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Australian libraries

Starting points
  • Our professional body - the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)
  • The National Library of Australia website presents a wealth of information and links to resources
  • The Australian Libraries Gateway, hosted by the National Library of Australia
  • The Aurora Foundation, which provides leadership training in library and information management professions in Australia and New Zealand

  • Australian collections

    Trove is a free discovery service from the National Library of Australia, delivering reliable information from Australia's memory institutions. Find and get books, reports, newspapers, maps, films and videos, audio files, music and musical scores, pictures, artworks, archived websites, and much more.
    Trove includes contributions from the catalogues of most Australian libraries - national, state, public, university, TAFE, special and government libraries - and from other memory institutions. Over 1,000 Australian libraries contribute information to the database, which lists many millions of items. Trove supports 'finding and getting', and provides a range of options to assist searchers access library resources.

    For libraries, the National Library of Australia hosts the Libraries Australia service, a subscription service which supports the workflows of Australian Libraries in cataloguing, inter-library loan and record-sharing.

    On libraries and librarians

    'Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark. The pleasure they give is steady, unorgastic, reliable, deep and long-lasting. In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed.' (Germaine Greer, Daddy, We Hardly Knew You, Fawcett Columbine, 1989, p. 70)

    'A library is thought in cold storage.'  (Herbert Samuel, A Book of Quotations, 1947, p. 10)

    'Librarians ... still may prevail.  Tomorrow may not find them called librarians, but it should still find them pursuing their calling - the goal of providing knowledge to all who need it, the duty to defend the quality and value of information, the task of caring for the ignorant.' (Barbara Quint, Searcher (1994), recorded in The Quintessential Searcher, edited by M. Block. Information Today, Inc, 2001, p. 73)

    From fiction:

    'He walked on. The old limestone building was a library. "That's OK", he thought. "Librarians are nice people. They tell you things, if you ask them."' 
    (Jack Reacher, in One Shot, by Lee Child. Bantam Press, 2005, p. 55)

    'So where do you go to find a researcher who is intelligent, imaginative, skilled in the use of computers, devoted to discovering the truth, and knowledgeable about science, technology, history, and literature, and who usually works for dirt and gets credit for nothing?
        After lunch I drove to the city library on Main and asked the reference librarian to find out what she could on ...'
    (Dave Robicheaux, in Last Car to Elysian Fields, by James Lee Burke. Orion, 2003, p. 103)

    'Duncan walked to the comsole, and the screen became alive as his fingers brushed the ON pad. Now it was a miracle beyond the dreams of any poet, a charm'd magic casement, opening on all seas, all lands. Through this window could flow everything that Man had ever learned about his universe, and every work of art he had saved from the dominion of Time. All the libraries and museums that ever existed could be funnelled through the screen, and the millions like it scattered over the face of the Earth. Even the least sensitive of men could be overwhelmed by the thought that one could operate a comsole for a thousand lifetimes -- and barely sample the knowledge stored within the memory banks that lay triplicated in their widely separated caverns, more securely guarded than any gold. There was an appropriate irony in the fact that two of these buried complexes had once been control centres for nuclear missiles.'
    (Arthur C. Clarke, Imperial Earth, Pan Books, 1977, p. 146. First published by Victor Gollancz in 1975.)

    Redefining library services in digital times