Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Role of government libraries today

Senator Ursula Stephens, today officially opened the Australian Government Libraries and Information Network (AGLIN) Forum 2009.

The forum explored how government libraries can respond to the changing information environment and remain relevant and efficient in supporting government policy-making.

Senator Stephens said that government libraries have an important responsibility for keeping governments at the leading edge of knowledge management and strengthening the Australian government’s role as a leader in innovation and knowledge systems.

Senator Stephens also spoke of the challenges to data management presented by the increasing use of web 2 based technologies, which have provided government with a way to engage directly with individual Australians.

“The Australian Government has been quick to see the possibilities of these technologies.

“We are a government that is intent on fostering social citizenship and taking a citizen-centred approach to developing policy. We want to hear directly from people about what they need, and where and when they need it.

“This new way of engaging has created new forms of data – such as online forum posts and video comments – that require new forms of data management to capture and archive this information,” Senator Stephens said.

Senator Stephens called on the forum delegates to continue their role in supporting government policy-making by contributing to the debate on how to respond to these new information management challenges.

Around 60 delegates of all levels attended the forum, including the Parliamentary Librarian, senior staff from National Library of Australia, academics and government library staff.

AGLIN is an independent organisation which aims to represent the interests and concerns of member libraries and the information services provided to government.