The Library’s Strategic Plan (2015–16 to 2019–20) sets out five priorities:
- retaining our position as our clients’ preferred and trusted source of high
quality information, analysis and advice
- ensuring a high and consistent quality in services
- increasing digital access and service
- supporting the Parliament’s engagement with the community and the ongoing
development of parliamentary democracy, and
- strengthening our staff’s capability.
The strategic plan is supplemented by annual business plans which set out the key
deliverables and service standards/targets for that year. These are approved
each year by the Presiding Officers as annexures to Library’s Resource
How we retain our position as our clients’
preferred and trusted source of high-quality information, analysis and advice
Evaluation of the
Parliamentary Library’s services
The Library conducts a formal review of the needs of clients once in every
Parliament to assist it to:
- measure satisfaction levels with library and research services
- gain insights into the use of services, and
- determine the direction of future information and service delivery.
Following a Request for Quotation, the contract for the Library’s evaluation for
the 45th Parliament was awarded to Uncommon Knowledge, a Canberra-based
consultancy which had also undertaken the 2015 evaluation. Uncommon Knowledge
conducted face-to-face interviews with 46 parliamentarians and their staff, and
a focus group and one in-depth interview with parliamentary staff. This was
followed by an online survey that was completed by 160 parliamentarians and
their staff, and 34 committee staff.
Pleasingly, the overall response of parliamentarians and their staff—both to
Library staff and services—was extremely positive, with satisfaction ratings
very slightly higher than in the 2015 evaluation (94 per cent compared to 93 per
considered Library staff to be hard-working, professional and friendly and our
services to be of a high quality. The Library was seen to perform very well on
all measures of service delivery. Importantly, 99 per cent said they would
recommend the Library’s services to a colleague (up from 97 per cent in the last
Consistent with the last evaluation, satisfaction among committee staff was lower
at 82 per cent, though this had improved from 78 per cent in 2015; however,
their likelihood to recommend the Library to a colleague was high (100 per
cent). Committee staff also spoke highly of the responsiveness, professionalism
and quality of the Library’s services.
The two issues raised consistently across the qualitative and quantitative
research were a perceived variability in the quality and timeliness of research
services. These were also the main issues raised in the previous evaluation.
However, there was also an increase in the number of respondents who thought the
Library’s services had improved since that time. Reasons given for this
improvement in service included time taken to understand the requests, promotion
of services, building of relationships, and innovation.
The evaluators made nine recommendations addressing
- quality control
- client outreach, and
- client request tracking.
The evaluation report was discussed by the JSCPL in February 2018. The findings
were also discussed at a whole of Library meeting in March. The report has been
published on the Parliament of Australia website to help ensure transparency in
the Library’s operations.
Responding to the recommendations arising from the evaluation will be priority in
the Library’s business plans for 2018–19 and 2019–20.
tradition: the signing of the Parliament’s Bible
In March 2018, the President of the Senate, Senator the Hon. Scott Ryan,
added his name to the roll of presiding officers in the Parliament’s
The Bible is an important but little-known piece of parliamentary history and
tradition. The Bible and its accompanying lectern were presented to the
Parliament in September 1919 by Governor-General Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson on
behalf of the British and Foreign Bible Society. The gift commemorated the
‘signing’ of the peace treaty which ended the ‘World Wide War’.
What makes the Bible a particular treasure is that it contains the signatures of
all the Presidents and Speakers of the Parliament of Australia.
President Scott Ryan and signatures (Auspic)
The 45th Parliament: welcoming new senators and members
Support for new parliamentarians remained a focus of the Library’s work. As a
matter of practice, the Library assigns a contact officer to each new senator
and member. Thirteen new parliamentarians took their seats in the 2017–18
financial year. Library contact officers introduced them and/or their staff to
the diverse range of Library products and services, and demonstrated how the
Library could support them in their day-to-day work. The Parliamentary Librarian
participated in inductions for parliamentarians and their staff organised by the
chamber departments. Individual orientation and training sessions were also
offered throughout the year to new staff.
The success of this outreach is evident in the fact that 100 per cent of
parliamentarians used the Library’s services in 2017–18 notwithstanding
the changes in representation across the two chambers.
Support to Parliament’s consideration of the Budget
Supporting parliamentary scrutiny of the Federal Budget is an annual priority for
the Library. 2017 saw a new addition to our budget-related services, with three
of Australia’s leading economists participating in a seminar on the strategic
context of the Federal Budget and key issues in public finance, debt, trade and
superannuation. So well was this received that the Library convened another
panel session for the 2018 Budget, with Professor Warwick McKibbin AO (Vice
Chancellor’s Chair in Public Policy and Director of the Centre for Applied
Macroeconomic Analysis in the Crawford School of Public Policy ANU) and Dr John
Edwards (Non-resident Fellow, Lowy Institute and Adjunct Professor with the John
Curtin Institute of Public Policy at Curtin University).
The Library also held its traditional budget day seminar, with research
specialists from the Library’s Economics Section briefing attendees on the
Government’s budget strategy, the fiscal outlook, and how to find information in
the Portfolio Budget Statements.
Both events were well attended with 68 pass holders attending the panel seminar
and 100 attending the Library’s budget day event. Both events were also
recorded. The Library also published its annual Budget
Review 2018–19 as well as five Budget-related Quick Guides.
Senators and members and parliamentary committees, and the staff who support
them, are able to request information or commission research and receive
confidential, tailored responses by an agreed deadline, in person, by phone,
email, or through detailed written advices. The 2017 client services evaluation
found that research services remain the most often used of all Library services,
with 94 per cent of parliamentarians and their staff using them to some
In 2017–18, Library staff answered 11,656 such requests (11,681 in
2016–17), providing one-on-one or group briefings, reports and memoranda, maps,
statistics and other research products for individual senators and members, as
well as analysis and information in support of committee inquiries and
Table 21: Client requests completed in 2017–18
|Members of the House of Representatives
|Departments, reciprocal arrangements and other
This metric is further discussed in the performance report.
Each year the Library produces a broad range of general distribution publications
to provide parliamentarians and their staff with authoritative and timely
information and analysis of legislation and of current issues relevant to public
policy and administration. These include short, topical FlagPost blogs,
statistical bulletins, research papers, and Bills Digests. The 2017 client
evaluation found that 87 per cent of parliamentarians and their staff, and 88
per cent of departmental staff made use of the Library’s publications.
In 2017–18, the Library issued 295 new or refreshed research products,
including 133 Bills Digests and 59 research papers. In 2017, three Library
research papers again figured in the Analysis and
Policy Observatory’s ‘most viewed’ lists, all in its category of
international relations: Update
on Australian Government measures to counter violent extremism: a quick
‘turnbacks’ in Australia: a quick guide to the statistics since 2001;
in Australian refugee law and policy: the Abbott and Turnbull Coalition
This year, the Library published an innovative new type of research
publication—one that reflected the Library’s work to improve the Parliament’s
access to information and expertise on topical issues in public policy. Oversight
of intelligence agencies: a comparison of the Five Eyes nations was a
collaboration between parliamentary researchers from Australia, Canada, New
Zealand and the United Kingdom. Each group prepared the section covering their
own country, and remained separately responsible for the content and accuracy of
the contributions. The paper represents a good model for sharing the expertise
and insights that each country has of its own legislation and institutions. We
are grateful to our colleagues for their contributions to the paper and look
forward to exploring opportunities for similar projects on topics of shared
interest to our parliaments.
The Library also commissioned a number of research papers from external experts,
two of which were published in 2017–18: Office
of profit under the Crown (Prof. Anne Twomey) and The
ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, Sydney, March 2018: issues and
implications (Dr Frank Frost). Professor Twomey also presented a
Parliamentary Library lecture on Taking
stock of section 44 of the Constitution.
Enhancing client service: Library special briefings
In 2017–18 the Library convened three policy roundtables, focusing on
China, Indonesia and Japan.
Like the Library’s long-standing lecture and seminar series, the roundtables
bring notable speakers to the Parliament to give senators and members and their
staff the opportunity to hear, first-hand, expert opinion on a range of
currently relevant topics. However, they offer the benefits of small group
discussion, recognising that a less formal format facilitates discussion and
affords greater scope for exploring issues. All parliamentarians are invited to
these sessions, but the Library particularly encourages senators and members
with portfolio or policy interests in the specific field to attend.
Support to parliamentary committees
The Library has increased its focus on providing support to the operations of
parliamentary committees, in recognition of the central role they play in the
work of parliamentarians—particularly in the examination of legislation and
policy issues. The Library can be of considerable assistance at the initial
scoping stage of an inquiry; providing the policy history of particular issues;
and filling gaps in the evidence provided to the committee through submissions
During the reporting period, Library staff proactively contacted secretariats at
the commencement of major inquiries to discuss possible areas of assistance,
allowing the Library to provide more timely and targeted support. In the case of
one large and complex inquiry with a tight reporting time, the Library provided
substantial ongoing technical assistance to the secretariat. Senior research
branch staff also met with committee secretaries several times a year to discuss
service offerings and any issues or problems.
How we ensure a high and consistent quality in
Review of Key Performance Indicators
As an adjunct task to the evaluation of the Library’s services, Uncommon
Knowledge was contracted to undertake a review of its key performance indicators
to help ensure they remain appropriate to measure the Library’s performance,
capture emerging areas of work and reflect best practice internationally.
In conducting the review, Uncommon Knowledge drew upon interviews with senior
staff of legislative libraries in Australia, Canada, the European Union, New
Zealand, the United Kingdom (House of Commons Library) and the United States of
America (Library of Congress). Desk research was also undertaken on these
libraries as well as those of the House of Lords (UK), the Republic of Ireland,
and the United Nations (Geneva and New York).
The report found that the Parliamentary Library ‘has a robust performance and
reporting framework which is in line with the Commonwealth Government’s
requirements for good governance.’
The JSCPL considered the report at its meeting in June 2018.
Improving research quality and client focus
As reported in the previous Annual Report, the Library implemented a number of
strategies to enhance the quality and consistency of its research output,
particularly client advices and support to the work of committees. Consequently,
it was pleasing to see the most recent client evaluation of our services report
an increase in the number of respondents who consider Library services have
improved: +six per cent of parliamentarians and their staff, and +14 per cent of
Parliamentary committee staff.
Proactive management of the Library collection
The Library maintains a carefully curated collection to meet the contemporary
needs of the Parliament—such selectivity being enabled by the Parliament’s ready
access to the National Library of Australia’s extensive holdings. The Library
aims to keep the collection at around 145,000 monograph titles. It also holds
around 45,000 individual print and electronic journal titles, including those
contained in the large aggregated subscription services. New material is
acquired, and outdated, damaged or redundant material is discarded regularly,
while materials on Australian politics, legislation and constitutional matters
are retained permanently.
The Library’s budget for information resources is managed throughout the year to
ensure resources are spent on a collection which remains relevant and focused.
The major part of the Library’s collection expenditure is on current (and
digital) sources of information: journals, reference materials and news
In 2017, the Library additionally undertook a full review of the collection to
ensure acquisitions represent best value for money and add depth and breadth to
the collection. The review examined usage statistics, collection overlap data,
and vendor licensing and access terms and conditions. It was the first such
review since 2012.
How we are expanding digital access and service
Growth of online resources
The Library has, in recent years, increased the range of digital resources so
that senators and members have access to this information regardless of time or
location. By way of example, approximately 75 per cent of the collection budget
was spent on electronic resources in 2017–18. The 2017 evaluation of
Library services showed clients appreciated the move to online services and use
of emerging technologies.
The percentage of the Library’s collection available in digital form increased
from 42.2 per cent at the end of June 2017 to 45.5 per cent at the end of
June 2018. A little over 89 per cent of titles in the serials collection, and
almost 30 per cent of monograph titles are available in full text.
Use of these electronic collections is highest when Parliament is sitting; this
has been a consistent trend over several years.
Better management of our digital collections
Increasing digital access and services remains a key priority. As part of its
digital delivery strategy, the Library is working to ensure it has the necessary
policy and procedures, ICT infrastructure, and staff capabilities to collect,
preserve and deliver innovative digital content. The Library’s Framework for the
Digital Delivery of Library Products and Services, Digital Preservation
Framework and Digital Preservation Policy were endorsed by the JSCPL at its 20
March 2017 meeting. The Library is implementing the strategic priorities
identified in the Framework for the Digital Delivery of Library Products and
Services and the Digital Preservation Framework.
Achievements in 2017–18 included piloting EZproxy to allow greater access
to Library products and services outside the parliamentary network and the
protected data network. This service will be launched to clients early in the
new financial year.
The Library continues to bed down the new digital policies and procedures; a
working group has been established to evaluate the Library’s digital
preservation framework, policies and procedures.
‘Parliamentary Handbook’ online
In 2017–18, the Library completed the final elements of the ‘Wadsworth’
system, which contains for the first time the digitised biographies of all
Commonwealth parliamentarians since 1901 (numbering over 1,700), including their
state and territory parliamentary service (if any). Named ‘Wadsworth’ in honour
of Arthur Wadsworth, the first Librarian of the Commonwealth Parliament, this
new system will provide the biographical information that users see on various
parliamentary web pages as well as being searchable through the ParlInfo Search
system. It will enable faster and more flexible and accurate searches, and
support the provision of a wider range of historical information on the
Having completed the framework, data content, software development and testing
stages, ‘Wadsworth’ is scheduled to be moved into production in the first months
Library mapping services
The mapping team in the Library creates and prints custom maps for clients using
specialised mapping software that is able to display wide combinations of
thematic data, such as socio-economic or infrastructure data, and electoral
information. The Library obtains mapping information from online data
sources such as data.gov.au, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the
Australian Electoral Commission, Geoscience Australia, state and territory
governments, and industry sector portals and websites.
The Library’s mapping service is extremely popular, with over three quarters of
all parliamentarians’ offices requesting mapping products during the year. In
2017–18, the mapping team received approximately 500 requests for mapping
products, with the number of maps for each request ranging from 1 to over 20.
Overall, the team created almost 2,765 unique digital maps, including welcome
pack maps prepared for each electorate; and printed just over 1,435 hard copy
ParlMap—mapping services for clients
In 2017–18, the Library completed the ParlMap project, which offers clients
an online self-service mapping system. ParlMap enables clients to create their
own maps using Australian Census and election results, and includes all current
and historical Commonwealth electorate boundaries.
The system is based on the NationalMap architecture managed by the Department of
the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Library will continue to work with the
developers to add further improvements over time.
Digitisation of the Library’s collection, both contemporary and historic records,
remains a high priority.
In 2014–15 the Parliamentary Library began a program of preservation digitisation
of its information files dating from the 1950s to the early 2000s, a unique
collection of Australian political and public policy history still regularly
used by clients, Library staff and occasional visiting scholars. Digitisation of
historic press releases and the Prime Ministers’ collections was completed the
first year, and the biographical ‘condolence’ packs in 2015–16. Digitisation of
the news clips collection has been under way since 2014, with ten million pages
digitised by the end of 2017–18 (2.75 million being digitised in 2017–18
at a cost of $490,000 from the Library’s capital allocation).
The Library aims to quality assure and upload 20 per cent of the digitised files
to ParlInfo Search during 2018–19 and to complete the digitisation of the
Parliamentary Authors collection.
As an adjunct project, the Library has also been digitising its large collection
of radio and television news and current affairs programs. This collection of
pre-2004 audiocassette tapes and audio-visual tapes amounts to 55,000 hours of
video footage and 38,000 hours of audio recordings. In many cases these are
unique. During 2017–18, the Library digitised a further 5,806 hours of
analogue material, significantly exceeding its target of 5,000 hours. In total,
16,160 hours has been digitised since the commencement of this project.
This work is made possible by specific exemptions in the Copyright Act 1968.
Parliamentary Papers Series 1901–2012
In 2015–16, the Library embarked upon a multi-year project to digitise the
Parliamentary Papers Series (PPS) bound volumes from 1901 to 2012—some 25,000
reports amounting to around 2.4 million pages. The PPS comprises significant documents
that have been presented to Parliament, and subsequently ordered to be printed.
They form part of the public record of the proceedings in each Chamber.
Digitisation of the PPS will help ensure that it is preserved for the future and
will also enable broader and easier access as it becomes available online as a
series for the first time.
In 2017–18, Library staff met their target of quality assuring and
uploading the first 40 per cent of the digital files to ParlInfo Search,
with the whole project expected to be completed in 2018–19.
Once the project is complete, a full set of TIFFs and metadata files will be
provided to the National Library of Australia for ingestion into TROVE.
Historic Hansard: Remediation project
During 2009–10 the Parliament undertook a major project to digitise Hansards from
1901 to 1980. Four hundred and thirteen volumes—comprising 610,534 pages of
debate—were digitised by the project’s end and published in pdf and XML format.
In 2016 the Library discovered 102 XML files were not attached to the correct
records, though the PDFs were there. In 2017–18, Library staff located and
uploaded the missing files. In addition, 1,300 XML files were corrected and
uploaded, covering just under 10 years’ worth of Hansard. The principle focus in
this initial period was to ensure that content was grouped under the correct
heading, though there was also work done on correcting attribution of speeches
to the correct member or senator. The Library will continue to review the entire
digitised Historic Hansard database to ensure it is accurate, accessible and
meets current preservation and metadata standards.
How we support the Parliament’s engagement with the
community and the ongoing development of parliamentary democracy
National Reconciliation Week
Professor Megan Davis delivering the 2018 lecture (Auspic)
As it has for the past several years, the Library marked National Reconciliation
Week with a public lecture in the Parliament House Theatre. The 2018 lecture was
presented by Professor Megan Davis, Pro Vice Chancellor Indigenous, and
Professor of Law, University of New South Wales. Professor Davis spoke on the
significance of the Barunga Statement in relation to the Uluru Statement from
the Heart, and the work of the Aboriginal constitutional dialogues in designing
a framework of reform to address disadvantage and commence a process of
Collaborative partnerships: The ‘First Eight’ Project
In March 2018, the Presiding Officers officially launched ‘The First
Eight—Australia’s early Prime Ministers’. The project is a collaborative
undertaking between the Parliamentary Library, the National Museum of Australia,
the National Archives of Australia, the Victorian Parliamentary Library, the
Australian National University’s Australian Studies Institute and Canberra
historian Dr David Headon. As part of this collaboration, the Parliamentary
Library will be publishing a series of essays and lectures about Australia’s
first eight prime ministers—covering the Melbourne period of the Parliament. The
first monograph of the series, Alfred
Deakin—the lives, the legacy: Australia’s second Prime Minister, written
by Dr David Headon, was published in March 2018 and launched by the Presiding
Officers. Work in 2018–19 will focus on Australia’s fourth Prime Minister,
George Reid, the 100th anniversary of whose death falls on 12 September 2018.
President Scott Ryan, Dr David Headon and Speaker
Tony Smith at the launch of the First Eight (Auspic)
of Cambodia (PIC) delegation
Contributing to the goal of supporting the ongoing development of parliamentary
democracy, this year the Library hosted a small group from the PIC, an institute
funded by the Swedish and other European governments to assist with capacity
building in the region. PIC provides both direct research support to the
Cambodian parliament as well as training for parliamentary staff from south-east
The delegation, which included officials from not only Cambodia, but the
Philippines, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, spent four days meeting with staff from
across the Library and other parliamentary departments, including the committee
and procedure offices.
Support to the
Solomon Islands Parliament
In March 2018, the Parliamentary Library sent a senior researcher to assist the
Solomon Islands Parliament in its consideration of the annual Budget process.
This work, funded by the United Nations Development Program, is similar to
support provided to the Fiji Parliament reported in previous years.
The researcher joined colleagues from the NSW, Fijian, and Scottish parliaments
to share their experience in the techniques and procedures used in supporting
parliamentary scrutiny of budgets, and also to actively assist in preparing and
As part of its ongoing support for parliaments and democracy in the Pacific
region, the Library again hosted participants under the Pacific Parliamentary
Scholarships Scheme. These scholarships are offered to staff of Pacific
parliaments interested in developing their research skills and working on a
gender equity issue of relevance in their country. The 2017–18 Scholars
- Sivaitele Leiataua from the Parliament of Samoa, whose project explored the
issue of responding to domestic violence in Samoa
- Tirisiane Logavatu from the Parliament of Fiji, whose project looked at
gender responsive budgeting to increase women’s empowerment, and
- Peter Topura from the Bougainville House of Representatives, whose research
was on the issue of parliamentary rules promoting gender.
Association of Parliamentary Librarians of Asia and
the Pacific (APLAP)
APLAP was founded in 1990 to encourage cooperation and knowledge sharing between
bodies that provide library and research services to parliaments in Asia and the
Pacific. Throughout 2017–18, the Parliamentary Library worked closely with
other members of the APLAP executive in preparation for its upcoming conference
and General meeting in Tokyo in October 2018.
The Library also continues to manage APLAP’s website and Facebook group.
International Federation of Library Associations and
IFLA is the leading international body for library and information services and
its Library and Research Services for Parliaments Section brings together
specialist legislative information services from around the world. In 2017–18,
the Parliamentary Librarian remained an active member of the Standing Committee
administering the Library and Research Services for Parliaments Section.
The Library is also active in the Association of Parliamentary Libraries of
Australasia (APLA), a collaborative network of federal and state parliamentary
libraries in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, including managing the
The Librarian and senior staff met with delegations from the parliaments of
India, Kenya, Myanmar, Nepal and the Philippines and presented to the 2018
Inter-parliamentary Study of Parliament Course.
In 2017–18, the Library hosted visits of staff from a number of Australian
Parliamentary Libraries as well as staff from the Canadian and New Zealand
Recognising the importance of supporting the development of professional skills
in the library community, the Library also hosted a group of library students
from Charles Sturt University and the Canberra Institute of Technology.
Australian Parliamentary Fellowship Program
Summer Research Scholarship
The Parliamentary Library’s Summer Research Scholarship offers post-graduate
students the opportunity to undertake a research project at the Parliamentary
Library. Scholars undertake a six-week placement in the Library during the
summer academic break. They have access to the Library’s collections and
facilities, the opportunity to interact with expert librarians and researchers,
and mentoring for their research project. Upon submission of their final report,
scholars receive a small honorarium. The 2018 Scholars were:
- Timothea Turnbull, a PhD candidate at the Australian National University,
whose project, Parliamentary perceptions of ANZUS: between entrapment and
abandonment, looked at 60 years of parliamentary debate on the ANZUS
- Katherine Taylor, a PhD candidate at the Australian National University,
whose project was: What does ‘water security’ mean for northern Australia? A
review of federal policy, and
- Kerrie Wratten, a PhD candidate at Macquarie University, whose project was:
A systematic review of the factors that facilitate successful implementation
of teacher performance and development frameworks at international school
and system levels.
As has now become tradition, the Presiding Officers hosted a reception in the
Speaker’s courtyard for the 2018 summer scholars from the Library and the
national cultural institutions.
Speaker Tony Smith with the 2018 Summer Scholars from the Parliamentary Library
and national cultural institutions (Auspic)
Parliamentary Library intern programs
Since 2014 the Library has been offering four-week placements for interns in the
Research and Library Collections and Databases Branches. Thirteen interns have
completed the program in Library Collections and Databases (two in 2017–18),
five of whom subsequently gained employment in the Parliamentary Library
following graduation (three ongoing and two in non-ongoing positions).
Thirteen legal interns have completed the Research Branch program, with one in
This financial year, the Library did not host any ANIP students; however, the
Library provided assistance to the wider cohort of interns placed in the
Parliament, including access to the Library’s databases and collections. The
Parliamentary Librarian is also a member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary
Internship Program Steering Committee.
The Library will continue to consider applications from ANIP participants in the
Assistance to The Parliament Shop
Since July 2014 the Library has selected and recommended politically themed book
titles for sale in The Parliament Shop. Over this period, the Library’s
acquisitions team has recommended 626 titles (138 during 2017–18), helping
ensure that The Parliament Shop is the ‘go to’ place for politically themed
How we strengthen the capabilities of our staff
Restructure of the Library Collections and
To ensure the Library remains positioned to deal with rapidly evolving library
technologies and systems, the Library Collections and Databases Branch was
reviewed and restructured, with the changes to take effect at the beginning of
the new financial year. (Undertaken in close consultation with staff, the
restructure is budget neutral and has not resulted in any redundancies.)
A new team has been established, the Library Systems, Projects and Innovation
section, which will help ensure the Library is able to innovate to improve
client services and meet the challenges of effective digital delivery. The
Library Collections and Discovery team (combining the Collection Management and
Database and Media Services Staff) will focus on the acquisition, management and
organisation of Library collections and content and making them easily
discoverable to Library clients.
The Central Enquiry Point section has remained unchanged.
The new structure aligns more closely with the Library’s strategic priorities and
will enhance client service.
Training and skills development
The value of the analysis and advice provided to our clients depends in large
part on the professional skills and knowledge of the Library’s staff.
During 2017–18, the Library made significant progress in implementing
strategies in the Workforce Plan. In 2017–18, Library staff attended
diverse seminars, conferences and workshops, with the Library also hosting
in-house seminars given by visiting academics.
The Library staff orientation program was significantly redeveloped during 2017–18
and includes training for new starters and their buddies and supervisors with
particular focus on client services. A priority for the Library’s in-house
program was the legislative and committee processes of parliament, to ensure our
products are ‘fit for purpose’. This training included a presentation on the
operation of committees and how the Library’s research can contribute most
effectively. In March, officers from the Senate Procedure Office presented a
seminar on the process of drafting amendments and private members bills,
recognising that in many cases our clients use Library research to inform the
development of their drafting instructions. The Editors Group continued its
program of in-house seminars, which this year covered areas such as
The Library continues to welcome the opportunity to send officers to the ANZACATT
Parliamentary Law, Practice and Procedure (PLPP) Course, while three Library
staff from Research Branch participated in the Department’s PEL1 Development
Program. Two LCDB staff completed Catching the third wave: local resources,
digital repositories and metadata during 2017–18. This course focuses on
managing digital resources, digital repositories and digitisation standards.
Engagement with universities
Building on the relationships developed with the Australian National University
in the previous reporting period, the Library entered into two additional MOUs
with specific schools. The agreements were used as the basis for seeking the
university’s assistance with matters including the drafting and technical review
of several Bills Digests.
The Library hopes to utilise these relationships in the coming year to deliver
Library seminars and other commissioned papers on matters of interest to the
Uncommon Knowledge, Australian Parliamentary Library: client service evaluation 2017.
Uncommon Knowledge, Australian Parliamentary Library: client service evaluation 2017, p. 33.
Ibid., pp. 33 and 38.
Uncommon Knowledge, Australian Parliamentary Library: KPI Review 2018, p. 24.