||Craig Grimison, NSW general councillor (copyright)
Kaye Bartlett, NT general councillor (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs; library technicians)
Suzie Davies, QLD general councillor (local studies; special libraries; industrial relations and workplace issues)
Di Booker, SA general councillor (TAFE, information literacy)
Chris Richardson, TAS general councillor (health libraries; competency standards)
Jillian Beswick, WA general councillor (children's and youth services; governance)
Colette McCool, chair, Board of Education (school libraries)
||Reports from the above general councillors are included for information
||That General Council note the portfolio reports
Copyright portfolio report [Craig Grimison]
The report will be included in agenda Item 14.2.4 (ALIA Copyright Committee)
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders portfolio report [Kaye Bartlett]
- The ATSILIRN homepage in available on VICNET at http://home.vicnet.netau/!atsilirn/ Heather Moorcroft, Northern Territory University Library, is looking for someone to take over her responsibilities as administrator of the ATSILIRN e-mail list.
- The Fourth ATSILIRN Conference Opening doors is on 12-14 November 1997 at the State Library of Queensland. Details are on the homepage.
- NTU Library is starting to catalogue using the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Thesaurus, supplementary to LCSH.
- The community library workers' course being set up through the NTU and CREATE was sent to the Northern Territory Employment Training after some minor changes to the wording and a major change to the title. It was felt that the title was discriminatory in that it did not fit accreditation guidelines as its title restricted it to one group of people Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people. The required amendments have been made and the course given a new title - Certificate II in Work Place Skills (Remote Area Library Assistants). The changes are currently going through the NTU accreditation and then will go back to NTETA where the course will be processed out of session. Hopefully it will be registered within a few weeks.
Library technicians portfolio report [Kaye Bartlett]
- The NT Library Technicians organised a successful Competencies Workshop in August. There were twenty-five participants in Darwin and eleven in Alice Springs. We were lucky to have Marie Murphy come to the Territory to present the workshops, and her knowledge and delivery of the program were a major contribution to the success of the workshops.
- The 9th National Library Technicians' Conference held in Canberra in September was a great success. There were 509 human delegates and one of the four-legged variety who decided that the trade exhibition was a great place to visit! Positive feedback has been received from the trade exhibitors, one exhibitor said recently that he had so many queries he still hasn't been able to respond to them all. The Committee will be passing their experiences (both positive and negative) to the 1999 Committee. Some local issues have already been passed to the ACT Branch in relation to 2000 Conference. One issue that was beyond the control of the Committee, and of interest to the 2000 Committee, was problems with the buses. Due to cost they had to use the cheaper of the quotes, ACTION, which resulted in several problems. The proceedings are on schedule and should be available before Christmas.
- Twenty-two delegates from the Northern Territory attended the Conference. This is the largest contingent from the Territory at a conference apart from the 1995 Conference held in Darwin.
- All states have held post conference events to allow them to inform members unable to attend.
Local studies portfolio report [Suzie Davies]
The First National Conference was held in Perth in September, with the theme of Timekeepers: forging links in local studies. The conference aim was to enhance the knowledge and skills of local studies enthusiasts, and to promote co-operation and networking between individuals and organisations committed to the preservation of Australia's heritage. Features of the conference were publishing, family history research, local community history, archival history resources, management of local studies resources, and heritage houses and gardens. A printed version of proceedings will be available after the conference from ALIA Local Studies Section. Local Studies Section has a recently-established web page, with contact details for committee members. 1997 AGM is planned for December.
Special libraries portfolio report [Suzie Davies]
1. Conference Probably the biggest event on the Specials Section calender for 1997 was the 7th Specials, Health and Law Librarians' Conference, recently held in Perth. The conference was a substantial success for the Specials Section, and the conference organising committee must be congratulated for a completely professional job. Conference papers raised many issues all too familiar with special librarians around Australia. Both public and private sectors have undergone reductions of funding and resources, and subsequent staffing cuts. Given a less than positive budget outcome, too many senior managers of agencies and institutions have seen special or corporate library services as an obvious area to cut. Many cuts could have possibly been foreseen, with some library workers not taking a proactive enough approach to new organisational trends. However, many libraries affected involved distinctly proactive staff with rigorous and business-like marketing strategies, together with solid and vocal support from their client base. The conference stressed the need for library professionals to take advantage of the current climate, and diversify their skills base and career opportunities. Virginia Walsh released preliminary results from an ALIA funded survey of private companies on the value of corporate libraries. The conference dinner was a raging success!
2. New peak body National Specials Section has sent a submission to the Leadership Committee on issues concerning representation within the new peak body. There is a strong level of concern amongst small and one-person libraries that larger institutions may have an unfair advantage in regards to influence and voting rights over small special libraries. National Specials are awaiting further developments. One issue continually raised amongst Specials is the need for compulsory continuing education, together with the issue of the 'chartered librarians'. In recognition of difficulties of access by rural and isolated special librarians, Qld Specials has established a funding program for regional continuing education programs for 1998. Guidelines will be finalised by the start of 1998.
Industrial relations and workplace issues portfolio report [Suzie Davies]
1997 has not been an easy year for many library and information workers in Australia. Federal funding cuts have impacted strongly on regional services throughout Australia, and in particular in regional areas. Libraries in both the public and private areas have been closed. Many more have major cuts to budgets, or are currently undergoing reviews. For example, Mount Isa Mines corporate library in Mt Isa will close before the end of 1997, after a period of 45 years' service. Regional visits by Phil Teece are continuing to be supported by the membership. Many members receive much support from advice and practical assistance provided by Phil. Phil will visit Western Australia in early 1998. Whilst most states commented that they had no particular issues to raise, Qld provided specific information on the IR situation.
Qld A recent industrial issues has appeared in both public library services and TAFE libraries in Qld. Management have proposed agency restructures, which dramatically reduce the number of librarian positions, replacing them with library technician positions. There appears to have been little thought of applying appropriate qualifications to the tasks or skills required. The decisions appear to be purely financially based. Management in those organisations have decided that overall, library technicians are cheaper to employ than librarians. Discussions between representative unions and management are still continuing. However, little progress appears to be happening and staff involved are currently feeling discouraged about a positive outcome. Private sector salaries in library and information work appeared higher than in the public sector, but job security is less. Most institutional libraries had entered into discussions on enterprise bargaining, and some have signed agreements. Issues under discussion have been proposals for increased weekly hours of work, and translation of shift allowance to flat rates of pay. Most EB negotiations have been very slow to date. Outsourcing of special libraries is a concern at present within State government, especially its effect on job prospects, lack of autonomy, downsizing, etc. North Queensland special libraries continue to suffer from federal government funding cuts, with reductions occurring in staffing and services. Often vacant positions are filled for considerable periods, after staff of small libraries have transferred or left. Two federal special libraries have undergone efficiency/outsourcing reviews, but both survive to date.
TAFE portfolio report [Di Booker]
The TAFE Section held a most successful conference in Sydney in August. Over 150 attended and a report of the conference was published in the 24-30 September 1997 issue of Campus Review (attached to hard copy reports). The Tasmanian and Victorian Sections will jointly host the 1999 conference which will be held in Tasmania.
Information literacy portfolio report [Di Booker]
As reported in my TAFE Portfolio Report, planning is well underway for the joint Information Literacy Task Force, University of South Australia Library conference. The conference will be opened by Mark Latham, Shadow Minister for Education and Youth Affairs. Phil Candy and Barbara Lepani have accepted invitations as keynote speakers. The conference will be facilitated by Virginia Walsh and held at Canberra Institute of Technology on December 8-9, 1997. The focus of the program is information literacy as the foundation to lifelong learning and the role of professional association and unions in ensuring their members are lifelong learners, including through accreditation of courses and continuing professional education. A proposal for more 'permanent' status of the Information Literacy Task Force will be tabled at the General Council meeting.
Health libraries portfolio report [Chris Richardson]
The Helo-l listserv for health librarians has been replaced by aliaHEALTH and now sits on the ALIAnet server. This list is moderated by Cheryl Hamill and Rhonda Mayberry who also scan other international listservs and post selected items to aliaHEALTH. The winner of the 1997 Anne Harrison Award was announced at the Health Section AGM at the Perth Conference. She is Lorena Smimeos, deputy chief librarian at the Alfred Hospital Health Sciences Library. Her project for the award is to develop, test and publish a questionnaire and assorted documentation that can be used by health librarians to assess the use made of the Internet by their clients. Also, at the AGM there was some discussion concerning the location of the national executive for 1998-1999. This is usually located in the state which is holding the next conference. However, due to the small number of health librarians in Tasmania they have asked that another state take on that role. Western Australia have agreed to continue for a third year and it is expected that the state holding the conference after Tasmania will take over in 1999 and continue for three years. A further item that is causing some concern in health libraries is the question of physical/spatial standards for hospital libraries. A recommendation was passed at the AGM asking General Council to investigate the possibility of these standards being developed and given accreditation by Standards Australia.
Competency standards portfolio report [Chris Richardson]
Nothing to report
Children's and youth services portfolio report [Jillian Beswick]
New South Wales Section After several attempts I have finally arranged to have a face-to-face meeting with the National and NSW CYSS in Sydney on the Friday evening after November General Council. It will be wonderful to finally meet in person those that I have had numerous telephone conversations with over the past two years.
Victoria Section Planning is now complete for the final event in 1997, the biannual Children's Literature Weekend. It will be held on 15 and 16 November, and this year's theme is 'Bridging the gap' which aims to explore the literature that meets the transition from children's to teenage and then teenage to adult reading. Nominations for the 1998 committee members are currently being called for and will be finalised by early December.
Governance portfolio report [Jillian Beswick]
See By-Laws and Regulations Committee report
School libraries portfolio report [Colette McCool]
I have participated in teleconferences of the National School Libraries Section. Issues discussed were: ALIA Strategic Plan; the student's right to information (poster initiated by ASLA); Information literacy: the teacher-librarian's role; Teacher-librarian survey; and Conference update. State representatives were interested in progress reports on the formation of the new organisation resulting from the amalgamation of ALIA and ACLIS, and the Board of Education Forum. I represented ALIA at the ASLA Council meeting in Brisbane on 16 August 1997. Lively discussion centred around: the formation of the new organisation (ACLIS/ALIA amalgamation); the Board of Education forum; the piece of research being undertaken in South Australia, and identifying areas in which ALIA and ASLA can work co-operatively.
Kris Johnstone (president, National Schools Section) and Karen Bonano (president, ASLA) attended the education forum.