Association of Parliamentary Libraries of Australasia
C/- Dr Dianne Heriot
Canberra, ACT, 2600
Australasian Parliaments perform a number of important functions. They:
Access to impartial, current, accurate and timely information is fundamental to democratic legislatures In their legislative and their representative roles, parliamentarians need information as they monitor current issues, develop policy solutions and influence government decision-making.
Parliamentarians are increasingly time-poor and the parliamentary library assists them by providing:
Parliamentary libraries may also offer research support to Parliamentary Committees; and
information and knowledge management services to Parliament
Parliamentary libraries are an integral part of Australasian parliaments. They were created at the time of creation of all colonial parliaments and national parliaments in Australasia.
Parliamentary Libraries continue to make a significant contribution to maintaining well informed Parliaments.
The value that Australasian parliamentarians place on their parliamentary libraries in the 21st century is built upon trust in the independent services provided.
At the time of speaking to the 2006 amendment to the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 (Cth) which provided for the position of parliamentary librarian and also the functions of the Parliamentary Library, Senator Calvert, Leader of the Senate, who initiated the Bill stated,
“…what we all know is the most important function of a parliamentary library [is] - to offer impartial and confidential research support, independent of the Government of the day.”
The challenge for parliamentary library services is to continue to provide solutions to client information overload and to continuously build capacity to meet parliamentarians’ information and knowledge needs in support of their parliamentary and representative obligations.
APLA is committed to supporting Australasian parliaments through sharing of information, collaboration and cooperation, and continued improvement in the provision of research and information services to support the parliamentary democratic process.
The above statement was developed by a working group of APLA and endorsed at the APLA 2008 AGM.