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Building our Australian Cloud

Monika Szunejko, National Library of Australia

Wednesday 17 September 2014 – Concurrent session 13, 2pm to 2:25pm


The Australian National Bibliographic Database contains more than 50 million holdings of Australian libraries and has become a unique information resource, supporting the daily workflows of 1,200 Australian libraries in all states and territories and across all sectors as part of the Libraries Australia service.  It plays a vital role in promulgating Australia’s global data footprint through data synchronisation to WorldCat, data flow to Trove and subsequent discovery in both via Google.  Libraries from all sectors across an entire nation contribute their content and set the foundation for our Australian global data footprint.

This paper reflects on the origins of national collaboration in Australia, considers the multifarious flow of data in and out of the Australian National Bibliographic Database and the impact that this high volume of data traffic has on national and international collaboration, and national collection building. 

Mapping the movement of our data from its origins in local libraries in each state and territory through to the National Bibliographic Database, to Trove and beyond, demonstrates the value of national collaborative services in creating information capital.  Active contribution to the Australian National Bibliography enables libraries to demonstrate their value in a competitive information environment, measure their impact, and expose their collections to a global audience.

The Australian National Bibliographic Database is larger than the sum of its parts.  With approximately 1,200 member libraries, the ANBD through the Libraries Australia service creates a ready-made platform from which the smallest and largest Australian libraries can stake their claim in a global web-scale data universe.  Built from the ground up record-by-record and now playing on a global stage, the Australian National Bibliographic Database is in essence our Australian cloud.

The Australian National Bibliographic Database builds content, collaboration and the capabilities of Australian libraries through the aggregation, re-use and syndication of bibliographic data.  This paper reclaims the place of the Australian National Bibliographic Database as a fundamental aspect of our Australian information landscape that has formed the bedrock for Australian library collaboration.

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