In order to progress an Indigenous library collection into an online resource, you need a multitude of library division interactions.  

The Indigenous Information Specialist needs to :-

  1. View client service request to view material most sorted or used
  2. Audit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections to find material of relevance to clients needs such as community information, clan information, family history etc.
  3. Consider if you need to create an index or reference guide of collated information in a cultural friendly fashion in accordance with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researching skills.
  4. Write a project plan or Business as Usual proposal.
  5. Create access procedures if the material is sensitive.
  6. Progress this Indigenous collection through the labyrinth of library divisions and managers for them to understand their role of opening this material up digitally.
  7. Train reference desk staff, provide reference tool and advertise resources to Indigenous community.
  8. Add relevant topic to the recordkeeping process of gaining statistical information and the archival disposable of relevant clients service requests.
  9. Evaluate digital collection for improvement and performances
This is the end result, finding personal records held in Indigenous collections via the One Search library catalogue.


The below stages were taken in opening up the Norman Tindale Collections and Margaret Lawrie Collection.

  1. Review library authority such as purchase details, copyright, privacy rights, access to information rights and donor’s understanding. If accession conditions apply your goal is to create a reference tool (alphabetical index) to point to the collection item.
  2. Advertise the collection to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people via community events (NAIDOC), information guides (Engagement and Partnerships), Internets sites (ICT) and workshops (Regional Access and Public Libraries).
  3. Create a statistical feedback process to show usage.  This information is evidence to show the need to opening up more Indigenous Collections.
  4. Review Record Keeping Disposal options, as some of the material provided to find family history is worthwhile information of current Indigenous people history. 
  5. Digitise resources into an easy to view jpg during the transitional phase.  The main objective of this process is to show remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities the resource; to ensure the preservation of the original records; to find hidden resources classified under the donator’s name and present them in a culturally acceptable fashion for indigenous groups.  This is a transitional phase (trial and era).
  6. Request a volunteer (Volunteer Coordinator) to create a digital copy, either via photocopier/camera that will take less time.   High resolutions TIFF copies can be created at a later date in accordance with online digitisation procedures.
  7. Create a computer directory structure based on a logical approach accessing material and file name convention procedure for staff members to access and preservation reasons.
  8. Create record-keeping procedures for access forms, workflow sheet and correspondences files numbers /record disposal objectives (Records) for legal
  9. Observe and review the way in which clients use the collection.
  10. If the evaluation of clients usage of this collection is positive, then the object is to add relevant information into One Search catalog.
  11. To place the index and material online a Business as Usual plan is required to demonstrate each divisions role.
    • Add Microsoft Excel index to One Search and review information (Discovery, Volunteer coordinator). Excel spreadsheets can be easily downloaded into most programs.
    • Create high-resolution Tiff for conservation and low-resolution jpg to view on One Search (Conservation).
    • Upload material on the computer (Discovery and ICT).
    • Add or change links created to the Collection (ICT and Web Service).
    • collect and collate statistics information and evaluate performance through RefTracker and librarian staff to answer Indigenous query’s (Service Delivery).
    • Training of reference staff (Service Delivery) to access material (Indigenous Information Specialist)
  12. Advertise completed resource to Indigenous communities and Institutions ATSILIRN (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Library and Information Resource Network), Community and Personal Histories, Link-up, AIATSIS and Library institutions that collection is accessible via the One Search catalogue.
  13. Workshop and presentations to Indigenous Knowledge Centres and communities (Indigenous Library Services). Public Library training and advertising through blog, library newsletters (Public Library Division).
  14. Later awareness can be done through an exhibition project such as Transferring Tindale (Public Program and Queensland Memory).

Once completed then the Indigenous Information Specialist must move on to the next collections.

When opening up a new collection I would advise that one person in collection services be assigned to be on call to fix problems.  It is not the Indigenous Information Specialist role to be responsible for all Indigenous collections, it is their responsibility to make information accessible through guidance.