The National Library of Australia (NLA) is arguably one of the most significant tools in managing knowledge in Australia today. NLA resources are used in research at the cutting edge, surely a worthwhile endeavour in view of the Federal Government’s innovation agenda. Yet the Federal Government has imposed harsh “efficiency dividends” on the National Library of Australia that will severely disrupt existing services. Trove, an internationally recognised “collection of collections”, will have important parts of the service scrapped to meet these cuts, especially aggregation of content from museums and universities.
How far will these cuts go? The Trove digitised newspaper collection is used by professional and academic researchers, genealogists, and family and local history enthusiasts and even school children. The Trove digital newspaper collection is a growing resource that is strengthened not only by funding but by public involvement and effort. Each of the top text correctors from the public have made over 2-3 million corrections to digitised newspapers at the time of writing.
Trove helps people in rural and regional areas, people overseas and people who simply live in a different place to their research sources to find new insights regarding our culture and identity. Trove is also used by universities and research facilities to research issues on a broad national scale. Trove represents a democracy of knowledge in a real and practical way.
Cutting funding to the NLA is not efficient. Your National Innovation and Science Agenda promotes learning from mistakes. Cutting funding to the NLA is a mistake. Please reverse this decision. Maintain – even increase – funding to the National Library of Australia. Let us keep creating knowledge for Australia.