On 6 July 2022, Ian Keese, as Acting President of ISAA, wrote to Mr David Anderson, Managing Director, ABC about our concerns regarding staff reduncies and what that would mean for the future.
The Independent Scholars Association of Australia Inc. (ISAA) was founded in 1995 as an Australian-wide association for the promotion of scholarship. ISAA members include academics and scholars from engineering, medicine, sciences, arts, administration, law, economics and diplomacy.
ISAA is deeply concerned by the announcement by the ABC that it intends to make 58 library and archive positions redundant. As scholars we are well aware of the essential role played by libraries and archives in preserving our history and cultural heritage. They are the ones who manage the ABC’s invaluable collection of Australian history, cultural heritage and stories and the ones with the knowledge and skills to exploit its content to the full. The expertise of research librarians is essential in getting beyond the superficial, doing more than scratch the surface of the collections. Most importantly they have developed their expertise through tertiary qualifications and years of professional experience.
To suggest replacing the specialist librarian and archivist positions at the ABC with journalists and others without the necessary training and expertise (for example in cataloguing, curating and preservation) potentially threatens the integrity and future of the collection. We are concerned at the suggestion that journalists will have the time and the skills required to do the highly specialised work currently undertaken by cataloguers and researchers, such as entering metadata and navigating copyright restrictions.
ISAA Letter, re ABC redunancies.pdf
Letter from David Anderson ABC Managing Director to Ian Keese 050922.pdf