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Special libraries directory 2021, 5th edition

ALIA’s Special Libraries Working Group has put together this directory of special libraries to support collaboration. The directory is not a comprehensive listing, but it does identify like-minded individuals working in similar situations. The aim is to enable people to share non-competitive information, insight, expertise, ideas and resources; to improve the sense of connectedness in a sector with many one-person libraries, and to strengthen special libraries’ advocacy network. 
 
This directory is an update of the 4th edition published in early 2021.

National survey on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment in Australian libraries: Research report

This report provides outcomes of the research project National Survey on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment in Australian Libraries conducted in the period of 2020 to 2021.
 
The research aimed to find out more about the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people employed in Australian libraries and identify the current employment types across a range of library settings. It also sought to find out more about the location of libraries with Indigenous staff across states, territories, and public, academic, and school, or other specialist libraries. By conducting the study, we have been able to identify the trends in current employment roles, identify gaps, and understand more about the experiences of Indigenous people working in these libraries.
 
The report provides an outline of the demographic information provided by participants to the online survey and a summary of the major themes identified from data collected in the semi-structured interviews.
 
The research has shown there are unique opportunities for the library sector to support the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australian libraries and develop new pathways for current staff to access leadership roles and others to enter the profession. It has also identified significant gaps in support in this area and provided recommendations for future action and research.

University funding for Australian teaching hospital libraries, 1993 to 2001

9th Specials, Health and Law Libraries Conference, 26–29 August 2001 Melbourne: Rivers of Knowledge
 
Abstract:
 
The funding relationship between universities and their teaching hospitals is fundamental to the developmentof the larger teaching hospital libraries. Such funding therefore affects the quality of library service touniversity staff and students in teaching hospitals and flows on to influence hospital library development generally throughout Australia. Very little is known nationally about this relationship, and so an extensive study of CAUL libraries was undertaken across Australia in 1993, 1995 (follow-up only) and 2000 byMonash University Library and Southern Health Library Service, Melbourne with additional comments tobring the study current to June 2001. The questions posed in the survey included: the nature of funding provided; whether such funding was provided by university faculty, library or both; any formal agreements between universities and their teaching hospital libraries; the nature of what was purchased with the funds provided; the details of any on-site access by teaching hospitals to university databases. The results of these surveys are given in detail, indicating that: funding is provided by universities around Australia; both university libraries and faculties provide funding; curiously, most universities do not have formal agreementswith their teaching hospitals; funding is spent on a variety of resources and staff; access is generally provided to University electronic resources for teaching hospital libraries. A brief comparison is offered between the results of the 1993 and 2000 surveys. It is hoped that this study will provide the background of information needed for rational planning and decision-making by university and hospital library staff and administrators in developing teaching hospital libraries in Australia.

New Media Lab – New customers

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
Abstract:
 
Introduction
 
In July 2013 City of Gold Coast Libraries opened a Media Lab – a digital creation space for individual and collaborative group work or training sessions, in a new long anticipated very handsome library building that replaced an undersized facility. The community were eagerly watching the growth and development of the site but I think it is fair to say, the building exceeded expectations – and that was just the start. The Mayoral opening attracted much attention from existing customers and new and different audiences – the potential for the new and engaging ways to build cultural community capacity was launched!
 
Methods
 
Activating a new Media Lab was an exciting and adventurous project that has no end. We acknowledged our ambitions at the outset were to deliver on Council’s new Culture Strategy which included a facilitator of digital media creation, a connector of software and hardware with customers and experts, within a capacity building framework. The reach would extend beyond our known customers and community and challenge us to step out of our comfort zone to continue to grow new connections in diverse environments.
By actively seeking skills and expertise outside our existing staffing, we continue to grow our own skills while at the same time allowing community members, new business start-ups, and other interested people of all ages to adopt some buy-in to the facility.
 
Relevance to theme
 
We have secured interest and support from previously non-users and non-user groups. Our contacts extend from small business operators needing 3D prints of proposed kitchens, teens ‘pimping their ring tones’, graduated digital media students wanting business and creative exposure, and tech heads sharing their coding and robotics not to mention the partnerships with other creative forces (e.g. series of short film production with the Gold Coast Film Festival). This will continue to evolve as our contacts grow and change and as they help mould the topics and knowledge shared and as our audience needs change. As facilitators not always teachers, community input is vital to the deliver a healthy, vibrant and creative digital media lab.

New Media Lab – New customers [slides]

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) discusses the Media Lab digital creation space at the City of Gold Coast Libraries in 2013 and how the library's new site provided the potential for the new and engaging ways to build cultural community capacity.
 

Seams and edges: Dreams of aggregation, access & discovery in a broken world

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
Abstract
 
Visions of technological utopia often portray an increasingly ‘seamless’ world, where technology integrates experience across space and time. Edges are blurred as we move easily between devices and contexts, between the digital and the physical.
 
But Mark Weiser, one of the pioneers of ubiquitous computing, questioned the idea of seamlessness, arguing instead for ‘beautiful seams’ — exposed edges that encouraged questions and the exploration of connections and meanings.
 
With discovery services and software vendors still promoting ‘seamless discovery’ as one of their major selling points, it seems the value of seams and edges requires further discussion. As we imagine the future of a service such as Trove, how do we balance the benefits of consistency, coordination and centralisation against the reality of a fragmented, unequal, and fundamentally broken world.
 
This paper will examine the rhetoric of ‘seamlessness’ in the world of discovery services, focusing in particular on the possibilities and problems facing Trove. By analysing both the literature around discovery, and the data about user behaviours currently available through Trove, I intend to expose the edges of meaning-making and explore the role of technology in both inhibiting and enriching experience.
 
How does our dream of comprehensiveness mask the biases in our collections? How do new tools for visualisation reinforce the invisibility of the missing and excluded? How do the assumptions of ‘access’ direct attention away from practical barriers to participation?
 
How does the very idea of systems and services, of complex and powerful ‘machines’ ready to do our bidding, discourage us from seeing the many, fragile acts of collaboration, connection, interpretation, and repair that hold these systems together?
 
Trove is an aggregator and a community; a collection of metadata and a platform for engagement. But as we imagine its future, how do avoid the rhetoric of technological power, and expose its seams and edges to scrutiny.

Seams and edges: Dreams of aggregation, access & discovery in a broken world [slides]

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) examines the rhetoric of ‘seamlessness’ in the world of discovery services, focusing in particular on the possibilities and problems facing Trove at the National Library of Australia.

ALIA Groups Handbook

This document provides information related to establishing and managing an ALIA member group. ALIA Groups are formed by ALIA Members and are either geographically or interest based. While some Groups are localised, a number of them operate nationwide.
 
ALIA Groups are run by energetic and committed ALIA Members, who generously volunteer their time to create an active and vibrant network of activities that extends right across Australia. They are supported to do this by ALIA staff from the national office in Canberra and where possible by locally based State Managers. 

INELI-Oceania Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

This document represents a statement of intent between INELI-Oceania, Australian Library and Information Association, Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa, National and State Libraries Australasia, National Library of Australia, National Library of New Zealand, State Library of Queensland, Public Libraries Victoria Network, Yarra Plenty Regional Libraries and Auckland Libraries. 
The purpose of the MOU is to facilitate a mutually cooperative arrangement to support the implementation of INELI-Oceania leadership program designed to develop a network of leaders and innovators that contributes significantly to the future development of public libraries in the region. 

Postcards from the torrid zone: Using effective teamwork, story and gamification to create a vibrant suite of reusable learning objects

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
Abstract:
 
Introduction:
 
The James Cook University Library is heavily invested in online resources. In the 2012 Client Satisfaction Survey, a substantial number of respondents stated that they wanted to learn more about accessing databases, ejournals, and ebooks. There was a clear need to provide flexible delivery of training beyond the face-to-face sessions offered on campus. With three campuses across two countries and increasing numbers of off-campus students, it was important to develop outreach programmes to deliver information literacy (IL) support to students in diverse locations. Using a Student Services and Amenities Fees grant, a suite of re-usable learning objects (RLOs) was designed to provide asynchronous learning opportunities for our multimodal learners.
 
Methods:
 
The first step, creating a team to carry out the project, was the most challenging. We began with a large, committee-like team, but found the workflow difficult to manage. A smaller team, given dedicated time and space for the project, proved more effective. An environmental scan included an audit of the Library’s current online tools and those used by other institutions. We selected a combination of tools which would give us the most flexibility, including LibGuides and Articulate Storyline, and chose to adapt a modular format that had previously worked well. We developed a story to provide coherent themes for each module – basing our story on the adventure of a "Road Trip" (http://libguides.jcu.edu.au/roadtrip). Each module became a town in a fictional tropical region, and activities were designed to follow that theme. Using the principles of gamification, we rewarded people for completing the module by giving them games to re-enforce the key messages and presented a "certificate" for completing the module – in this case, "postcards". We created and repurposed existing RLOs. Some were "out of the box" applications of the tools, and some were coded by the team. We also outsourced some IT development and graphic design – enabling us to create a professional look for the package. Real postcards were designed to market the suite. The package was trialled by a number of small focus groups, given a soft launch mid-2013 and then refined for 2014.
 
Results:
 
By mid-2014, the Info Skills Road Trip had received over 17,000 hits. This programme is completely voluntary, without any subject embedding. Given the size of JCU, this shows great potential. Feedback has been highly positive – and indicates the resource has been particularly useful for those returning to study: “I am brand new to this and have not studied for many, many years, I found this to be very informative and interesting.”
 
Conclusion:
 
We found three elements in particular contributed to the success of this project: the creation of a small, dedicated team, hiring professionals to assist with technology and graphic design, and the use of “Story” and gamification to create an engaging through-line for the content. The Road Trip has been quite a journey, and has informed practice for future projects.
 
Relevance:
 
Our experience with developing this project can assist other libraries in the creation of online Information Literacy packages.

Postcards from the torrid zone: Using effective teamwork, story and gamification to create a vibrant suite of reusable learning objects [slides]

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) discusses the authors' experience designing a suite of re-usable learning objects (RLOs) to provide asynchronous learning opportunities for our multimodal learners. It was found three elements in particular contributed to the success of this project: the creation of a small, dedicated team, hiring professionals to assist with technology and graphic design, and the use of “Story” and gamification to create an engaging through-line for the content.
 

Quantifying the value of a university electronic press

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
Abstract:
 
Contemporary scholarly environments are subject to shifting technological, governmental, educational and legal drivers. There are new scholarly knowledge streams replacing traditional academic products - both outputs (publishing) and inputs (resources). The concept of a University Press is not new, however library-based electronic publishing is gaining momentum. There is a trend to link existing library skills and systems with institutional imperatives of deepening engagement and impact through curation and promotion of the work of their scholars and researchers. The barriers to entry in the electronic publishing market continue to drop and increasingly, the push for open access scholarship encourages Universities to offer publishing services.
 
The Griffith University ePress was established in 2009 to publish open access, peer-reviewed journals. In 2014, the ePress published five active titles, all of which have editors affiliated with the University. Resourcing is provided by the Division of Information Services (of which the library is a part). The aim of establishing the ePress was to increase open access to research findings and better serve scholars in research assessment exercises, especially in emerging disciplines. The time has come to gather the evidence: Has the Griffith University ePress met its aims? Can we quantify the value of the ePress? Is it sustainable? The business model relies heavily on being subsidised through existing library budget and staffing and service structures. What are the real economic and resource costs of the service? Are there emerging options and solutions that need to be considered? Can economies of scale be achieved?
 
A case study of the Griffith University ePress is used to determine contribution to institutional performance in the national research assessment exercise. The case study also establishes the total cost of ownership for the ePress; derives a per-unit cost to analyse the impact of scale; and compares the service cost with alternative library-based services: funding article processing charges and traditional journal subscriptions. While library as publisher would seem a good fit, evidence-based analysis is required to ensure the provision of a digital publishing service which is economically worthwhile, sustainable and adding value.
 

Quantifying the value of a university electronic press [slides]

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) discusses the case study of the Griffith University ePress to determine contribution to institutional performance in the national research assessment exercise. The case study also establishes the total cost of ownership for the ePress; derives a per-unit cost to analyse the impact of scale; and compares the service cost with alternative library-based services: funding article processing charges and traditional journal subscriptions. While library as publisher would seem a good fit, evidence-based analysis is required to ensure the provision of a digital publishing service which is economically worthwhile, sustainable and adding value.
 

Re-engineering our role: A case study of a corporate library at the cutting edge

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
Abstract:
 
Corporate librarians need to be relevant to the needs of the business in which they operate. In tough times, the corporate library is often the first to go, but how did this geographically disparate team get ahead of the game and become central to plans of the organisation? This paper will explore the journey that this team undertook, to be an integral part of the business, as well as developing their professional skills at the same time.
 
The paper will explore the methods undertaken to develop a cutting edge regional corporate library team and to develop highly skilled professionals, beyond what their training gave them. This will include providing an overview of the diverse business and the culture of the company. The paper will form a case study and focus on practical examples, including exposure and visibility as a form of marketing, business development research and current awareness, the design and delivery of a comprehensive regional training program, blurring of roles and moving into the corporate knowledge space and engagement with research as a means of innovation. It will also include how activity based working was trialled – to embed the team within the business, as well as having an input into the re-design of the physical space.
 
Diversification, investment from the leadership and a consultancy approach put the team on the road to success. This paper will look at the future of the information professional and library service in the corporate sector, as well as the new skills and approaches that every corporate librarian should consider to ensure relevancy and ultimately survival.

Re-engineering our role: A case study of a corporate library at the cutting edge [slides]

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) looks at the future of the information professional and library service in the corporate sector, as well as the new skills and approaches that every corporate librarian should consider to ensure relevancy and ultimately survival. Diversification, investment from the leadership and a consultancy approach put the team on the road to success.

Social media analytics in an imperfect world

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
Abstract:
 
Social media statistics are a fluid area. We explore the strategy of measuring social media, with specific case studies. What are the statistics which count? Are all ‘likes’ equal? Data will be from the State Library of NSW Public Library Services use of social media and the NSW Readers’ Advisory Working Group’s Twitter-based reading group.
 
The State Library has a few public library related social media channels, with a well-defined audience of NSW public libraries. We encourage the use of #nswpubliclibraries. The Twitter reading group focuses on a different theme each month and people tweet about what they are reading, watching or playing using the relevant hashtags (#rwpchat and the hashtag for that month’s theme). Data from both of these streams are captured and evaluated and used in planning.
 
Efforts to evaluate the effectiveness and the reach of these online conversations are not straightforward. One of the main barriers to measuring a Twitter-based initiative is that the tools, which are readily available to assist with the analysis of a particular set of activities change. The tools adopted for this initiative quantify hashtag use differently. There are variations in the number of Tweets recorded as contributing to a particular discussion. This workshop explores the reliability of such tools (including Archivist, TAGS explorer and Eventifier). The analysis of hashtags is vital to record both current performance, and continued growth, of the reading group. There will also be exploration of the effectiveness of the Twitter reading group’s blog and the posts that support each month’s theme (views, comments and sharing of posts) and the associated Pinterest account which has been established to support the various reading themes (analytics and benefits of collaborative pinning). Some of these tools are being used by Public Library Services, and the different results will be explored.
 
Although social media has been around for several years, there are still questions about how the data is analysed, as demonstrated in the recent academic work Twitter and society edited by Karen Weller. The different analytics tools present different results and allow the data to be seen and accessed in diverse ways.
 
The paper will have practitioner focused discussion of social media analytics. The authors will explore some of the possible meanings and look at what indicative conclusions can be drawn. We will be showing how the data from two different kinds of accounts may be interpreted, any influences on planning, and how not all likes and follows are equal. We will discuss the importance of evaluation of social media use, and how we need to be at the edge of thinking and planning to be effective in how we use and evaluation social media within libraries.

Social media analytics in an imperfect world [slides]

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) is a practitioner focused discussion of social media analytics. The authors explore some of the possible meanings and look at what indicative conclusions can be drawn about library use of social media. The authors show how the data from two different kinds of accounts may be interpreted, any influences on planning, and how not all likes and follows are equal. Finally the authors discuss the importance of evaluation of social media use, and how we need to be at the edge of thinking and planning to be effective in how we use and evaluation social media within libraries.

Sound barriers: Oral history, copyright, and the OHRRG experience at the State Library of Western Australia

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
Abstract:
 
Introduction: From 2010 to 2013 the State Library of Western Australian undertook a project to digitise its significant collection of oral histories. One of the key outcomes of this project was to make digitised oral histories available for access online; however copyright concerns were a major barrier to this outcome. Oral history as a medium is unique among the original materials collected by libraries, in that:

  • Copyright in oral histories is not clear-cut, and different communities seem to have different understandings of this; and
  • Oral histories are often bound by additional limitations, such as access and embargo agreements, informed consent practices, and privacy concerns

 
The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges of copyright and oral history, and share how SLWA addressed these challenges to make digitised oral histories available online.
 
Methods: Detailed analysis and desktop research was undertaken, into SLWA’s oral history collection, associated documents and existing agreements as well as relevant legislation, case law, and existing industry/community practices. Drawing on this, innovative approaches to the copyright issues inherent in digitising oral histories were developed, including:

  • Policy on risk management, the interpretation of legacy agreements, and the public benefit in making materials available online.
  • Oral history-specific protocols on when further permissions are or are not required.
  • Protocols for orphan works, and notice and take-down procedures.
  • Approaches for navigating the multiple interpretations of copyright in oral histories that exist within the community.

 
Results: It was found that there is uncertainty around rights in oral history recordings, in both a legal and practical sense, and a variety of approaches and understandings within the industry and community. While a challenge, this was not a barrier to achieving the outcomes of the project. The project’s target for making interviews available online was met in 2013, and additional interviews continue to be released to the public. As a result, the voices and memories of Western Australians dating back to 1875, including artists, intellectuals, business people, immigrants, soldiers, families and ordinary people, whose stories are often lost to history, are now available online for everyone in the world.
 
Conclusions: The uncertainty around copyright in oral history is inconvenient, but it is not insurmountable. Through an understanding of the history of your collection, planning, and a consistent approach, it is very possible to tackle the copyright barriers to making oral history interviews available. There also seems to be great support for libraries to make oral histories available – nearly every rights-holder contacted for permission gave it without hesitation.
 
Relevance: Copyright and intellectual property concerns are a major barrier for any mass digitisation or digital collecting project. This is particularly true with oral history, where there is uncertainty around where copyrights exist, who owns them, and what can therefore be done with the oral history. Understanding and overcoming these challenges extends the boundaries of what can be achieved in providing access to content for clients.

Sound barriers: Oral history, copyright, and the OHRRG experience at the State Library of Western Australia [slides]

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) discusses uncertainty around rights in oral history recordings, in both a legal and practical sense, and the variety of approaches and understandings within the industry and community. The author presents analysis of the oral history collection of the State Library of Western Australia. Through an understanding of the history of your collection, planning, and a consistent approach, it is very possible to tackle the copyright barriers to making oral history interviews available. 

Taking off the edges: Implementing a streamlined client identity management experience at State Library of Queensland

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
This conference paper details how SLQ has endeavoured to make registration and account management easier for clients and staff. Our new membership model, launched late January 2015, has challenged us to remove barriers by implementing a user-centric approach. This involved simplifying services offers across the whole library, iteratively designing a seamless and unmediated membership package. The final product makes registration, access and engagement with our systems and services easier, more convenient and personalised for our members.

Taking off the edges: Implementing a streamlined client identity management experience at State Library of Queensland [slides]

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) details how SLQ has endeavoured to make registration and account management easier for clients and staff. Our new membership model, launched late January 2015, has challenged us to remove barriers by implementing a user-centric approach. This involved simplifying services offers across the whole library, iteratively designing a seamless and unmediated membership package. The final product makes registration, access and engagement with our systems and services easier, more convenient and personalised for our members.

The changing role of the publisher in the 21st century

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
This conference paper discusses the role of the publisher, which has radically changed in recent years, accelerated by the speed of the delivery of content via the internet and the changing user behavior across a wide spectrum of disciplines. This paper will examine the circumstances in which the functions of the publisher of scholarly information have changed and the implications for the publisher of the future. The author will also analyze a number of recent market surveys on the key aspects of the changing landscape of scholarly publishing, including end-user study, higher education textbook market, industry and market trends.

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