The National Library and Archives of Australia has shut down after a two-year battle with hackers and debt collectors, forcing it to close some of its sites and stop providing services to users.
The Australian government’s Office of Digital Strategy said the National Archives of Victoria had shut down the branch in the CBD for a month on October 19.
It was the latest chapter in a long saga that has spanned more than a decade.
The National Library had been run by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) for almost three decades before it was merged with the Australian Library Association in 2011.
It was established in 1998 and had been a part of the Library of Victoria until 2012, when the NTMA left and the NTDA took over.
The NTMA had said it was working with the NTAA on “a transition period” and that it was “confident” that “there is an adequate amount of money in the NTRA’s accounts to meet current and future operating costs”.
The NTAA said it had “reached an agreement” with the NLA to fund the NTLA’s operating costs, but it could not provide a date for when the deal would be in place.NTLA chief executive David McCallum told ABC Radio Canberra that the NTSA had paid NTMA $1.8 million in “general administration” in the past two years.
Mr McCallums said the NTBA was still negotiating with NTMA over funding for its current operations, which he said included operations such as the National Portrait Gallery, which was closed to public viewing in May, and the National Children’s Museum.
“We are working with our partners to get a good, well-funded, long-term operating plan in place,” he said.
“The NTLA is committed to the NLCA’s operations, but at this time we have to have the NTLCA as part of that.”NTLA’s chairman said the group was still working with NTDA and NTLA to “find a mutually acceptable resolution” to the “extent and duration of the NT Library’s closure”.
He said that, although the NTNA had provided some assistance in its transition, it was still not enough.
“In the last two years we have had the NTIA and NTLCAs offer the NTLAG a range of support to assist with the transition,” Mr McCallms said.NTLAG’s chief executive Peter Gulland said the decision was a “difficult one”.
“We’ve been trying to get to an agreement, we’ve been negotiating with them to get the NTCA to contribute to the transition, and so we’re trying to find a solution that is sustainable,” he told the ABC.
“And unfortunately, we haven’t been able to reach a solution.”
He said the closure of the National Public Library was not unexpected.
“I think this is a bit of a surprise because we had no reason to think that we would be able to do it,” he explained.
“This is a complex issue that the Australian government has had to deal with for over 10 years and we’ve had a number of times where they’ve had to step in and help.”
They’ve helped us in terms of funding, they’ve helped in terms a budget.
“Mr Gullands said the NALA had provided more than $4 million in funding for the NTLibrary over the past five years.
He said it would be “very difficult” to “make this transition without some level of assistance”.”
It’s not something we’re prepared to say no to,” he added.
The NLA said it planned to “explore” options for how it could continue operating the NDLA library.”
It is disappointing that this has occurred, but we continue to work with the National Land Council and the Australian Government on a range on the issues we are dealing with,” the NNLA said in a statement.”
These discussions are ongoing.
“Topics:library,library-and-libraries,information-and_communication,library,australiaFirst posted October 17, 2018 08:58:15Contact Nicola FuchsMore stories from New South Wales