Part 3—Parliamentary Library

Parliamentary Librarian’s review

The Australian Parliamentary Library’s services are established under the statutory office of the Parliamentary Librarian with the following functions[1]:

  1. to provide high quality information, analysis and advice to Senators and Members of the House of Representatives in support of their parliamentary and representational roles; and
  2. to undertake such other responsibilities within the joint Department, consistent with the function set out in paragraph (a), as are conferred in writing on the Parliamentary Librarian by the Secretary of the joint Department with the approval of the Presiding Officers.

Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary Library

The Library Committee membership for 2010–11 was:

The Hon. Dick Adams MP (Joint Chair)
Senator Russell Trood (Joint Chair)
Senator Guy Barnett
Senator Catryna Bilyk
Senator Doug Cameron
Senator Steve Fielding
Senator Steve Hutchins
Mr Russell Broadbent MP
Mr Nick Champion MP (from 25.10.10)
Mr George Christensen MP (from 25.10.10)
The Hon. David Hawker MP (to 19.7.10)
Ms Sharryn Jackson MP (to 19.7.10)
Mr Daryl Melham MP
Mr Robert Oakeshott MP (to 19.7.10)
Mr Graham Perrett MP (to 19.7.10)
Mr Craig Thomson MP (from 25.10.10)

The Hon. Dick Adams MP (Joint Chair), Roxanne Missingham (Parliamentary Librarian)

The Hon. Dick Adams MP (Joint Chair), Roxanne Missingham (Parliamentary Librarian) and Senator Russell Trood (Joint Chair)

The Library Committee met on 18 November 2010, 24 March 2011 and 23 June 2011. The Committee discussed:

  1. additional funding of $500,000 in the 2010–11 Budget, and again in 2013–14, ‘to enhance the capacity of the Parliamentary Library to assist non-Government parties in developing policies in the lead-up to Federal elections’;
  2. the Joint Select Committee into the Parliamentary Budget Office;
  3. international trends in parliamentary library and research services;
  4. the Australian Parliamentary Fellowship;
  5. Parliamentary Library Strategic Review;
  6. Parliamentary Library Staffing Review;
  7. digitisation of Library collections;
  8. the resource agreement between the Parliamentary Librarian and Secretary of DPS; and
  9. revised Operating Policy and Procedure Communicating with government agencies.

Achievements 2010–11

The Library’s vision is an informed Parliament supported by a Library that delivers services to meet client needs. Achievements are described against the Library’s strategic priorities.

Create the 21st century Parliamentary Library and research services

A major focus for the Library is creating services and products that meet the needs of Senators and Members and their staff, and the Chamber departments in supporting Senators and Members, in the 21st century.

A strategic review of the Library was undertaken with the following terms of reference:

To review:

  1. the changing needs of senators and members for the Library’s services, using the 2010 and 2007 client assessments and other information collected as the review progresses, in particular to consider the need for information, analysis and advice on budgets and government expenditure;
  2. international trends in the need for and provision of research and library services to parliaments;
  3. how the Library can most effectively deliver its services, including relevant and accessible e-services, within the available budget; and
  4. what innovations and structural changes should be made to provide optimal research and library services for the Parliament of Australia.

The review team comprised:

  1. Library members: Ms Judy Hutchinson, Ms Nola Adcock, Dr Luke Buckmaster, Ms Slobodanka Graham, Mr David Watt and Ms Catriona Bryce.
  2. External members: Mr Chris Reid (Assistant Clerk Committees, Senate), Ms Robyn McClelland (Clerk Assistant Table, House of Representatives), Professor Robin Stanton (Pro Vice-Chancellor E-strategies ANU) and Ms Moira Fraser (NZ Parliamentary Librarian and President IFLA section on Library and Research Services to Parliaments).

Consultation sessions were run with staff of the Chamber departments and the Library, and the review was discussed with the Library Committee. The report focused on the following topics.

Premise 1: The Parliamentary Library is expected to provide information and research services to senators and members in support of their parliamentary and representational roles, with priority given to their Chamber related work.

Quality and timeliness
Premise 2: Parliamentary Library research services should be of a consistently high quality and delivered in a timely way.

Premise 3: The Parliamentary Library should ensure that its information services and resources can be easily found by its clients and in a form that is useful to them

Premise 4: The Parliamentary Library should ensure that its clients are aware of the services available to them and how to use them.

Premise 5: Parliamentary Library information services and resources should be of continuing relevance to Library clients.

Premise 6: Parliamentary Library services should be responsive to the emerging information and research needs of Library clients.

An action plan has been developed for 2011–13 to implement the recommendations of the review. The recommendations are also reflected in the Library’s 2011–12 Business Plan.

Following the Federal election, the Agreement for a Better Parliament: Parliamentary Reform between the Australian Labor Party, Coalition and Independent members included the following commitment.

The Speaker will arrange for an external review of staffing levels within the Department of the House of Representatives Committee Office and the Parliamentary Library.

A staffing review of the Parliamentary Library was conducted by HBA Consulting with the following terms of reference:

  1. determine the level of need for library services including through measures of demand for research work, using the key performance indicators and feedback from clients via Library surveys;
  2. determine the required staffing resources and levels for delivery of these services; and
  3. any workforce issues in terms of development and succession planning for skills that are in short supply.

The review included considerable consultation with Library staff, the Chamber departments, the Committee and client feedback through the last two client assessments.

The report was considered by the Library Committee, the Presiding Officers and the Parliamentary Library Executive. The recommendations were accepted and will be relevant to:

  1. the scope of the Client assessment (due to occur in 2011–12);
  2. the development of the workforce plan for 2011–15;
  3. further consideration of the adequacy of the resources to provide research services that meet the needs of Parliament;
  4. skills for delivery of online services; and
  5. digitisation of collection material, in particular radio and television programs.

Knowledge transfer to Parliament

Significant achievements in the year included the creation of a pre-election policy service with the funding allocated in the 2010–11 Budget ($500,000) to the Library ‘to assist non-Government parties in developing policies in the lead-up to Federal elections’. The service operated against operating principles discussed and approved by the Library Committee at its meeting of 17 June 2010.

The pre-election policy unit (PEPU) handled 11 requests. Of these, 10 were for modelling. One consultant’s report was purchased. Other requests were considered to be ‘business as usual’ and referred to relevant staff in the Research Branch for responses. An independent evaluation of the service was carried out by Mr Stephen Bartos of LECG Consultants. Key findings of the report included the following.

  1. The services have the potential to add value to the development of sound and workable policies by non-government parliamentarians. However, the timing of the introduction of the service shortly before an election meant that the potential was not fully realised in 2010.
  2. There is an unmet need for a comparable service to be available to parliamentarians on an ongoing basis. This is likely to be overtaken by discussions on the proposed Parliamentary Budget Office, outside the scope of this evaluation. Nevertheless many of the lessons for the future would be equally applicable to that new organisation.
  3. In the event that resource constraints prevent establishment of an ongoing source of costing and modelling support, an earlier timetable for the provision of such a service—12 to 18 months prior to the last available date for calling of a Federal election—would be an improvement. This would require shifting the allocation of funding already shown in the forward estimates from the 2013–14 financial year to 2012–13.;

Recommendations from the report included the following:

  1. In the event a parliamentary budget office (PBO) is established, its brief should include provision of the kinds of assistance in 2010 such as costing and economic modelling.
  2. Reflecting the iterative, interactive nature of policy development, this assistance should be available to parliamentarians on an ongoing basis.

The review of the use of external experts to build collaborative relationships with organisations and research experts working on public policy and parliamentary issues was finalised. An action plan will be developed.

Publications of the Library were recognised by our clients and the community as of high value. Australian Policy Online ranked six Library publications in the most read research reports and commentary pieces during 2010.

  • Overall top 10: Boat arrivals in Australia since 1976: January 2010 update by Janet Phillips, Harriet Spinks
  • International reports 2010: Australia’s foreign debt—data and trends by Tony Kryger
  • Overseas students: immigration policy changes 1997: May 2010 by Elsa Koleth
  • Multiculturalism: a review of Australian policy statements and recent debates in Australia and overseas October 2010 by Elsa Koleth
  • Politics reports 2010: Australian Government assistance to refugees: fact v fiction by Luke Buckmaster
  • Social Policy reports 2010: Asylum seekers and refugees: what are the facts? by Janet Phillips

A working group investigated the use of web2.0 technology to better inform our clients in a timelier manner. The Parliamentary Library blog FlagPost was fully piloted with linkages to the Library’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Blog entries are up to 900 words on a topical issue. Clients have commented on the advantage of short, informative, impartial and timely pieces. Use is growing, see Figure 3.1 below.

Figure 3.1—Monthly views of the FlagPost blog

Figure 3.1—Monthly views of the FlagPost blog

Connect clients with information

The Library’s collection of print and electronic resources continued to grow to meet the needs of clients, particularly in emerging policy areas such as climate change and security. The percentage of the Library’s collection available in digital form—so clients can have easy access to material wherever they are located—increased from 26% at the end of June 2010 to 38% at the end of June 2011.

The 43rd Parliament saw a major focus on developing knowledge and awareness of the Library’s services in new Members of Parliament. Information sessions were provided as a part of the new members training program. New Members of Parliament were each allocated a Library contact officer to assist them and their staff find and use the Library’s services and products.

To provide easier access to the Library’s print and digital collections, work commenced on setting up a federated or ‘one stop’ access system using new software widely used in the academic and national library community, Summon. A small team worked on implementation and the product aiming to launch it to clients early in 2011–12. It gives clients the ability to more easily find material acquired by the Library in a single click.

The Parliamentary Library has large digital collections and has a strategic goal to digitise more material of interest to the Parliament as resources permit.

The primary repositories for the Library’s digital collections are ParlInfo Search and the Electronic Media Monitoring Service (EMMS) system, with a smaller subset of books or web pages being stored in a separate electronic repository as an adjunct to the Library’s catalogue. Preservation of the content of these repositories is assured through regular processes of back-ups and off-site storage.

The Library has archives of paper or pre-digital media audiovisual material that it has identified as likely to be of ongoing interest to Senators and Members. Progressively, this material will be digitised and added to the permanent digital collection. This work has commenced on a small scale. In 2011 the Library established a set of criteria for digitisation which were presented to the Library Committee for discussion. The factors that the Library considers when undertaking digitisation projects include:

  1. current demand–how often are clients requesting the material in its pre-digital format?
  2. potential use–if the content was more easily accessible would use increase?
  3. preservation/useability—is the content fragile or likely to be unusable in the foreseeable future?
  4. costs of digitisation–what can be done at a local level using available staff/equipment and what is a large scale project that would involve an external provider?
  5. storage; and
  6. staff skills.

Digitisation in 2010–11 included:

  1. press releases: a sample of approximately 3,000 press releases from the 1960s and 70s were digitised; this work will continue as resources permit;
  2. radio and television broadcasts:
    on-demand from clients individual pre-2004 programs were digitised from analogue recordings; a systematic program covering a broader selection of material from this collection will commence in 2011–12;
  3. party political documents (party policies, major speeches): this collection has content in print back to the 1940s and online from the 1996 Federal Election. A sample set was digitised this year, a systematic program will commence in 2011–12; and
  4. on demand, from the Parliamentary Authors’ Collection Mr Tanner’s Sideshow: dumbing down democracy was digitised; a systematic program of digitising this unique collection will commence in 2011–12.

The digitisation of Hansard was completed through a DPS project. Until mid-2010, Hansard was available online only from 1981. Commencing in 2009–10, over 600,000 pages of Hansard (from 1901 to 1980) were digitised and are now available online through ParlInfo Search for full searching. This year the final component, xml storage and presentation, was completed.

Refurbishment of the Ground Floor Reading Room and adjacent Newspaper Reading Room was planned and commenced in 2010–11. This work was the first outcome of a review of Library accommodation.

Older compactus units used in the Main Library and basement storage areas were upgraded to meet occupational health and safety standards, and new units were built and installed as part of a longer-term strategic management of the Library’s print collections.

Support the Parliament’s engagement with the community and democracy

Over 100 participants from around the world, including all but one Pacific nation, attended the International Symposium ‘Fundamental to Democracy: Parliamentary Library and research services’ held in March. Associated events included a United Nations Depository Libraries workshop; an International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Workshop on Transparency, Good Governance and Freedom from Corruption; and capacity-building workshops on communicating with clients and building web/intranet-based services in parliamentary libraries.

Together, these events were successful in:

  1. creating well informed and capable library and research staff;
  2. building a strong international network for further communication and support;
  3. meeting specific needs of participants, for example many Pacific clerks had asked their staff to develop knowledge of digitisation;
  4. revitalising the Association of Parliamentary Librarians of Asia and the Pacific (APLAP) with a new committee comprising representatives from the Pacific and Asia; and
  5. establishing strong links with the UN and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that can support further activities and programs.

The Library has contributed to the Pacific Parliamentary Network established from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Meeting of Pacific Parliaments held in Auckland on 9 and 10 August 2010. Responses have been provided to several research questions from the network.

Significant work occurred in the Parliament of Australia website replacement project.

International Symposium ‘Fundamental to Democracy: Parliamentary Library

Use technology to support better services

Media services: news clips

In August 2010, LAST (Library Authoring System and Thesaurus) went into production. This is the authoring system for library database content in ParlInfo Search (newspaper clippings, press releases, articles, political party documents, Bills digests and other Library publications). The Parliamentary Library Thesaurus is managed through LAST.

The system provides:

  1. automated selection (currently applied to news clips supplied by Media Monitors Australia); and
  2. automated indexing using Thesaurus subject heading (currently applied to all news clips added from 28 August; to be applied retrospectively to the indexing backlogs following further programming changes and testing).

The automated processes are reviewed by indexers.

Client service outcomes include that daily newsclips are being published with automatically assigned major subject terms 7 days a week directly to ParlInfo Search by 7:30am each morning. The previous semi-automated process added clips progressively one at a time from 8am to 2pm or later, with subject indexing following the selection process rather than being simultaneous.

The Parliamentary Library selects news clips of interest to the Parliament, available every day through ParlInfo Search. A service was developed to provide news clips of interest to Senators online, the Senators’ daily news clips. At the end of the year, a similar service was in trial for Members of the House of Representatives.

Media services: radio and television programs

Radio and television programs are currently captured and made accessible using a system that is at the end of its life. A new system will be available in 2011–12. The replacement system is one that will also be used to record broadcasts of the Parliament. This year, considerable work occurred on the specifications and design of the new system.

Client enquiries management

A new system was purchased to replace the current system used to record client enquiries, the Parliamentary Library’s Time and Information Recording System (TARDIS). The new system is a commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) product used by many university, state and government libraries and the National Library of Australia. One of the important aspects of the old and new systems is access management that ensures access to information about client enquiries is restricted and an audit trail of all access is maintained. The system will operate in much the same manner as the previous system and will provide information for the Committee and for other reporting needs.


The Library is now publishing selected publications as eBooks. The format enables publications to be easily read on devices such as iPads. The first eBook was the Anzac Day Kit 2011 publication, which was also published in a mobile version. The Budget briefs have also been published as eBooks, individually and as a kit. Senators and Members will have access to a greater number of Library publications in eBook format in the coming year. Feedback suggests that Senators and Members are increasingly using iPads and similar devices. Some work will need to be done in the coming year to ensure that Library services can be found and used effectively on these devices.

Strategic and Workforce Planning

Seventeen ongoing staff left in 2010–11, a separation rate of 12.5%. This is higher than separation rate of ongoing Library staff for the previous year of 7.3%.

The main reasons for separation from the Library during 2010–11 were age retirement (6 staff, 35% of separations), transfer/promotion (5 staff, 29% of separations) and resignation (5 staff, 29% of separations). One staff member took a voluntary redundancy.

Resignations included staff retiring shortly before their 55th birthday (so called ‘54/11’ resignations) taking up a superannuation advantage from the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (CSS).

A major factor in staff separation was career development with the promotion (transfer) of staff to other agencies including other parliamentary departments. For the newer research assistant category promotion is expected because of their skills and knowledge development in the parliamentary environment. In considering workforce planning, the Library is reviewing ways to make it more visible as a preferred employer.

The Library’s workforce planning includes, wherever possible, succession planning through mentoring and development of in-house expertise to replace retiring staff.

The Library’s executive leadership group undertook a team skills development program. The Team Management Profile system was used as a tool for the development program. It provided useful insights into individual preferences and will be used in a number of sections. Planning for 2011–12 development activities include a leadership program for Library managers.


Rowena Billing started working at the Parliamentary Library in 2001 and has worked in many different roles prior to commencing her current position as the Executive Assistant to the Parliamentary Librarian in 2008.

During the last three years as an Executive Assistant, Rowena has been involved in many exciting projects and activities. In March 2011, the Parliamentary Library hosted an International Symposium ‘Fundamental to Democracy: Parliamentary library and research services’. Rowena played a significant role in the organisation and coordination of this event, including designing and maintaining an event website; creating and coordinating an online registration form; organising catering and other arrangements; as well as overseeing the administration and ensuring the smooth running of the event. Approximately 100 delegates from within Australia, Asia and the Pacific attended the Symposium and it was regarded as a great success.

Rowena has also been involved in other interesting projects within the Parliamentary Library, including the recent digitisation of Hansard; the development of a new time recording system for the Library’s client work; and coordinating the statistical information provided in the Library’s Annual Reports.

The role of an Executive Assistant has become more diverse over the years and is no longer solely an administrative position. Rowena enjoys the diversity of her role and looks forward to future challenges and upcoming projects.

Parliamentary Library overview

Office of the Parliamentary Librarian

The Office of the Parliamentary Librarian comprises the Parliamentary Librarian, an Executive Assistant and the Director, Client Relations.

Relations with clients are managed by the Director, Client Relations, who provides orientation and training services for Senators, Members, their staff and other parliamentary staff.

Research Branch

The Research Branch (RB) provides information, research and analytical services to Senators and Members and their staff, parliamentary committees and the parliamentary departments to support parliamentary or representational duties (services are not provided to constituents or for commercial purposes).

The range of services provided includes individually commissioned information, research and advisory services for clients and research publications.

Information Access Branch

The Information Access Branch (IAB) develops and manages access to print and electronic resources. These resources include books, serials, information databases, electronic publications developed both within the department and acquired externally, off-air recordings, transcripts and related materials.

Access to services is also provided through the Parliamentary Library’s Central Enquiry Point and Ground Floor Reading Room (GFRR).

IAB staff select, acquire, catalogue, index and provide access to collection material. They are also responsible for publishing for DPS.

Report on performance

Program 1—Library Services


Program 1 aims to provide an effective knowledge centre for the Parliament through the provision of information, analysis and advice. These services are provided through two subprograms:

  1. Subprogram 1.1—Research services. These services include responding to requests from individual parliamentary clients for information and research, and the production of general distribution briefs and publications; and
  2. Subprogram 1.2—Information access services. Information services are provided to the Library’s clients by acquiring and providing access to information resources, through the selection, processing and indexing of material for library and media databases in ParlInfo, and by publishing print and electronic works.

Performance is assessed using indicators that cover quality, quantity and price. Indicators, performance results and relevant comments are shown against each of the subprograms.

Subprogram 1.1—Research services

Figure 3.2—Subprogram 1.1—Research services—deliverables
Deliverable Measure Performance


2009–10 2010–11

Individual client requests

Percentage of primary clients (Senators’ and Members’ offices, including Ministers’ offices) using the service (target: 98%)




Number of individual client requests (target: 16,000)




Self-service requests

Number of online uses of the Parliamentary Library’s publications, including the Parliamentary Handbook and General Briefs and Publications, through ParlInfo Search and the Internet (target: 6,000,000)




General briefs and publications

Number of general briefs and publications produced (target: 220)




Client training and seminars

Attendance at training courses and events (eg Vital Issues seminars) (target: 500 attendees).




Indicator—Client requests

During 2010–11, consistent with the previous years, all of the Library’s primary clients (Senators’ and Members’ offices, including Ministers’ offices) used the client request service at least once—exceeding the target of 98%.

There was a significant decrease in the number of direct client requests—approximately 10.7 per cent, compared to the previous year. Self-help use of library publications is being utilised and the reduction in client requests shows that these services are heavily valued.

Indicator—General briefs and publications

The number of publications increased significantly primarily due to the implementation of a new publishing platform, the Parliamentary Library blog, Flagpost. There were 128 blogs written and posted in the financial year. The blogs are short, timely, analytic works of up to 900 words, which provide clients with up-to-date information on a current topic. Blog posts undergo a review process and are approved for release by senior Library staff.

Hours spent on publications and client enquiries were very similar to the previous year. Hours on client services to parliamentary committees, parliamentary departments and reciprocal arrangements decreased by approximately 29 per cent.

The Library responded to both complaints—clarifying the services available in one case, and apologising and reviewing service-quality control mechanisms in the second case.

Indicator—Client satisfaction with requests and general briefs and publications (GBPs)

As reported last year, client satisfaction with the Library’s service in the 42nd parliament rose by 4%, based on the 2009 DPS Client survey. The next client assessment will occur in 2011–12.

Figure 3.3—Subprogram 1.1—Research services—price indicators
Deliverable Measure Performance

Cost of research services

2008–09 2009–10 2010–11

Average cost per individual client request




Average direct cost per self-service client request (staff time only)




Total cost of subprogram 1.1




Figure 3.4—Distribution of client service hours by service type Figure 3.4—Distribution of client service hours by service type
Figure 3.5—Subprogram 1.1—Research services—key performance indicators
Key performance Indicator Measure Performance


2009–10 2010–11

Client satisfaction with requests and general briefs and publications (GBPs)

High level of customer satisfaction (target: 90%)




Client service delivered to timeliness service standard (target: 95%)




Number of complaints from clients




Subprogram 1.2—Information access services

The services contributing to this subprogram include:

  1. the Library collection;
  2. online full-text content such as news clippings;
  3. media services—desktop access to television and radio;
  4. commercial databases; and
  5. client services.
Figure 3.6—Subprogram 1.2—Information access services—deliverables




2008–09 2009–10 2010–11

Material added to Library databases

Number of items added to the Library’s Electronic Media Monitoring Service and to ParlInfo Search databases (target: 140,000)




Material added to Library collection

Number of new titles (books and serials) added to the Library’s catalogue (target: 4,200).




Percentage of titles (books and serials) in Library’s collection available to clients online in full text (target: 30%).




Use of the Library collection and databases

Use of the collections and databases, including loans from the collection, radio and television programs from the Electronic Media Monitoring Service, and from ParlInfo databases (target: 3,800,000 searches)




Indicator—Material added to Library databases

The target for the number of items added to the Library’s Electronic Media Monitoring Service and to Library databases in ParlInfo Search was 140,000 and this was exceeded as 190,430 items were added. Two factors influenced this growth. Firstly, the Federal election held
21 August 2010 led to a hung Parliament and this has led to an increase in the volume of news clips that refer to the Parliament. Secondly, new automated processes used for the selection and indexing news clips implemented in August 2010 (the weekend after the election) have made it easier to add a greater number of relevant news clips than had been possible in the previous, more labour intensive, environment.

Indicator—Material added to Library collection

The target number of new titles (books and serials) added to the Library’s catalogue was 4,200 and this was slightly exceeded with 4,270 items being added.

The percentage of titles available online (full text) increased from 26% to 31%. This increase was achieved through the purchase and installation of a service that provides links to serial title catalogue records to their electronic equivalent in aggregator services that the Library subscribes to. In 2011–12, the Library will be assessing the usefulness of eBook aggregator services with the aim of increasing the online availability of eBooks relevant to the information needs of the Parliament.

Indicator—Use of the Library’s collection and databases

The target figure of 3,800,000 uses of the Library’s collection and databases may not have been met with 3,171,461 uses recorded. However, this figure is not a comprehensive reflection of use as for a variety of reasons data was not collected for the full months of November 2010, March 2011 and April 2011. Corrective action has since been put in place to ensure the all data is collected each month.

Clients access the Library’s databases through ParlInfo Search. Many external commercial databases to which the Library subscribes are available through the Library’s Intranet and the Senators’ and Members’ Services Portal. A resource discovery service, Summon, was in trial throughout the year.

Figure 3.7—Subprogram 1.2—Information access services—price indicators




Cost of information access services

2008–09 2009–10 2010–11

Average cost per item added to the Library’s collection




Average cost per item added to the Library’s databases




Average cost per use of the Library’s databases and collection




Total cost of subprogram 1.2




Figure 3.8—Subprogram 1.2—Information access services—key performance indicators

Key Performance Indicator



Client satisfaction with information access services

2008–09 2009–10 2010–11

High level of client satisfaction (target: 90%)




New titles (books and serials) added to the Library’s catalogue within timeliness service standard (target: 90%).




New items added to the Library’s Electronic Media Monitoring Service and the ParlInfo newspaper clippings database within timeliness service standard (target: 95%)




Number of complaints from clients




Electronic Media Monitoring Service (EMMS)

The Electronic Media Monitoring Service (EMMS) has been in use in its current iteration since 2004. Throughout 2010–11, work continued on moving the existing EMMS to a new platform that will be easier for clients to use.

Indicator-Client satisfaction with information access services

As reported last year, client satisfaction with the Library’s service in the 42nd parliament rose by 4%, based on the 2009 DPS Client survey. The next client assessment will occur in 2011–12.

The targets for timeliness in adding new items to the Library’s collections were not met. For the catalogue material, this is a direct result of the impact on a small team of unplanned and unavoidable staff absences combined with vacant positions that could not be filled rapidly. For the EMMS and the ParlInfo Search newspaper clippings database, the problems arose from intermittent technical failures.

Parliamentary Library Financial Report[6]

Actuals ($)

Actuals ($)





Depreciation expense



Direct expenditure

Total Salaries



Research Branch



Information Access Branch



Office of the Parliamentary Librarian
(2010–11 includes pre-election policy service)



Other employee expenses



Staff training, travel and related expenses



Collection (information resources)



Other expenses



Asset maintenance (software licences/maintenance)



Total cash expenditure (excluding expenditure from capital funding)



Collection (expenditure from capital funding)



Total expenditure (including expenditure from capital funding)




Office of the Parliamentary Librarian



Research Branch



Information Access Branch



Pre-election Policy Service


Total (including expenditure from capital funding)



Staffing (full time equivalents)



Research Branch



Information Access Branch



Office of the Parliamentary Librarian






Figure 3.9—Library Organisational Chart at 30 June 2011

Parliamentary Library Organisational Chart as at 30 June 2011


[1]. Parliamentary Service Act 1999 section 38B (1).

[2]. A Denial of Service attack on ParlInfo Search resulted in problems for the statistical reports on use of web services for February and March 2010.

[3]. This statistic has been reviewed and corrected to include all self-help including more recently developed services.

[4]. A Denial of Service attack on ParlInfo Search resulted in problems for the statistical reports on use of web services for February and March 2010.

[5]. Issues with external user stats data in resulted in problems for the statistical reports in use of web services for November 2010, further problems occurred in March and April 2011.

[6]. The figures presented in the expenditure section of this table are all cash figures and represent the direct cash outgoings attributable to the Parliamentary Library.