Book Challenges

Images of protests, threats and book bans have sadly become all too familiar in Australia over the past year. As library staff know, access to information and intellectual freedom are fundamental requirements of democratic society. Challenges seeking to remove materials from libraries and shut down library programs are an anaethema to library practice, and challenge the basis of democracy. The targeting of certain people and communities, most notably LGBTQIA+ people, seeks to undermine equality and democratic participation in society.

Bringing together experts in LGBTQIA+ advocacy and support with library leaders, this session will explore how libraries can connect with the strength of the LGBTQIA+ community and work together to improve library services for the whole community and provide safe, inclusive and uplifting events and spaces.

Presented by experts with hands on experience on the front line of current challenges, this workshop is a must for library leaders facing challenges and looking to strategic partnerships for community growth and acceptance, and would also be beneficial to library workers at all levels.

Trish Hepworth

Director of Policy and Education, Australian Library and Information Association

Author Bio

Trish Hepworth is the Director of Policy and Education for the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). In her current role she overseas ALIA’s policy development and advocacy, professional standards and education activities. Trish enjoys working with a diverse range of stakeholders to support Australia’s library and information service to advance a socially just and progressive society.

Jane Cowell

President, Australian Library and Information Association

Author Bio

Jane Cowell is a known innovator and speaker on trends in the Public Library industry with over 25 years of experience working in Public Libraries across Australia and is the President of ALIA. Currently Jane is the CEO of Yarra Plenty Regional Library which serves the communities in the northeast of Melbourne. In her previous role she worked at the State Library of Queensland and delivered significant research projects to support library advocacy efforts such as The Impact of Libraries as Creative Spaces in 2016 and was instrumental in the development of a fully funded ($20 million) early literacy programme for every Queensland public library, First Five Forever. Jane also serves on the International Library Federation Association Public Library Section as Secretary and enjoys this global collaboration to advance Public Libraries across the world. She blogs at Medium and you can follow Jane on Twitter @janecowell8