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The Next Horizon for Queensland public libraries

This publication was published under the former Government during 2012-2015

A renewed VISION for Queensland public libraries is coming!

What is VISION 2017?

VISION 2017 for Queensland Public Libraries is a strategic visioning statement co-developed by State Library of Queensland (SLQ), Queensland Public Libraries Association (QPLA) and the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) for the period 2013-2017.

Published in 2013, VISION 2017 provides a succinct picture of the current and potential direction of Queensland public libraries’ development. It builds on the themes first identified in Expanding Horizons 2008-2012 (PDF 314KB) a collaborative positioning paper that provided an initial framework for the development of 21st century public library services in Queensland.

How can VISION 2017 be used?

VISION 2017 articulates a strategic vision for Queensland public libraries for 2013-2017. It refers to the contribution made by public libraries to social and cultural capital, as well as their economic and social benefits to the community. This contribution is quantified and examined in further detail in The Library Dividend: a guide to the socio-economic value of Queensland public libraries 2012, which can be read as a companion to VISION 2017. Together these two documents are invaluable advocacy tools for public libraries for championing libraries to present and potential funders, partners and the wider community.

VISION 2017 also complements councils' library planning and suggests good practice ways to achieve outcomes under four themes:

  • Creative community spaces
  • Connectors - physical and virtual
  • Technology trendsetters
  • Incubators of ideas, learning and innovation.

These themes take account of - and respond to - current and anticipated trends in the library environment. They acknowledge the strength of the foundation public libraries offer and recognise that the sector will experience unprecedented change in the type of services offered and the way in which they are offered. VISION 2017 therefore has a role to play in managing the change which is impacting on every library and every part of library activity, in positioning public libraries for 2017 and beyond.

VISION 2017 Learning Strategy

SLQ has recently published the VISION 2017 Learning Strategy (PDF 352KB) which outlines how SLQ plans to support and enable public libraries to deliver on VISION 2017. The development of the Learning Strategy was guided by a Project Reference Group which had representation from QPLA, LGAQ, QUT, ALIA and public library staff; and was developed via a Training Needs Analysis which included consultation with public libraries.

This is a high level document to support the professional learning and development of the public library workforce and we will be developing an Implementation Plan with key stakeholders to deliver on this Strategy.

We look forward to working with you to support public libraries to be vibrant local centres and portals to the world.  Hard copies will be distributed to your library shortly.

Key documents and resources

The Next Horizon: VISION 2017 for Queensland public libraries  (PDF 1.2 MB)

The Next Horizon Snapshot Report June 2012 (PDF 1.2MB)

The Next Horizon Consultation Report (PDF 7.6MB)

The Next Horizon Forum and Roundtable, Brisbane webcast

‘New stories for new libraries’ Sohail Inayatulla keynote speaker Brisbane consultation forum (PDF 627KB)

‘The 21st Century Public Library’ consultation presentation (PDF 501KB)

The Next Horizon consultation paper (PDF 347KB)

Related readings

Think like a start up (PDF 3.41MB) - a white paper to inspire library entrepreneurialism

Te Kauroa – Auckland Libraries’ Future Directions 2013-2023.
This plan outlines what Auckland libraries will focus on over the next ten years and beyond. It provides a framework for planning and development and indicates the priorities needed to contribute to the city’s long term vision.

Opportunities for All: The public library as a catalyst for economic, social and cultural development
This is a 5-year strategy (2013-17) for public libraries in the Republic of Ireland, published by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Dublin 2013

Tomorrow’s Library Stage 1 and 2 - Report
Tomorrow's Library is a landmark, two-year review of Victorian public libraries being conducted by the Ministerial Advisory Council on Public Libraries

Victorian Public Libraries 2030 Strategic Framework
This project looked beyond traditional two- or five-year planning cycles to consider how Victorian libraries can best prepare for the future.


Regional Partnerships, State Library of Queensland
t 07 3842 9051

Last updated
19th June 2018