Nathan Sentance

Engaging with Communities: What Indigenous Services has done to make the State Library of NSW more accessible to Indigenous Australians


Libraries and other memory institutions provide important sources of information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. However, Indigenous resources/collections are often difficult to locate within these institutions, and big institutions can seem inaccessible. As a result of this, since its inception in 2014, the Indigenous Services Branch of the State Library of New South Wales has been working toward making the library a more welcoming space for Indigenous Australians. Furthermore, the Branch has been engaging with Indigenous people and communities, onsite, online and on tour. This paper will discuss the methods Indigenous Services has been working toward to achieve this. These methods include:

• Implementing the ATSILIRN (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Library and Information Resource Network) Protocols at the State Library of New South Wales: This paper will what is the importance of the Protocols for promoting services for Indigenous people, including increasing access for Indigenous Australians

• Launching the Rediscovering Indigenous Languages website: This paper will delineate how the Rediscovering Indigenous Languages project, and website, has assisted Indigenous Australians access library collections. Additionally, it will discuss what dialogue and community consultation has taken place as part of the project.

• Promoting Library collections and services by hosting events and exhibitions pertaining to Indigenous Australian history, culture and issues: This paper will discuss how building new audiences around Indigenous collections can promote the services of the Library.

This paper will share experiences for the Indigenous Services Branch and aim to inspire others to build responsive services for Indigenous people and communities.


Nathan Sentance is a library technician in the Indigenous Services Branch of the State Library and is currently studying Bachelor of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University. His main interests in the information profession are Indigenous Intellectual Property and metadata. Nathan was the recipient of the Loris Williams Memorial Scholarship 2015.





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