There were 12 themes that emerged from this report specific to the 1,500 public libraries in Australia. 1. 50:50 by 2020. 2. Reading: a national pastime. 3. New media. 4. Support for the creative economy. 5. Community created content. 6. It's not all about the book. 7. Maker spaces. 8. Enterprise hubs. 9. Online learning. 10. Everyone a member. 11. Local services through a national network. 12. The meaning of free.
There are some 1,505 public library service points across Australia, including 1,429 fixed point and 76 mobile libraries. These services are funded by local and state or territory government in New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia, and by the State Government in Tasmania and the ACT Government in Canberra.
Ten themes emerged from our consultation relating specifically to special libraries, including government, law, health, corporate, engineering, science, art and others. 1. Radical transformation. 2. Value proposition. 3. DIY information. 4. Ready to use. 5. A seat at the top table. 6. Centralise and embed. 7. Big data. 8. Digitisation. 9. Subject specialisation. 10. Space.
Special libraries comprise government, association, health, law, corporate, consulting firm, ICT, engineering, religious, science and technology, art, museum, agriculture, media and other libraries that serve departments, institutions, not-for-profits, charities and businesses. The word library doesn’t always appear in the title, instead some are called information services or research units, terms which also describe their main purpose and function.
There were five themes that emerged specific to collecting institutions - National, State and Territory libraries. 1. National treasures direct to your device. 2. Linked data enriches the experience. 3. The need for new legislation. 4. Managing volume. 5. Cultural participation.
The nation’s nine collecting institutions are the National Library of Australia, the State Libraries of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia, the ACT Heritage Library and the Northern Territory Library. The primary role of these libraries is to collect, preserve and provide access to the documentary history of Australia, including books, manuscripts, documents, images, maps and other materials, in print, digital and other formats. The collective body representing these institutions is the National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA).
Taking into account feedback received from library and information professionals, ALIA developed a set of key principles for the procurement and use of ebooks in Australian libraries. These basic principles will guide the sector’s response to government policy and commercial initiatives, support our lobbying and advocacy, and enable us to take the lead in areas over which we have direct control.
This paper discusses the future of collections, 50:50 by 2020, is now available. ALIA predicts that library print and ebook collections will establish a 50:50 equilibrium by 2020 and that this balance will be maintained for the foreseeable future. To see the supporting evidence and get an idea of what this will mean for libraries and library management.
In November 2013, ebooks were, metaphorically speaking, flying out of the door and ALIA made a bold statement that ‘library print and ebook collections will establish a 50:50 equilibrium by 2020 and that this balance will be maintained through to 2040, when the last print-only generation hits 50’. In less than two years, the initial ebook sales boom has settled and the book industry is predicting the ebook phenomenon will plateau at around 20–30% of books sales, with print books remaining the dominant format.
Australian libraries provide valuable support for Australian authors and publishers in many ways. Mllions of dollars worth of books and ebooks are bought every year. Authors are introduced to book buyers People who borrow books also buy them. People discover and rediscover the joy of reading, creating new audiences. Author talks in libraries are a useful source of income for writers and a good way to promote their work.