View this email in your browser

January 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

Have you ever thought about nominating for the ALIA Board? Nominations close soon on 29 January 2021. We are seeking nominations for the following positions: President, and two general Board members. All personal financial Members of the Association as of 29 January 2021 are eligible to nominate for the Board.  

We have 68 great titles available for your library to choose from as part of the ALIA-run 2021 Online Storytime pilot. Register today at so your library can start making short videos of picture book readings from the growing list of books. 

Today is the day to take advantage of the ALIA institutional registration packages to attend ALIA's upcoming virtual conference Information Online 2021. Join the more than 1,000 attendees to hear from industry leaders and engage with the more than 40 exhibitors. Registrations close 5 February 2021. Contact for more information. 

We have many great public libraries in the running for the ALIA-run Australian Library Design Awards 2021. ALIA Members can vote for their favourite nominated library, and the library with the most votes will win the coveted ALIA Members Choice Award. Voting closes 8 February 2021. 

The timeframe for the Digital Health Literacy online free training has been extended until 31 March 2021. This nationwide initiative provides training to library staff on how users can navigate and understand the new Federal Government digital health initiatives, such as My Health Record and assists libraries to better support their communities, and engage with other likeminded organisations. Register your interest to undertake this free training by emailing

For Library Lovers’ Day 2021, ALIA is encouraging people to ‘make a date’ with their library to rediscover all the great things on offer. If people have fallen out of the habit of using their library service, it's time to tempt them back, whether that be virtually or in person - with safe physical distancing measures where needed.

Libraries are places where we explore possibilities as innovative spaces, remembering the past and imagining the future. So in 2021, Library and Information Week will be an opportunity for libraries to take ‘Adventures in Space and Time’, with National Simultaneous Storytime broadcast from the International Space Station. It will run from 17-23 of May, with the following themed days:
  • Monday: Careers Day
  • Tuesday: Library Technicians' Day
  • Wednesday: National Simultaneous Storytime
  • Thursday: Fundraising Day
  • Friday: Join ALIA Day
We have a limited number of space themed pins, stickers and bookmarks, and a very special Library Technicians' Day pin, so pre-order your LIW2021 merchandise now.

Now is the perfect time to purchase National Simultaneous Storytime 2021 merchandise. We have posters, promotional packs, Astronaut in training packs, bookmarks and stickers. Check out the website for more information. NSS2021 is supported by Scholastic Australia, the Office of the Chief Scientist and the Australian Space Agency. 

The deadline for the May/June issue of INCITE may seem far away but deadlines can sneak up on the best of us. Now is a good time to start thinking about your entry. The theme of this issue is Open Space –to reflect on how libraries continue to create spaces that are open and available to their communities - whether adapting physical spaces to connect in times of pandemic, or creating new and innovative online spaces. Please direct any questions to

ALIA regularly reviews and updates its policies and guidelines. Most recently ALIA reviewed Foundation Knowledge, Skills and Attributes relevant to Information Professionals working in Archives, Libraries and Records Management and the APLA-ALIA Standards and Guidelines for Australian Public Libraries
Want more ALIA and industry news? Subscribe to ALIA Weekly.
State and territory news

Public libraries 

According to OverDrive, readers worldwide borrowed some 430 million e-books, audiobooks and digital magazines across 2020, a 33% increase over 2019 based on data drawn from more than 65,000 libraries and schools worldwide. You can read more on the website

The OCLC REALM Project is undertaking tests which examine how colder and warmer temperatures may impact survivability of the infectious COVID-19 virus on surfaces. NSW public library staff can read the latest news on the NSW Government website on how to complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan for your library. 

Library staff are encouraged to participate in the annual #1Lib1Ref campaign which asks library professionals around the world to add missing references to articles on Wikipedia. For more information see the website. 

Libraries can take advantage of a 14 day free trial of the Biographical Database of Australia. This database is a research tool for historians and genealogists comprising transcripts and indexes of original records and published biographies of deceased individuals who arrived in, or were born in, Australia. To request the trial please contact


Reading and walking have great benefits and Libraries ACT has combined them to create a walking route with a difference. The Story Walk features local author, Erin-Claire Barrow’s retelling of Cinderella and starts at Belconnen Library. Follow the specified route along Lake Ginninderra to read part of the story, complete with illustrations, at each stop. More information including a map and audio of the story is available on the Libraries ACT website. Additionally, Belconnen Library has a new mural.


The NSWPLA Executive moved to support NSW libraries that wish to be part of the Online Storytime 2021 Pilot Program meaning the NSWPLA Executive will meet the costs for all NSW libraries that wish to subscribe to the Online Storytime 2021 pilot program. The Executive is aware of the take-up and popularity of the 2020 COVID-19 Online Storytime agreement, which ended on 31 December 2020, and wants to provide every library in NSW with the opportunity to continue extending the reach of online storytimes into communities across the state during 2021.
Bathurst Library has hosted a Speechie Library Talk; Central West Libraries is hosting a summer reading event; Dubbo Library is hosting a youth trivia night and build and borrow sessions; Eurobodalla Library is running an exhibition chronicling the early years of granite mining in the shire; the Griffith and Murrumbidgee Mobile Library is back in service; Hawkesbury Library Service will be restarting many of its popular programs; Inner West Libraries worked with author Will Kostakis on a series of writing workshops; Kempsey Library is seeking feedback on the future of its library; Parkes Library and Cultural Centre is temporarily closed due to flood damage repairs; Parramatta Library is running the 1,000 Books Before School initiative; Wagga Wagga City Library is set to undergo a three-stage upgrade of the facility; and Wellington Library is running holiday games. 

The New South Wales Public Library Association chose Lucky’s by Andrew Pippos as the book for the inaugural NSW Reads campaign which will run until 17 February 2021. Participating libraries include City of Ryde LibrariesLithgow Library, Macquarie Regional Library and Riverina Regional Library. Readers can join in an Instagram read-along via @nswlibraryevents, take part in an online panel discussion on Greek-Australian cafes past and present, and meet the author, Andrew Pippos, online in a Lucky’s ‘In Conversation’ with Amy Heap from Riverina Regional Library. 

The NSWPLA Awards and Scholarships were announced: 

Kath Knowles Emerging Leader Award: Prue Fogerty, Shellharbour City Council

The Kath Knowles Emerging Leader Award is presented biennially providing the opportunity for a staff member within the NSW public library network, who has been working in the library profession for less than 10 years, to fulfil a professional development need focusing on leadership development.
Innovation Outreach Services Awards:
The innovation in Outreach Services Awards focus on the provision of library programs across the state from marketing to excellence and innovation in outreach services programs. Broken into four categories based on population, the Innovation in Outreach Services Awards are awarded annually in recognition of highly successful outreach programs by NSW public libraries.
Recipients of the 2020 Awards were:
Less than 10,000 population – Bland Shire Library
10,000 – 30,000 population – Greater Hume Council
30,000 – 1000,000 population – Tweed Heads Library
Over 100,000 – Campbelltown City Library
NSW 2020 Trainee of the Year: Emily Jones, Greater Hume Council (Riverina Regional Library).


Mount Isa Library will soon have a new library master plan following input from the community 


The Adelaide Writers Week sessions will be streamed to many SA public libraries in March 2021. 


Ararat Library is restarting its outreach program for residents in rural towns; bookings are open for the City of Melbourne Libraries trans and gender diverse writing group; Moonee Valley Libraries has a seed library available across all five branches, Robinvale Community Library will open its doors for the first time on 18 January; Whitehorse Manningham Libraries is running the fundraising campaign Give the Gift of Reading, and Yarra Plenty Regional Library has new extended opening hours. Additionally, Melton City Libraries and Yarra Libraries are engaged in a Game of loans: Battle royale reading competition; and after 14 years as CEO of Geelong Regional Library Corporation, Patti Manolis OAM AALIA will be stepping down from the role at the end of March 2021. 


A rare second-edition of an historic book has been re-discovered at the City of Vincent Library.


Libraries Tasmania is collecting COVID-19 stories from members of its community.

Other news

Interested parties can now access First Nations creation stories thanks to funding through the Indigenous Languages and Arts program.

In book awards news, the shortlists for the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship 2021 and the Indie Book Awards 2021, and the winner of the Small Press Network Book of the Year 2020 were all announced.

The Russell Prize for Humour Writing 2021, the Western Australian Premier's Book Awards; and the Pixie O'Harris Award have all called for nominations. Information about the upcoming 2021 Australian Book Industry Awards is now live on the website.

International news

Applications are open for the IFLA PressReader International Library Marketing Award for 2021. Read the latest 10-minute International librarian post, Check out the IFLA ideas store. You can also listen to the IFLA CPDWL Podcast Project, the first episode features Christine Mackenzie, IFLA President and CPDWL Co-Chair Gill Hallam as host. IFLA has released a statement on open and good governance, and its key findings of the WLIC 2021 surveys. It is also celebrating the Public Domain in 2021, and it's seeking feedback via a survey to update the IFLA Intellectual Freedom Statement. The deadline for responses is 31 January 2021.

In the US, the Institute of Museum and Library Services has released information about public library usage across 2017. The New York Public Library has launched its new Storyline program where patrons can call the library to hear a children’s book performed by one of the library's staff; Indianapolis Public Libraries will no longer be charging overdue fines; in California the West Hollywood Library will be renamed after late US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; and the Chicago Tribune has published the article 'As pandemic continues, libraries create and expand services, forego others'.

More than 500 American authors and literary publishers have signed a letter urging US publishers not to sign book deals with former members of the Trump Administration. Read The Conversation article, 'To publish or not to publish? The media’s free-speech dilemmas in a world of division, violence and extremism'. 

In Canada, the most popular books borrowed from the Greater Victoria Public Library's branches were announced and The CBC has published the article, 'Why there's no consensus on library book quarantines'. 

In Europe, a library been refurbished in Latvia to encourage children to read, in the UK, the Government has announced a fund to help tackle loneliness which will run through organisations including libraries and radio stations. Vienna's newest public library is set to open in 2021; and the oldest public library in Greece, built in 1628, is set to be renovated. In Lublin, Poland, the Biblioteka na Poziomie is celebrating after being lauded for its interior design at the prestigious European Property Awards. 

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
APLAnews is an initiative of the Australian Public Libraries Alliance. Can't get enough ALIA and industry news? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

We want to know what you would like to see in this newsletter, and how you would like to see it. Send your comments to
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.
Send your comments to

Copyright © 2021 Australian Library and Information Association, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to APLAnews.

Our mailing address is:
Australian Library and Information Association
9-11 Napier Close
Deakin, ACT 2600

Add us to your address book

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.