ALIA Weekly Volume 8 Issue 13–1 April 2020  
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ALIA Weekly Volume 8 Issue 13–1 April 2020  



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ALIA COVID-19 Relief Fund

ALIA | April 2020

The ALIA Board has given approval to set up a Relief Fund, specifically to help Members who are experiencing a reduction in income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. ALIA will seed the fund with $10,000, which will enable us to make 20 or so payments to Members who are suffering financial hardship. In order to help more people, we welcome contributions from Members who would like to make a donation to help colleagues in need. If you are interested in making a contribution, please contact us at There is also an option for Members who are renewing their membership to add a donation to the fund at the same time. 

ALIA Connects

ALIA | April 2020

ALIA has created the webpage ALIA Connects which is full of ideas and suggested activities for remaining in contact with your colleagues and the wider GLAMR community during the pandemic.

Message from the ALIA Board

ALIA Board | 27 March 2020

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

ALIA Directors met today for our scheduled Board meeting, and while we covered off general business, the main part of our meeting was devoted to talking about COVID-19; the effect it has already had on our Members and the impact it is likely to have over the coming weeks.

The situation is unfolding at such a rapid rate, that the directives from our three layers of government – federal, state/territory and local – are updated on a daily basis. We often talk about the adaptability of libraries, usually with reference to digital disruption, and now is the time for us all to demonstrate this characteristic. We greatly admire the way our Members have shown their flexibility and resilience over the last few weeks; we also recognise that these are anxious times and it is natural to feel nervous and uncertain.

On the COVID-19 webpage, ALIA has continued to provide information and resources for Members to help you navigate the emerging situation, and these have been referenced widely by the media. We have worked with colleagues internationally to produce signage and text in more than 20 languages, explaining that services have been reduced or libraries closed. There is a special open access edition of ALIA PD Postings, providing you with free learning resources if you find yourself with extra time for professional development, and if you are active on social media, please join us in promoting our book industry campaign #AustraliaReadsAtHome. Every sector is different, and whether you work in a public, school, tertiary or special library, we hope you will find something of value on our web page.

We are looking at further ways to support our Members, and while the team is mainly working from home, there is a skeleton staff at ALIA House each day responding to your requests and enquiries.

Please contact us at any time

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

ALIA joins call for support for creative industry

ALIA | March 2020

ALIA, alongside more than 30 other cultural institutions and organisations, 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. WA Today featured the letter in a recent article. You can show your support on social media using the hashtag #DontCancelCreativity.

Public libraries hosting virtual storytimes 

Books Create Australia | March 2020

ALIA recently negotiated a new copyright agreement which allows for public libraries to share their storytime sessions online. Singleton Library, NSW, was featured in an ABC News article and ABC Life has published the article 'How to make the most of your library during the coronavirus pandemic'. Please let us know if you are hosting one at

Libraries supporting their patrons during the pandemic

ABC Radio | March 2020

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. Sue was also interviewed alongside author and illustrator Alison Lester AM on ABC Radio Sydney Breakfast about virtual storytimes. The timestamp is 2:50:30 to 3:07:04. 

ALIA HLA supports libraries during COVID-19

ALIA HLA | March 2020

ALIA Health Libraries Australia (ALIA HLA) Executive has made a statement of support to health librarians and health library workers. ALIA HLA has also worked with ALIA on the COVID-19 Live Literature Searches webpage

Special PD deal for Institutional Members 

ALIA | March 2020

Our Institutional Members have indicated an increased need for Professional Development opportunities, as staff duties are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, ALIA has prepared a special package of three archived issues of PD postings, the 24 March edition, and issues for April, May and June. PD Postings features a curated selection of professional reading, recordings, and webinars, and is a Member benefit for Personal Members of ALIA. For the cost of one personal membership ($360), Institutional Members can provide this PD package to all of their staff. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please contact

An update from Blue Shield Australia 

Blue Shield Australia | 27 March 2020

Blue Shield Australia, of which ALIA is a founder member, has published an article on the possibility of GLAM organisations donating gloves if called upon by government bodies and a further article 'Closed by COVID-19 – Checklist for GLAMs and Historical and Heritage Sites'. 

ALIA Information Online 2021 Conference

ALIA Information Online 2021 | 24 April 2020

The call for proposals for ALIA Information Online 2021 is officially open. You can learn more on the conference website. The deadline for proposals is 24 April 2010. 

Changes to ALIA Allied Membership criteria

ALIA | March 2020

The criteria for joining ALIA as an Allied Field Member have been widened to include those working in the broader GLAM sector. For more information see the website. 

ALIA Victoria online trivia

 ALIA Victoria | 3 April 2020

ALIA Victoria is running online trivia on 3 April 2020. For more information see the website. 

AusLibChat: Knowledge Industries Need Queering (KINQ)

 ALIA NGAC | 7 April 2020

Sign into Twitter at 9:00pm AEDT on 7 April 2020 to join the AusLibChat discussion on Knowledge Industries Need Queering (KINQ)

World Intellectual Property Day 2020

World Intellectual Property Organization  | 26 April 2020

ALIA is pleased to support World Intellectual Property Day on 26 April 2020. ALIA has cosigned a letter calling for the safeguarding of cultural heritage. 

Reading and learning at home during COVID-19

Several organisations are providing video and audio content for caregivers and their children during COVID-19. These organisations include Story Box Library, Redgum Book Club, and BorrowBox

Library connections

Good Reading Magazine | March 2020

Good Reading Magazine has created the webpage, 'Connect with your Library', which lists the majority of Australian public and state libraries with links to their digital resources. 

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. 

Libraries continue to support their patrons 

Libraries across the nation are pivoting to change how they stay connected with their patrons. Including these NSW libraries Inverell Shire Library, Dungog Library, and Kempsey Shire Library; as well as Bundaberg Regional Libraries in QLD; and the State Library of WA which is offering 'mystery boxes'. Please let us know how your library continues to support your community by emailing us at

Public libraries make design award shortlist 

Architecture AU | 25 March 2020

Two NSW public libraries, Darling Square Library and the Marrickville Library and Pavilion, have made the shortlist for the Australian Interior Design Awards, public design category.

National Library of Australia Fellowships

National Library of Australia | 29 May 2020

The application date for Fellowships at the National Library of Australia has been extended until 29 May 2020. For more information see the webpage. 

The Great Story Swap

Indigenous Literacy Foundation | 2 September 2020

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation is once again hosting the Great Story Swap, set to occur on 2 September 2020, where participants swap a favourite book in exchange for a gold coin donation to raise money for the foundation. For more information see the website. 

An update from the Children’s Book Council of Australia

The Children’s Book Council of Australia | March 2020

The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) has announced its Book of the Year Awards Shortlist. The full shortlist can be seen on the website. You can see the video on the shortlist on YouTube. Additionally. CBCA has postponed the hugely popular Book Week to term four of the school year due to COVID-19, more exact dates will be announced at a later date. 


Library staff adapt to working digitally in the US

EdSurge | Jeffrey R Young | 27 March 2020

Library staff across the US are adjusting to working from home and supporting their patrons online. 

No late fee for book returned after 86 years

Birmingham Live | James Rodger | 25 March 2020

A retired school teacher recently realised that he failed to return a copy of Peg the Rake by Eliza Humphreys to Carnegie Library in Ayr, South Ayrshire, UK, after 86 years. The library has waived the late fee and told him to keep the book. 

The current landscape of research libraries and emerging technology

Association of Research Libraries | 23 March 2020

The Association of Research Libraries has released the report, 'Mapping the current landscape of research library engagement with emerging technologies in research and learning'. 


ALIA/HLA and CILIP/HLG Leadership Exchange Bursary recipient

ALIA HLA and the CILIP/HLG | 24 March 2020

The recipient for the joint ALIA/HLA and CILIP/HLG Leadership Exchange Bursary is Helen Baxter AALIA (CP) Health, Clinical Librarian, Health Sciences Library at Austin Health & Mercy Hospital for Women, VIC. Helen has been awarded this bursary in recognition of her proven track record of professional commitment beyond the personal career sphere. Helen has said the following in accepting the bursary 'I firmly believe the health library profession has enormous potential to be pivotal contributors to the future delivery of evidence-based health care. We will need to be adaptable as automation software for the management of large evidence reviews becomes ubiquitous work flexibly with all health disciplines, and a broad knowledge base of the local healthcare sector will remain critical for health librarians to assist in tailoring often vast volumes of evidence to a local, clinically-relevant context'. 
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.

Free online safety presentations

Be Connected | 27 April 2020

Be Connected is running a free online presentation on staying safe online on 27 April 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. 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


Leading others to lead: the importance of staff empowerment in times of change 

Library leaders can use these insights as they work with their staff to implement change at their libraries.

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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