UPDATE: Following extensive campaigning, Trove received a commitment of $16.4 million in Dec 2016.
In case you missed it: The Australian federal government is significantly cutting funding to the National Library of Australia. One of the services that will be most detrimentally impacted is Trove, which will no longer be able to aggregate content from museums and universities unless fully funded to do so.
This proposed move has resulted in a groundswell of support and outrage from the Australian community (see #fundTROVE)
If you would like to express your concerns beyond Twitter, please feel free to adapt the template letter below and send it to your local member, your state/territory senator and Communications Minister Mitch Fifield.
This letter was drafted by the Cate O’Neill, Nicola Laurent and myself at the request of Gavan McCarthy.
123 Address St
St Kilda East, VIC 3183
24 February 2016
Member for xxxx
74 Address Blvd
St Kilda, VIC 3182
Dear [Local Member],
I am calling on you to reject the proposed funding cuts to the National Library of Australia, to stop the detrimental impact it will have on Trove, the NLA’s world leading knowledge repository.
Trove has revolutionised the way we locate vital historical resources about Australia and Australians. Since it was launched in 2009, it has become firmly established as an indispensable tool for all levels of the Australian community.
Trove not only creates pathways to the treasures within the NLA’s collection, but it also connects people to the wealth of resources held in the distributed national collections in various local and state cultural institutions.
The proposal to cease the aggregation of content into Trove from museums and universities (unless fully funded to do so) will severely, and detrimentally, impact Trove, leading to stagnation.
It is the continual inputs from and collaboration with Trove’s content partners that make it the world-leading resource it is today. The decisions to cease aggregating content is entirely at odds with the purpose of Trove, as a gateway to aggregated content it is meaningless without regular updates.
Trove has had tremendous success through crowdsourcing, using volunteers to transcribe historical newspaper articles, creating its own community, and making content more accessible. The community outcry to the proposed cuts demonstrates just how Trove belongs to all of us. As university researchers a world without Trove is unimaginable to the way we now work and disseminate our research. The #fundTrove hashtag on Twitter demonstrates the groundswell of support and provides numerous examples of how Trove is used by a huge cross section of the Australian community to learn more about the past and explore who we are.
We are requesting your help, as a matter of urgency, to halt the proposed cuts to the NLA, and to restore adequate funding levels to meet community need.
For your convenience, here are the mailing addresses of Communications Minister Mitch Fifield:
At his electorate office:
Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield
42 Florence Street
MENTONE VIC 3194
At his Parliament House office in Canberra:
Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield
CANBERRA ACT 2600