you understand the coronavirus itself.

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

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