Strategic Workforce Plan 2016 - 2020

Download the Strategic Workforce Plan 2016 - 2020  (PDF 559.4 KB)

The SLQ Strategic Workforce Plan 2016–20 provides strategies that will be implemented over the next four years to ensure that we are positioned to meet our existing and future service demands and challenges.

Strategic workforce planning is a continuous business planning process of shaping and structuring the workforce to ensure there is sufficient and sustainable capability and capacity to deliver the organisational
objectives, now and in the future.

The Strategic Workforce Plan identifies the human resource strategies required to continuously deliver the right people — that is, those with the skills and capabilities necessary for the required work — in the right numbers,
in the right place, at the right time.

State Library of Queensland – Inspiring Queensland’s creativity forever

The methodology

SLQ is committed to evidence based workforce planning and a process of continuous improvement as we shape and develop our workforce. To develop this Workforce Plan, SLQ followed a rigorous workforce planning process as follows:

  • Review of the SLQ Strategic Workforce Plan 2011–15
    • determine progress against agreed strategies.
  • External environmental scanning, with a review of:
    • global trends impacting on the business environment
    • trends in the library and information sector nationally and internationally
    • Queensland Government directions and policies likely to impact on SLQ
    • feedback from Queensland public libraries about their development needs.
  • Internal business scanning, including:
    • SLQ Towards 2020 Strategic Plan
    • SLQ’s audience research
    • SLQ’s current workforce profile
    • Working for Queensland staff survey data.
  • Internal consultation:
    • Consultation with SLQ executive team members to clarify workforce issues and priority strategies
    • A series of ten (10) staff focus groups to consider the Strategic Plan, external and internal scanning; and make recommendations for changes in service delivery and in the workforce profile.
  • Forecast of future service delivery demands and strategic gap analysis of capacity and capabilities.
  • Development of strategies to meet the demands of the future workforce.

Our vision

In 2020 SLQ is renowned as the trusted library for Queensland’s cultural and documentary heritage and a destination for curiosity, innovation, inspiration and creativity.

We provide access to a wealth of unique resources for those who want to read, learn, write, publish, or create. Our online library has a global presence and transforms people’s ability to access digitised Queensland material and to connect across regional and remote Queensland.

We enable greater access for all in our community, including those who are disadvantaged or left behind. We actively collaborate with the wider community to ensure literacy and capability is developed across all regions of Queensland.

We develop sustainable services, are innovative in our use of funding and establish strong partnerships.

We enable the growth of knowledge, innovation and enterprise.

Our key strategies

SLQ’s Towards 2020 Strategic Plan 2016–20 identifies four key strategies to achieve our vision:

  1. Reducing barriers to access
  2. Building capability in the regions
  3. Enabling new enterprise
  4. Future-proofing the digital library

Our enduring values

We provide free and equitable access to reliable information, wi-fi, knowledge resources, exhibitions/events, learning programs, meeting rooms.

We share resources, information, open data, eresources, cool stuff, tech stuff, great spaces.

We seek diverse voices respect for different views, no censorship.

We belong to the community publicly funded and philanthropically supported, ‘for’, ‘with’ and ‘by’ the community, remain unbiased.

Our challenges

The workforce planning process identified key challenges that will impact upon our ability to achieve our vision and strategic imperatives:

  • collecting a comprehensive collection of resources relating to Queensland, including digitising legacy content, capturing born digital content and building infrastructure to ensure long term access
  • the pace of technological changes and consequences of digital disruption
  • inconsistent connectivity across Queensland creates greater barriers to access
  • community demand for customised services
  • the openness movement is radically transforming curation, collection use, programming and the creation of new knowledge.

We are also influenced by challenges impacting most Australian workplaces, including an increasing and unpredictable number of retirements, growing knowledge of the risks of sedentary work and growing awareness and
recognition of mental health issues in the workplace. All of the identified challenges were considered carefully when developing the workforce plan strategies.

Our capability priorities

The workforce planning process reviewed the services provided by SLQ, to determine how the demand for these processes was changing, and what impact the changing demands would have on our workforce capability
requirements. Comprehensive information was provided around the specific service demands in the service areas of content management, visitor and information services, community engagement, regional delivery and public library collaboration, and enabling services such as corporate services, communications and fundraising. The service specific demands will inform operational workforce planning.

There were five capability requirements identified as being imperative across SLQ in order to achieve a workforce that shares responsibility for leadership; is aligned with our strategic direction and models our ensuring values and guiding behaviours. Regardless of the specific role, SLQ staff need to be:


  • High level client service skills (both external and internal clients) including communication, relationship development, negotiation, conflict resolution.
  • Build collaboration, client engagement and co-design into planning, operations, services and evaluation.

Agile and flexible

  • An interest in and confidence using new technologies.
  • Open to change and new ideas, intellectually curious.
  • Work across programs and understand impacts across SLQ.

Personal leaders

  • Identify, build, negotiate and manage partnerships.
  • Analyse data, make meaning, evaluate and learn.
  • Prioritise work and reassess priorities in alignment with the strategic direction.
  • Promote and advocate for SLQ.


  • Resilient, comfortable with change and taking risks.
  • Focused on personal and organisational learning.


  • ‘Get in and do it’ attitude, learn on the job.
  • Value diversity of opinions, be proactive in reaching consensus.
  • Celebrate achievements, recognise others, give feedback.

Our Enduring Values

  • We provide free and equitable access
  • We share
  • We seek diverse voices
  • We belong to the community

Our Guiding Behaviours

  • Customers first
  • Ideas into action
  • Unleash potential
  • Be courageous
  • Empower people


A workforce that shares responsibility for personal, team and organisational leadership.

Staff in successful organisations lead at all levels. They are supported by managers that are effective change agents, with the skills to empower staff to make a difference.
Key SLQ workforce changes since 2011 include the growing number of staff with leadership responsibilities, such as managing the work of volunteers, building and managing partnerships and networks, managing contracts, leading National and State Libraries Australasia projects and codesigning collections, services and programs with the community.

We will:

  • empower staff to take leadership action at all levels
  • increase opportunities for staff to implement innovative ideas, improve systems and processes, and reassess priorities
  • support staff to maintain a healthy work-life balance
  • recognise staff that demonstrate outstanding leadership.


A workforce aligned with our strategic direction; the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time.

Our investment in staff represents 60% of our total expenditure. We will continue to attract and retain talent and grow capability from within (the average tenure of our permanent staff is almost 14 years). We need staff with a
wide range of skills and interests, of a wide demographic range. As we update and design new roles, we need to ensure they reflect the current nature of professions and new graduate skills.

We are supported by volunteers and interns that come from a wide range of backgrounds, including tertiary students and retired professionals. They are culturally diverse, of all ages and bring a variety of skills to SLQ. In addition, our digital volunteers help make digitised content more accessible, including reviewing and correcting digitised text and adding tags to images.

We will:

  • implement recruitment strategies that target skills for new roles and increase workforce diversity
  • build our pool of skilled casual staff and engage temporary staff for projects
  • grow the volunteer program
  • deliver contemporary, relevant and tailored capability programs
  • empower staff to be proactive in professional development and career progression opportunities
  • deliver a dynamic program for physical and mental health and wellbeing
  • facilitate operational workforce planning to ensure capacity and capability meets future needs
  • embed succession planning for key positions.


A workforce that models our enduring values and guiding behaviours

In the current environment of accelerating change, organisations need staff and a workplace culture which supports innovation and the willingness to change, as services adapt to changing technologies and customer

Our capability priorities align with our guiding behaviours: put customers first; be agile, flexible, proactive and courageous; seek and act on evidence and feedback; and develop ourselves and those around us.

We need staff across the organisation to support our enduring values as a library:

  • provide equitable access and represent diverse voices
  • value our partnerships with local government to build a thriving network of public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres
  • participate in and nurture the dynamic network of public libraries across the state, country and internationally
  • have a mindset of collaboration and cooperation across our network of partners whether they be in government, business or across disciplines.

We will:

  • empower staff to take action in alignment with our values and behaviours
  • increase opportunities that promote internal communication, collaboration and shared ways of working
  • support flexible work arrangements as a key strength, while balancing operational requirements
  • implement a three year action plan to continue to improve our workplace culture.

Success measures

Implementation of the plan is the responsibility of the Senior Management Team, and will be a standing item at SMT meetings to ensure attention is maintained on strategic workforce issues. The plan is to be reviewed
after 12 months in line with the strategic planning cycle.

Our 2020 targets are to:

  • Maintain our high customer satisfaction: >= 95%
  • Increase workforce diversity to more closely align with the Queensland community
  • Increase the number of staff with Personal Performance Plans: 100%
  • Increase Working for Queensland staff survey results:
    • Staff engagement: 75%
    • Organisational leadership: 60%
    • Fairness and trust: 75%
    • Effectiveness and Innovation: 75%
  • Increase the number of active volunteers by 50%

Our current workforce

346 staff (headcount)
=282 staff FTE (full-time equivalent) = 100 volunteers + online volunteers

Casual  10.20%
Contract  1.46%
Permanent  69.39%
Temporary  18.95%

AO  59.87%
OO  2.27%
PO  25.24%
SES 1.62%
SO  1.62%
TO  9.39%

46 yrs  average age  
QPS 44 yrs

13.8 yrs average tenure
QPS 11.4 yrs

4% average turnover
QPS 5.65%

5.2% identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people (3rd highest in QPS)
4.34% identify as NESB migrants (less than QPS 5.19%)
7.51% identify as NESB children of migrants (more than QPS 4.01%)

All staff
71% female
29% male

SO1-SES roles
78% female
22% male

Work part-time
25% female
5% male

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.