ALIA Submission into civics education, engagement and participation in Australia

ALIA Library


ALIA's submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters’ inquiry into civics education, engagement, and participation in Australia underscores the ways in which libraries support a democratic society. Namely, through 1) Resources to facilitate equitable access to information for all Australians, regardless of age, race, gender identity, religion, ability, or geographic location, 2) Collections and preservation of government records for government transparency and electoral knowledge, 3) Trained staff to develop skills in information literacy, digital literacy, and media literacy, and 4) Safe spaces for civics dialogue and social cohesion in a pluralistic society.
ALIA makes the following recommendations around these points: 

  • Federal Government funds initiatives in libraries to support digitally inclusive communities, including through collaboration with ALIA.
  • Federal Government Departments work collaboratively with ALIA to support Australia’s libraries and ensure all Australians can access quality public library collections.
  • The Federal Government commit to every Australian school student having access to a well-resourced school library run by qualified staff.
  • The Federal Government work with the Australian Media Literacy Alliance (AMLA) to develop and implement a national media literacy strategy.
  • The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development, Transport, Communications and the Arts and the Department of Home Affairs work with AMLA and ALIA to support capacity building for public libraries and public library staff in the areas of information, media and 
    digital literacy. 
  • The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development, Transport, Communications and the Arts works with ALIA on a small grants scheme for libraries to support media and information literacy education.
  • The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) should work with ALIA on a program of small grants to libraries that deliver electoral information and participation sessions.


Deakin, ACT: Australian Library and Information Association