Archives shuts reading rooms on SaturdaysIn what it describes as “a realignment of resources”, the National Archives of Australia is closing its reading rooms on Saturdays throughout the country.
The Archives says this is not a cost-cutting measure and weekday hours will not change.
Assistant Director-General (Access and Communication) at the Archives, Louise Doyle said that from 1 November the reading rooms would close on Saturdays in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Reading rooms in the other capital cities - Adelaide, Darwin, Hobart and Perth - do not open on Saturdays at present.
Ms Doyle said the Canberra reading room would continue to be open from 9am to 5pm on weekdays, except for Tuesdays when it was open until 7pm.
The reading rooms allow people to view original records, including documents, maps and audio-visual material under strict rules.
Ms Doyle said an average of 11 people used the reading room in Canberra on a Saturday in the last financial year. Most requests for records were made online.
She said online users had accessed more than six million items in the past financial year, and 50,000 items had been viewed in the capital cities' reading rooms.
“The closure of the reading rooms on a Saturday is about a realignment of resources into areas that have high demand,” Ms Doyle said.
She said the focus was now on digitising records and reducing a backlog in requests for records, with staff having to check each record before it was released.
Edition 383, 15 October 2013