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The Deakin University cube at Waurn Ponds Campus, located in front of the library. In the foreground of the photo, the Torres Strait Island, Australian and Aboriginal flags fly.

December 13, 2023

Deakin Library to implement First Nations description guidelines

Deakin Library is proud to implement the new Guidelines for First Nations Collection Description – a groundbreaking project that advocates for collaborative practices with Indigenous communities to revolutionise description methods. Crafted by Tui Raven, Senior Manager of Indigenous Programs, these guidelines serve as a beacon for libraries and archives, creating a shift in description practices across the Australian library and archive sector.

The guidelines were launched in a packed webinar last month, where Tui and a panel of industry experts highlighted the significance of this work. The project places a strong emphasis on amplifying the voices and perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to update description practices within libraries and archives. Tui is now spearheading the implementation of these guidelines at Deakin Library.

Webinar: First Nations collection description guidelines for the Australian library sector

This webinar was a collaborative initiative involving five key organisations:

  1. Australian Library & Information Association
  2. National and State Libraries Australasia
  3. Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  4. Council of Australian University Librarians
  5. CAVAL.

Hero Macdonald, Deakin University Librarian, supports the transformative nature of these guidelines, asserting their impact on shaping national perceptions of knowledge and information. Hero states, ‘The way libraries describe their collections matters… These guidelines are not just transformative for libraries but for the nation.’ They acknowledge the crucial role the guidelines will play in ensuring the appropriate management of First Nations cultural and the wider collections, fostering a safer and more effective engagement for researchers, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

‘Tui’s work is truly world-leading, and Deakin Library is incredibly fortunate to have her guiding our implementation of these transformative protocols.’ – Hero Macdonald

For those keen to delve into the guidelines or catch up on the webinar, online resources are available. Watch the webinar via the link above, or review the guidelines.

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