Download the Communications and Digital Community Strategy 2020-23 (PDF, 1.22 MB)



Strategy and Goals


Brand Architecture


Our Values



The National Library of Australia maintains and develops a national collection about Australia and the Australian people that is free and accessible to all. Inspired by the collections assembled and kept safe by skilled librarians, curators, digital specialists and collectors, we encourage the creation of new knowledge and the exploration of personal stories by connecting individuals and groups to the Library's collections.

Our vision is to connect all Australians with national collections, enriching conversations about who we are and our place in the world. For nearly 120 years, our library services, both in-person, and increasingly online, have been facilitating these conversations.

Strategy and Goals

We provide free access to knowledge and services – online and in-person. We offer a safe space to read, to write, to search, to study, to learn and to gather with like-minded individuals. This strategy establishes how we will clearly communicate:

Digital and traditional communications services are vital to this mission – they are an enabling function that shapes and delivers a cohesive and coherent story about the National Library of Australia. This overarching story describes the individual services and collections of the National Library of Australia, and provides clarity for how to promote and advocate for our work.

Connecting more Australians to our collections in a trusted, safe environment is the primary goal of this strategy. Improving our communications channels so they are seamless, instantly recognizable nationwide, and created by an organization known for its long history of organising and curating information is our second goal.

This connection and recognition will be facilitated by a communications strategy with four priority areas. Each priority area is equally resourced and supported by a centralised communications team which works cooperatively with subject matter experts to promote the work of the Library, and to expand our national reach through highly targeted and cohesive messaging.

Area Principle Objective Key messages Sample creative application Sample call to action
Use our collections We collect today what will be important tomorrow. Invite the Australian public to use the collection (in person or online) via traditional library services – use the reading rooms, view content online, enjoy lifelong learning and Ask a Librarian. This focus area includes raising awareness of the collection areas and our work as a Library.

We've built a rich collection of print and digital resources that enable learning, research and understanding of Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and Australia's place in the world.

Each year, the National Library of Australia adds many tens of thousands of items to its collections, encompassing a great diversity of material type, content, focus and subject matter

Come find yourself in your national collection.

Let us help you tell your story.

Our national collection, your story.

Find out what you need to know, at the National Library of Australia.

Listen to our oral histories, online at National Library of Australia.

Read their words, at the National Library of Australia.

Explore our maps, online at the National Library of Australia.

Order copies online, use Copies Direct.

Promote our activities We connect with communities, and connect communities with their national collections. Promote the impact of the National Library to the Australian community through events, exhibitions, the Bookshop, webinars, publications, fellowships, education for students. This focus area highlights the treasures in our collections. By facilitating public engagement with and active interpretation of the collection and its social context, our activities create greater understanding of the role of the National Library.

Converse here & be part of the conversation.

Our reading rooms, in your lounge room.

Become a (more) informed source.

Be a part of the conversations, at the National Library of Australia.

Discover with us, new ideas from the National Library of Australia.

Join our community, explore your community with the National Library of Australia.

Create your own ideas, with the National Library of Australia.

Promote our collaborative activities We collaborate with others to maximise the national impact of cultural collections. Promote how we work with other institutions on innovative new projects, to maintain collaborative working relationships and to share the outputs of these collaborations with the Australian public. This focus area includes Trove, National eDeposit, Trove Collaborative Services and Copies Direct.

The National Library of Australia works collaboratively with hundreds of cultural and research institutions to bring together Australian stories, voices and lives.

Order copies of articles, chapters of books, photographs, pictures, maps, manuscripts, music, sound recordings from our collections, as well as the collections of other libraries.

Lose yourself, finding yourself.

NeD = one giant national digital collection of Australian publications.

A part of the (insert institution name) in your.... (lounge room, essay, blog post, TV show).

Learn more, at Trove.

Explore Australian publications online, brought to you by National and State Libraries Australia.

Brought to you by Trove Partners.

Invite contributions We will effectively articulate the value of the National Library of Australia to attract additional funding from the Australian government, private donors and others.

Describe the impact of the National Library to the Australian Government and Australian Parliamentarians.

Invite individuals to be part of the National Library story through Treasured Voices*, giving donations and gifts, as employees or as a volunteer or Friend of the National Library of Australia.

We collect from your community and we provide access to your community.

The NLA - the National Library for every electorate.

Your contribution to the National Library of Australia will make a significant difference to the work we do, and we are always very grateful for your work, advocacy and support.

Help us to tell your stories.

Be one of our treasured voices.

Be part of the NLA story.


While the National Library's online audience is diverse, we will use a streamlined and unified approach to digital engagement, combined with targeted marketing campaigns, to reach communities around Australia – engaging new audiences wherever they are located.

Audience segmentation is an accepted strategy in communications campaigns and the Library's audience can be segmented on the basis of geographic location, age, interests, stakeholder groups etc. However, we believe a unique approach to audience analysis and engagement is necessary because of the rapid evolution of digital content. Context is critical. Audiences and potential audiences will bring to their engagement with the Library assumptions about what a library or a cultural institution is – a source of truth, a collection of books, boring, not for me, a national place that costs but has no local value, a place of safety, a home for imagination and creativity. Our digital engagement strategy will reference these assumptions and shape our methods for targeting messages to audience segments.

This sophisticated strategy will consider our audience, and our potential audience, with reference to emotions, information consumption, competitors, physical proximity and time. This approach allows us to target the content, placement, timing and companion and co-branding opportunities to ensure maximum impact and maximum reach.

>Our marketing will focus on Australia-wide, digital and shareable – using trustworthy partners who have established audiences with culturally and linguistically diverse communities and First Australians. Our current audience will continue to receive information about our activities through established print and digital self-service options.

Brand Architecture

The National Library of Australia and Trove are companion brands.  They work side-by-side to drive consumers to access the national collection.

The consumer is at the centre of our communications and digital engagement activities and they have preexisting perceptions about who can access the collections of a national cultural institution. To overcome this barrier, the Communications and Digital Community Section will actively manage how these brands work together to make our collections as accessible as possible and extend our reach.

Active and coordinated management of our digital channels will guide customers through the experience of exploring Trove and also around the collections and special services of the National Library of Australia. Demonstrating how these brands, and the organisations they represent work together, will be a major focus of this strategy. Management of these brands and channels will be more aligned to a streaming or broadcasting service than digital platforms.

The National Library of Australia has a sub-brand NLA Bookshop and a publishing imprint NLA Publishing. Trove has a single sub-brand, Trove Partners, representing hundreds of cultural and research organisations.


This communications strategy will be measured across three tiers – in line with our Corporate Goals and values:

Work that uses communications and engagement techniques to facilitate changes in most of these measures will be done in collaboration with business owners and subject matter experts.

Lower level Mid level Higher level
External Social media likes, click throughs Trust indicators Sustainable government funding
Sessions Net promoter score User generated content
Page visits Increase in number of readers with Library cards/digital Library logins Increase in NLA-generated income
Online volunteers Attendance at events Active users on Trove and NLA catalogue
New users versus returning users Geographic reach
Demographic reach
Frequency Monthly Annual Annual

These measures will be reported on holistically to show the benefits of centralizing communications functions and tell a complete story of work underway. Each key area will be reported on consistently and this approach will allow us to adjust the approach to respond to indications and themes.

The success of individual communications activities will continue to be measured but this will occur within the context of achieving the goals of this strategy.

Our Values

In their provision of communications and marketing services, we are guided by the organizational values in the Corporate Plan, the Service Charter and the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct. We value our status as a trusted Government entity and an employer of choice and the delivery of this strategy will allow us to generate more interest and investment from Government. We also take into account the engagement values of trust, authenticity and partnership.

In the digital-era, new practices and technologies have raised expectations about personalization of information, however, by personalizing or recommending activities based on your previous interactions we could inadvertently limit opportunities for discovery, new experiences and knowledge. The National Library of Australia will not be personalizing activities without permission. We will, however, continue to distribute information that has been requested, be responsive to enquiries, and keep personal and research information safe.

Additionally, the Library will reduce its production of printed promotion and marketing material to align with community expectations to reduce waste. Our printed and marketing material will endeavour to use recycled materials, and be designed for re-use rather than disposal.


The following documents and/or legislation were considered when developing this strategy:

  • National Library Act 1960
  • National Library Corporate Plan 2016-20
  • Service Charter
  • APS Code of Conduct
  • APS Values
  • Information Technology Strategic Plan 2018-22
  • Trove Brand Guidelines