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Reach and spread the Indigenous spaces strategy across NSW

Indigenous Spaces In Library Places Public Library Toolkit

Spread the strategy across NSW


  • The public library network is actively aware and engaged with the strategy.
  • Public library staff promote the strategy across the network, encouraging collaborations and sharing stories

Key strategies

  • Organise onsite and/or online focus groups with library staff and managers to seek input and feedback on the application of the strategy.
  • Investigate the use of online tools to survey priority areas, new ideas etc.
Spread the Indigenous spaces strategy across the state
Map showing the distribution of the Aboriginal tribes of Australia (detail), Norman B Tindale, 1940 Mitchell Library, M3 804ECA/1788/1A

Resources for public libraries

Getting started 

Social media is a great way to connect with your local Indigenous community to share information on library services and programs. Social media can also be a tool for communicating ideas, and receiving feedback.  We recommend that you promote the use of the Strategy through your library's social media channels by downloading the stratgy. You can use the hashtag #PublicLibrariesIndigenous to start a conversation online to seek input on the application of the Strategy in your local area.  

You might find that you have some great programs underway that you could share through social media, or you may wish to start a conversation online to receive feedback on ways that you could deepen connections with local Aboriginal programs or organisations.  

Working Together 

We recommend that you use social media to generate interest in the Strategy. You could organise onsite visits or focus group discussions locally to gather ideas, or distribute an online survey to key Indigenous organisations or representative groups.  

Downloadable Resources

Strategy Objectives PDF

Getting started

Public libraries have many opportunities to promote connections with Indigenous people and history through marketing and promotion. A part of the strategy Indigenous Spaces in Library Places is bringing greater visibility of Indigenous library services across NSW public libraries. Your library can take an active role in increasing positive representation of Indigenous people in your cultural institution by:

  • Including an acknowledgement of local Indigenous people in your email footer, or in your regular newsletter
  • Review your library website and identify opportunities to enhance the work that you are undertaking in relation to the Strategy
  • Promote significant events through library marketing and promotion.

TIP: it can be useful to ask the question: 'Are Aboriginal people and histories visibly represented through marketing and promotion in my library?' If your answer is no consider some ways in which to work together with your community to increase this visibility.

Working with communities

Connect with your Local Aboriginal Land Council to work on text for an Acknowledgement of Country that can be utilised within library promotional material.

Downloadable Resources

Key Dates PDF

Getting started

Libraries are often described as being the lounge rooms of a local community, a place for people to meet and learn. One of the keys to building this sense of connection, is by knowing who your local communities are.  Indigenous communities in NSW are diverse, both in relation to culture/language and histories. For this reason, we recommend to: 

  • Make the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flag visible within your library service, either online, or in welcoming signs at the front of your library
  • Involve your local community as more as possible 
  • Work with key organisations or local art centres to identify or commission appropriate artwork relating to the local Indigenous community 
Downloadable Resources

Welcome Sign PDF

Case studies


The following text was provided by the Library's Indigenous Services team, and includes quotes of NSW public library staff who kindly shared their thought on the day.

From #Yuin country to #Wiradjuri (Bega to the Blue Mountains), NSW public library staff travelled from all over the state for the Indigenous Services Unconference on 10 February 2017. These passionate library champions took part in a world cafe style program helping them to gain skills and confidence in providing library services to Indigenous communities. The Unconference was an opportunity to gather with some of the 40 NSW public library professionals who undertook an Aboriginal cultural competence training from Cultural Competence Australia.

The course was a pilot project part of the strategy for NSW public libraries Indigenous Spaces in library Places: Building a Vibrant Public Library Network Inclusive of Indigenous Peoples and Communities.

Some feedback on the day:

"Spending time talking about how to make our library services more inclusive for Indigenous communities is important and valuable, and something we don’t spend enough time on. Finishing the Cultural Competency Course and following up with the Unconference was an invaluable experience and afforded me the opportunity to reflect on what my library service was doing and how we could do things better.

Over the course of the day, we had the privilege to be in a yarn circle with Tasha Lamb, the Manager Indigenous Connections at the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA), who shared her experience working in working at AIATSIS and the NFSA. The yarn circle provided a powerful experience of sharing in an equal space.

Using the world café model of participation, the Unconference enabled us to work in small groups on specific questions and topics, moving around and interacting with each other. For me, talking with other colleagues about where to place items in the collection, simple things we can do to create welcoming spaces and social media protocols and how to properly represent our online content. It was also an opportunity to listen to other peoples stories and learn from their own experiences.

By the end of the day I was able to clearly visualise what my library service could do to make ourselves more inclusive and welcoming. Something as simple as recognising the land in which my library is situated on the front door or putting the flag in a visible location is a great start. I realised that I don’t need to be in a hurry to do everything, that there are some basic, simple things to start with to reach the long term goal of inclusivity and inclusion.

The Indigenous Spaces in library Places: Building a Vibrant Public Library Network Inclusive of Indigenous Peoples and Communities document is essential reading for all public libraries and provides a framework to assist us in developing our library services. Having the time to talk about this with the Indigenous Services Team at the Library is an invaluable experience and I look forward to implementing actions in the near future."

Paula Pfoeffer, Coordinator – Library Services


"I was eager to attend the Unconference,  so that I could build on the learning I had already achieved during the Aboriginal Cultural Competence training. The course was fantastic but I was particularly wanting to get some practical guidance on how to develop my specific Library Action Plan. The Unconference format was great as it created a safe and informal space for peer-to-peer learning, collaboration and creativity. The world café idea was a terrific way to get people talking about the core issues in a non-threatening way.

The yarning circle discussions were also great. The whole day really helped me to build confidence in my knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities and nations; and how to conduct business in a culturally competent and sensitive manner.

The experience far exceeded my expectations. I would recommend all library staff attend if they get the opportunity!"

Bayside Council - Rockdale



Choose your strategy objective

Katoomba Library Aboriginal Knowledge Centre


Welcome Indigenous peoples into your library

Indigenous spaces- Support Indigenous people in the local area


Support communities in your local area

Indigenous spaces- share stories about Indigenous culture


Share stories and build knowledge

Include and support indigenous employment across the library network


Include and support Indigenous employment

Build vibrant collections shaped by Indigenous needs


Build vibrant collections and services

Indigenous spaces- Create inspiring collaborative relationships.jpg


Collaborate to share information on the Strategy

Spread the Indigenous spaces strategy across the state


Reach and spread the Indigenous spaces strategy across NSW

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Indigenous spaces

Indigenous spaces in library places

Other resources for your library

Dyarubbin exhibition in the First Nations Gallery, March 2022

Indigenous Spaces in Libraries

Building culturally safe and welcoming spaces in libraries for First Nations peoples and communities.

Banners across the front of the Macquarie St wing of the Library for the Eight Days in Kamay exhibition 2021

Guiding Principles and Indigenous Frameworks

Guidelines the Library follows for engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and managing the collections