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2.5 Strategic Priority Three: Collaborate


  • In partnership with state and territory libraries through the National and State Libraries Australia (NSLA) network, build a comprehensive collection reflecting Australia’s published digital record, sharing investment and responsibility for developing, preserving and providing access to these publications. With National edeposit—the shared service to build this collection—in place from May 2019, explore further opportunities to share national-scale collection, storage and preservation of other forms of digital heritage.
  • In partnership with the galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM) and research sectors, expand and enhance Trove to increase Australians’ opportunities to engage with digital collections.

ACTIONS 2019-20

Trove Collaborative Services (TCS) is the new service model for former
Libraries Australia members and other partner organisations that contribute
content to Trove. It creates a foundation from which Australian libraries and
collecting institutions can manage and promote their digital collections and
benefit from large-scale aggregation of digital content. Partners are offered a
suite of services, including sharing in Trove’s digital infrastructure, in exchange
for a membership fee.

Implementation began in late July 2019, when all existing Libraries Australia
members received information on the new model. Within four months,
90 per cent of previous Libraries Australia members had transitioned to TCS.
By the conclusion of the 2019–20 financial year, the retention rate had risen to
95 per cent.

In December 2018, the Library released a new pricing method based on
cost‑recovery principles. The Library offered Partner organisations a transition
plan to assist them in moving to the new pricing model. This resulted in a
small reduction in Library revenue in 2019–20 compared with the previous
financial year.

Many TCS Partners are due to receive a fee increase in 2020–21, but it is not
yet clear what impact COVID-19 might have on Partner revenue. The Library
anticipates that TCS Partners, particularly in the university sector, will face
financial challenges. The pandemic has delayed the extension of the TCS
membership model to galleries, archives and museums, originally planned to
begin in the 2020–21 financial year.

In keeping with positioning Trove as a national collaborative service, the
Library has established a Trove Strategic Advisory Committee to obtain
strategic input and advice from the Partner community on issues affecting
Trove services and infrastructure. In October 2019, the Library held an election
to determine the membership of the committee. The Partner community
elected six representatives—three from the institutions representing the
top 50 per cent of the revenue base and three from the hundreds of smaller
libraries. The Library appointed two additional members to ensure diversity of
representation across the broad membership base. Trove Strategic Advisory
Committee membership is listed at Appendix F on page 143.
The Australian Web Archive (AWA) is a collection of website snapshots from
1996 to the present. It includes the PANDORA Web Archive (a collection created
in partnership with cultural institutions around Australia), government websites
formerly accessible through the Australian Government Web Archive and
websites from the .au domain collected annually through large-scale crawl
harvests. The archive provides a digital historical record of Australian life.

The AWA was launched in early 2019. Since then, the Library has undertaken
an architectural review and prototyping exercise to explore future options
for enhancing its performance, security and maintainability. As a result,
the hardware powering web archive search was upgraded, which brought
performance more in line with Trove’s other search zones and expanded
capacity for expected growth. User experience was further improved by
upgrading technologies to enhance replay of archived websites and improve
collection via browser-based archiving tools. A scoping exercise in 2020–21
will review the needs and capacity of each NSLA member in regard to web
archiving and to establish whether a collaborative model, with co-investment
in upgraded infrastructure, is viable.

Collecting and workflow enhancements were made to extend the life of the
ageing PANDAS workflow system and to better support state library partners.
The Library and its partners also collaborated to build an extensive collection
documenting the COVID-19 pandemic, containing over 1,000 websites.

The Library has continued its leadership role within the International Internet
Preservation Consortium (IIPC) Steering Committee, with the appointment
of the Library’s Assistant Director of Web Archiving as vice‑chair and web
archiving technical leader, co-leading the Tools Development Portfolio. Despite
the cancellation of a number of IIPC events due to COVID-19, the Library
continued its contribution remotely via the steering committee and Tools
Development Portfolio.
The Pacific Virtual Museum will provide a single access, web-based portal
assisting people from the Pacific to access their digitised cultural heritage,
much of which is stored in offshore institutions. The content is aggregated
from partners, including Trove and DigitalNZ. It was announced at the
Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa conference on
21 October 2019.

The Pacific Virtual Museum Pilot Program is led and implemented by Te Puna
Mātauranga o Aotearoa, the National Library of New Zealand, in collaboration
with the National Library of Australia. The program is an Australian
Government initiative, funded and managed by the Office of the Pacific in
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

A workshop on the virtual museum, that was to be held in Auckland in March
2020, was cancelled due to COVID-19. However, collaboration with partners
around the Pacific has continued virtually to progress the rapidly evolving
project, with the launch of a public beta version currently scheduled for
September 2020.


Table 2.7 Percentage of stakeholders that identify the Library as a trusted collaborator

Note: This measure is from the 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements, Program 1.1,
Table 2.1.2, page 200; and the Corporate Plan 2019–20.

Qualitative Evaluation

Measure: The Library as a Trusted Collaborator
Target Group: National and State Libraries Australia (NSLA)

With over 40 years’ experience working together with state libraries, the
National Library continually seeks improved ways to work with partners to
maximise access to information for Library users and the broader Australian
community. In 2020, chief executive officers (CEOs) of NSLA were surveyed
to evaluate views on the National Library of Australia as a trusted leader,
collaborator and/or partner.

NSLA CEO responses were resoundingly positive, with all eight indicating a
high or very high level of trust in the Library (75 per cent very high, 25 per cent
high). The importance of the Library providing a culture of openness featured
strongly in the responses, as did a desire for national strategic discussions
around collection development and opportunities to share the Library’s
specialist staff knowledge through mentoring.

The NED scheme and other digital collection infrastructure—including the
AWA—and leadership and advice to NSLA staff were noted as the services
providing most value to their own library’s work.

CEOs collectively recognised the criticality of Trove, noting that it is an
essential part of Australia’s national digital information infrastructure. They
also expressed the importance of the Library having the capability and
capacity to continue its much-needed leadership role in this space.