Open Data Strategy 2018-22

Download the Open Data Strategy 2018-22 (PDF 144.6 KB) (updated May 2018) 

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Strategic overview

State Library of Queensland is a custodian of the state’s unique stories. Our historic and contemporary collections inform our programming, public engagement and partnerships. We are a place of experimentation, possibility and inclusion, where knowledge empowers and diversity is celebrated. State Library is part of a vibrant network of more than 320 public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres throughout Queensland.

To achieve our vision, Inspiring possibilities through knowledge, stories and creativity, State Library champions open access to information and ideas as a key enabler for a strong, well-informed and innovative society.

1.2 Open data context

In alignment with the Queensland Government’s Open Data Policy Statement, State Library’s Open Data Strategy aims to:

  • Stimulate economic activity and innovation by making government data available for commercial reuse
  • Improve public services by using and sharing government data to support evidence-based policy and program design
  • Increase transparency, accountability and public trust in the Queensland Government.1

State Library also commits to following the International Open Data Charter2 principles:

  1. Open by Default
  2. Timely and Comprehensive
  3. Accessible and Usable
  4. Comparable and Interoperable
  5. For Improved Governance and Citizen Engagement
  6. For Inclusive Development and Innovation.

Open data is a key component in our Digital Strategy. The Strategy includes activities to build digital collections for use and re-use, and activities to position State Library as a lead in the open data movement.

Open data activities and processes will comply with all relevant legislation and standards, including the protection of private and confidential data. For related legislation, standards, policies and resources, see section 3.0.

1 Queensland Government Open Data Policy Statement, viewed 12 march 2018
2 Internation Open Data Charter, Principles, viewed 12 March 2018

2.0 Data

State Library is a data-rich agency, with services delivered to external and internal clients. Increasingly these services are in the form of digital information and platforms, as part of information-rich value chains between our users and communities of interest.

We will:

  1. ‘Share first’ for mutual benefit – the data doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’ before it is shared
  2. Enable co-creation with learning and engagement
  3. Enhance innovation by service improvement.

2.1 Types of data

We hold the following types of data, subject to privacy requirements:

  • Collections data
    • Data describing and indexing items our collection (includes catalogue records and indexes, some datasets include persistent links to digital objects and geotags). State Library’s Protocols for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collections will guide the release of any dataset relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
    • We see our collections as potential datasets – and collaborates closely with those who are using data to discover more about Queensland’s past, present and future. We will expand and enrich the data we hold, ensuring that we provide datasets that are relevant to our users.
  • Service data
    • Data about inputs (finances, expenditure, facilities-product-services, human resources)
    • Data about outputs (grants, collections, programs and services)
    • Data about use (visitation, use of collections, programs and services)
  • Satisfaction and experience data
    • o Data derived from user registers, surveys and focus groups.

In addition to social and cultural benefits, these datasets also have potential to create economic opportunities for industry. As well as data relating to its own operations, we collect information about Queensland public libraries through an annual statistical survey and other community engagement activities.

State Library’s available datasets consist of:

  1. Compiled data: datasets that have been moderated, formatted and treated with defined compilation methodologies (i.e. data that has been reviewed and evaluated with regard to accuracy, verification, error removal/adjustments or de-identified/anonymised, to protect client privacy)
  2. Unclassified data: minimal compilation or treatment of the data has been undertaken (i.e. ‘raw data’ in its original form).

State Library’s Identity Management Principles foster a whole-of-organisation approach to identity management and provide high level guidance to manage datasets which include personal information. The principles include that data is trustworthy (identity data is accurate, relevant, timely, accessible and secure) and private (personal information is protected in accordance with the law). Anonymised data is used in open data initiatives and reporting activities.

2.2 Publishing data

State Library’s datasets will be published with the following data release process and guided by our Data release management procedures:

Data release process

  1. Discover: assess data completeness and sensitivity, timeliness, usage costs and quality
  2. Process: address privacy, confidentiality, legal, policy and contractual requirements
  3. License: apply relevant licence to enable data to be shared and reused (e.g. Creative Commons)
  4. Publish: consider accessibility, discrimination, open standards/formats, metadata and documentation
  5. Refine: review data usefulness and permanence, engagement with users/stakeholders and ongoing improvements.

In addition to the datasets released through the Open Data Strategy, State Library will continue to provide information and data in a more visual and user-friendly manner, including releasing data through various platforms in appropriate formats (e.g. Queensland Government Open Data portal:, Australian Government:

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.

2.3 Engagement

In partnership with the National and State Libraries Australia (NSLA) network, State Library actively encourages the development of open practice models and public domain platforms to support the sharing or reuse of data and information to promote community created content. We also work with the academic sector to explore new uses of open data with researchers and students and are committed to the ongoing support to the digital humanities field.

As part of ongoing Govhack community collaboration initiatives, we will continue to encourage the creative, inventive and innovative reuse of library data and digital content for anyone to mash up, remix and repurpose and create something new for research, creative or personal use.

We will build our core data literacy skills and 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.

Our data is being used in innovative ways by developers, creative artists and researchers. We are also using open data to improve our services. We will continue to publish case studies on our website to share examples of open data projects and impacts.

3.0 Implementation

State Library will conduct an annual Open Data Maturity Assessment3 , publish our score and develop an annual Action Plan.

3Open Data Institute, Open Data Pathway, viewed 12 March 2018

4.0 Related legislation, standards, policies and resources

Queensland Government

State Library of Queensland


Library membership

Become an SLQ member now to access our services, collections and facilities.

Library Shop online

Discover an eclectic range of books, gifts, reproduction prints and more at the Library Shop.