The Canadian Association for Information Science were concerned to hear of the cuts to professional library and archival staff taking place at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The work that trained professionals do is vital to the work of national broadcasters in their role of documenting and reporting important societal events, which plays a key role in democratic societies. As the Australian Library and Information Association states, “It is reasonable to expect that the ABC archival collection will be managed according to professional standards for creating, managing and preserving records, standards common to other public institutions responsible for a collection of national significance.” Without librarians and archivists, important collections – particularly for digitised and born digital collections – are put at risk of permanent loss. While our journalist colleagues are highly skilled, they are not trained in print and digital collection management and preservation – the role of librarians and archivists.
We add our voices to those calling for the ABC to reconsider their decision and commit to hiring professionals to manage archives and information collections for the benefit of journalists and the wider community.
Approved by the CAIS Board, 4 August 2022