SLQ Digital Strategy

State Library of Queensland
digital strategy

becoming digital by design

State Library of Queensland is a trusted place for people to learn about, reflect upon and contribute to the shared, constantly developing history of Queensland. SLQ is committed to providing accessible and inclusive collections and services, embracing diversity, addressing disadvantage and enhancing life participation via strong community connections.

SLQ has embraced ‘digital’ - building digital collections and enabling access to them for use and re-use, and integrating digital experiences in our events and exhibitions. SLQ also takes a leading role in the open data movement, and supports public libraries with digital programs and services. So a digital strategy for SLQ is not so much about transformation from analogue to digital – a seismic shift. Rather, it is about evolution from a first generation digital library to a library that is digital by design.

‘Analogue’ and ‘digital’ are not mutually exclusive or opposing forces. Our physical collections, onsite exhibitions, programs, services and extraordinary building are an integral part of the ‘digitalisation’ of the library.

A library that is digital by design means that our intention is to think, act and be digital first - for digital experiences to be intrinsically part of the life of the library and the people who visit, use, collaborate and create with us. Now is the time to fully realise the opportunities of digital evolution.

We will have succeeded when we are known as leaders in digital collecting, engagement and empowerment for Queenslanders. However, the most telling success measure will be that we have no further need for a digital strategy; that the next step in our evolution will be simply a strategy for the future.


We live in an environment of continuous technological change. Smart devices, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and the internet of things are changing the way services are conceived, developed and delivered. Only organisations that are responsive and agile will be able to innovate and thrive in this environment.

With more than half of the population living in regional, rural and remote areas, connectivity to reliable and fast internet is problematic for many Queenslanders. Queensland also scores behind most other states in the digital inclusion index , calculated using measures of access to and affordability of the internet and the ability to use online tools and services.

There is now an expectation that digital products and services will be simple and intuitive, and deliver personalised online experiences. However, there is a tension between this expectation and limiting legal, socio-environmental and technological factors.

Preservation of digital collections is a significant challenge for libraries. Digital content is ubiquitous but more at risk of loss in the future than analogue materials. Preserving digital content is not just about preserving files, but also providing ongoing access to the content and being able to render it in a usable way, or emulate the original user experience.

Becoming a library that is digital by design

Increase online access to our collections

We will digitise more of our unique collections and proactively place them where people are looking for content – not requiring them to come to us, but for us to be where they are. We will also increase our collecting of content in digital formats.

We will champion open licensing, open data and open access and advocate for legislative and regulatory reform enabling the widest possible use and re-use of content.

We will see collections as data – and collaborate closely with those who are using data to discover more about Queensland’s past, present and future. We will also expand and enrich the data we hold, ensuring that we provide datasets that are relevant to our users.

Embed rich digital experiences in everything we do

We will develop an online presence that is contemporary, responsive, personalised, and collaborative.

We will devise frictionless digital services (onsite and online) with the technology offer matched to user interests and abilities.

We will seamlessly integrate physical and digital into our exhibitions and programs, ensuring those who use the library onsite and online have stimulating and rewarding experiences.

Strengthen digital literacy in our communities

We will grow our collaboration with the network of Queensland public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres to deliver digital literacy programs which meet community needs and aspirations. We will seek further partnerships with organisations who champion digital literacy and are committed to working in and with communities to bring about change.

We will advocate for the critical role of public libraries in developing digital literacy to build strong, healthy and economically robust communities.

We will develop onsite and online activities to encourage and support digital literacy – online volunteering, workshops and learning opportunities for all.

Enabling our digital strategy

Empowering technologies

agile, intuitive, robust, secure

We will use digital technologies to improve all aspects of the work we do and the services we provide.

We will ensure our systems are optimised to support our mission and strategy through the development of an ICT futures plan. We will develop digital ‘play spaces’ where staff can explore, experiment, and develop capability and understanding of emerging technologies, and critically evaluate their potential use.

We will commit resources and expertise to implement digital preservation, to ensure long term access to digital content which tells the story of Queensland.

Digital capability and expertise

a workforce that thinks ‘digitally’

We will develop our digital ecology to create opportunities for people across the library to lead digital initiatives and evolve our understanding of digital technologies.

We will place existing work practices under the microscope, question long-held “truths,” and accept and encourage discomfort as we integrate digital into everything we do.

We will grow a digitally fluent workforce, with capabilities and competencies to use, understand and adapt digital technologies; working collaboratively, solving problems and improving services.

We will share digital skills and knowledge and learn from our professional colleagues, taking collective responsibility for our digital evolution.

Strategy in Action

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First World War soldier portraits

Nearly 30,000 Queensland soldiers had their portrait taken and published in The Queenslander newspaper during World War 1. SLQ has digitised all of these portraits and made them available for anyone to use. You can find them on One Search, our catalogue, open data portals and even on where they have been added to thousands of family trees and stories.

More about the Soldier Portraits project
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Deadly Digital Communities

Changing lives through community-based digital literacy and technology training is the aim of Deadly Digital Communities, an initiative of the State Library of Queensland and Telstra in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Councils in Queensland and delivered through Indigenous Knowledge Centres and local councils.

More about Deadly Digital Communities


This strategy is positioned within a wider SLQ and Queensland Government strategies, in particular:

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