July 10, 2020

New Checklist and Report: Planning Toward the “New Normal’ for Libraries in Australia

Two new resources from the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA).

From ALIA:

With state and territory governments planning to ease restrictions in the coming months, libraries will need to carefully consider the risks associated with reopening, and the measures which will need to put in place when the time comes for them to open.

To assist with this, the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) has created a strategic checklist to support this process, including information on staff support, services that need to be phased in (or out), communications planning, and safety precautions.

Additionally, ALIA, with input from the ALIA Australian Public Library Alliance, has been monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on Australian public libraries since early March and has created an interim report.

The report summarises feedback from more than 200 libraries (in total covering 1,500 locations) nationally, including several joint use school community libraries.

This interim report has three purposes:

  1. To provide peer-to-peer guidance for library teams
  2. To inform government at all three levels of the impact for communities
  3. To assist the planning for libraries to reopen.

Resources

Australian Libraries Responding to COVID-19: Checklist For Reopening Libraries
4 pages; PDF.

From the Document:

As of 1 May, governments have started planning to ease restrictions on services, with the Northern Territory announcing the reopening of public library services1 from 15 May. We anticipate greater clarity in the coming weeks about when libraries may be able to ease restrictions on services and reopen fully. While government can make broad statements about libraries reopening, the details will need to be carefully planned by library managers to mitigate any remaining risks for staff and library users. Reopening will not mean going back to the way things were pre-COVID-19; it will mean putting in place the ‘new normal’ approach to library services.

This is the opportunity for libraries to prioritise their existing services and refocus investment on the services which are most highly valued by users. Some services which have been established for the duration of the pandemic will need to be removed as they will be redundant; there will no longer be the capacity to deliver them, or they will no longer be permissible. However, other innovations will most likely become part of normal service.

Direct to Full Text

COVID-19 and Australian Public Libraries: Interim Report 30 April

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), with input from the ALIA Australian Public Library Alliance, has been monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on Australian public libraries since early March. This report summarises the feedback from 225 of the 400 library services (in total covering 1500 locations) nationally, including several joint use school community libraries. 

This interim report has three purposes:

  1. To provide peer-to-peer guidance for library teams
  2. To inform government at all three levels of the impact for communities
  3. To assist the planning for libraries to reopen.

Direct to Full Text Report
24 pages; PDF.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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