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Standards and guidelines

The Australian Public Library Alliance recently published the Australian Public Library Standards Guidelines and Outcomes 2016, which provides benchmarks for library managers, councils and state government.  They are accompanied by a benchmarking calculator for library teams to use to assess their performance against the national standards and guidelines.

As State Library’s Service Level Agreements with Councils are intrinsically linked to the Queensland Standards and Guidelines below, SLQ will continue to use these existing versions and work towards incorporating the above national standards.  State Library will continue with our rolling review of the standards and guidelines which will commence in 2017 in consultation with public libraries.  For more information please contact Regional Partnerships.

Queensland standards

These standards and guidelines are designed to assist Queensland public library staff and local governments in the planning and development of their library services. State Library coordinates the periodic review and development of the standards and guidelines.

  1. Operational services standard (PDF 50 KB) - To provide standards and guidelines for a minimum set of operational services that enable the community effective access to library facilities and the services and collections they offer. Revised August 2009.
  2. Staffing standard (PDF 53 KB) - To provide the minimum requirement for overall staffing and qualified staff levels to ensure consistency of service delivery across local government. Revised May 2008.
  3. Shared facilities standard (PDF 52 KB) - To provide the minimum requirements for operating a public library service within a shared environment. Revised December 2008.
  4. Library buildings standard (PDF 50 KB) - To provide standards and guidelines for developing physical library facilities which serve the identified needs of the community. Library buildings should be attractive and designed for efficiency, sustainability, accessibility, functionality and flexibility. Revised October 2009.
  5. Mobile libraries standard (PDF 71 KB) - To provide standards and guidelines for a public library service delivered via a specially designed and equipped vehicle. Mobile libraries extend library service to clients without convenient access to a static library, providing a comparable level of service. Revised June 2009.
  6. Library collections standard (PDF 81 KB) - To provide standards and guidelines for the development and management of library collections which meet the information, education, recreation and cultural needs of the community, and support the development of lifelong learning. Revised August 2013.
  7. Interlibrary loans standard (PDF 53 KB) - To provide standards and guidelines for the provision of community access to resources via the effective use of resource sharing and an efficient interlibrary loan and document delivery service. Revised November 2011.
  8. Local studies standard (PDF 51 KB) - To provide standards and guidelines for the maintenance and provision of access to a continuously developing library collection which documents, preserves and presents the historical and contemporary development of the local community. Revised June 2010.
  9. Reference services standard (PDF 62 KB) - To provide standards and guidelines for the delivery of effective reference and information services to the community and the collection and management of suitable resources to support these services. Revised October 2009.
  10. Specialist service standards - The following sub-sections address a range of possible specialisations within the public library sector. They address the library's focus on literacy issues, services for people who read or speak a language other than English, in addition to addressing services for people with a disability, for young people and for Indigenous Australians.

    To meet the different emphases of different communities including unidentified groups, consideration of specialisation must be considered in the context of the mainstreaming of resources and multiskilling with the overarching principles of equity and access routinely applied.

    10.1 Literacy services standard (PDF 52 KB) - To provide standards and guidelines for the continuing development of library services aimed at improving the literacy skills of all members of the community. Revised September 2010.

    10.2 Multicultural services standard (PDF 43 KB) - To provide standards and guidelines for developing multicultural library services which provide equitable access, encourage participation and foster cohesion for Queensland’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Revised July 2008.

    10.3 Disability services standard (PDF 52 KB) - To provide standards and guidelines for developing library services and resources which offer barrier-free access and encourage inclusiveness and participation for people with disabilities. Revised April 2009.

    10.4 Young peoples services standard (PDF 46 KB) - To provide standards and guidelines for developing young peoples services in libraries. Revised April 2009

    10.5 Library services standard for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders (PDF 100 KB) - To provide standards and guidelines for public libraries, including Indigenous Knowledge Centres (IKCs), for the delivery of library services for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders. Revised April 2010.

  11. Technology standard - (PDF 68 KB) - To provide minimum standards for the effective use of information and communications technology in Queensland public libraries. Revised April 2010.
  12. Resource description standard - (PDF 91 KB) - To provide a framework for access to library collections, through the bibliographic control of library materials and the interchange of bibliographic data. Revised February 2014.
  13. Resource List (PDF 82 KB) - This resource list includes selected material and bibliographies used in research for the development of the standards. Revised November 2010.

National standards

ALIA Standards and Guidelines for Australian Public Libraries, 2nd edition, 2012 - these guidelines document best practice and are intended as operational suggestions for improving library performance.

ALIA Standards and Guidelines for Australian Public Libraries Calculator 2013 - this benchmarking calculator is an easy way for public libraries to measure their performance against national standards and guidelines and to find out whether they are on target, below target or above target.

Last updated
21st November 2016