Find out about recent achievements and future priorities of the Commons Library in our 2022-2023 Annual Report.

Message from the Chair

With a world-wide web of information available at your fingertips, why go to a library?

As anyone can attest, the internet can be harder to sort through than a library catalogue, especially for a very specific topic that also has important cultural or historical contextual parameters. Libraries select, obtain, organise and promote quality resources to diverse users in a timely and accessible way. Digital libraries reach beyond a geographically local community to a potentially limitless audience of library users, assisting them to access the information they need.

In a digital age, therefore, the importance of librarians and well curated library collections is greater than ever. Librarians have a significant role in public reference libraries to provide visitors with the information they are looking for, and to be certain about holding information that is reliable and reputable.

The Commons Social Change Library is no different, and plays a fundamental role in supporting people to engage in life-long learning.

The librarians are part of a profession that boasts three thousand years of sustained commitment to the responsible collection and effective curation of the recorded knowledge of civilization, and that has always extended across a variety of formats to keep and make available that knowledge.

We are constantly reminded that the success of democratic systems depends on the active participation of citizens in the political process.

Free public libraries with highly accessible information promote enlightened participation in civil society, and the Commons Social Change Library plays a critical role across Australia and around the world.

The commodification of information and resulting click-bait headlines driven by the need to draw advertising revenue sees market forces at play, which is never good news for public goods such as widespread and easy access to reliable, verifiable, independent and free information.

Thankfully, the contributions of our donors large and small and the proceeds of our research, cataloguing, and training services to a variety of organisations have allowed us to continue for another year: gathering resources as they are created and tested by real people in real time, assessing them through a stringent curation process and placing them into collections with care and consideration, with a plan for promoting and sharing them with the public so they get out there as a tool of education. Your financial support makes it all possible!

I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to library staff for 2022-23: Antje, Iain, Aoife, and our incredible library director Holly Hammond. Together they form a dedicated and expert team who go above and beyond the call of duty to bring the Commons Library to life. Our highly-skilled library volunteers help in so many ways and are generous with their time and expertise. I would especially like to thank fellow board members Django, Robyn, Phong, Holly D and new board member Hugh Rundle for their invaluable contribution over the past year.

Sue McKinnon, Commons Library Chair


  • Message from the Chair
  • Message from the Director
  • Reflections from the Team
  • Vision and Mission
  • What We Do
  • Feedback from Library Users
  • The Commons is Growing
  • Commons Conversations
  • Making Advocacy Accessible
  • Commons Library Skill Sessions
  • Project Partnerships
  • Feedback from Project Partners
  • Collections
  • Key Resources
  • Feedback from Library Users
  • Commons Staff
  • Commons Board
  • Commons Volunteers
  • Commons Donors
  • Plans for 2023/24
  • Movement Monitor
  • Financial Summary

Download Annual Report

2022 – 2023 Commons Library Annual Report (PDF)

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