The quarterly LEP Newsletter is issued for December, January and February
LEP Newsletter, 55, February 2006
Priceless! All ABS online data now free
All ABS data on the ABS web site is now free of charge. Anyone anywhere with an Internet connection can now access official statistics from the ABS web site. No passwords or other access arrangements need to be made.
Free ABS statistics on the web is a result of additional funding in the 2005 Federal Budget. It was announced by the Treasurer on 8 December 2006.
Read further to find out what free ABS data means for your library.
- Electronic publications (all pdf and html based content)
- 1996 and 2001 Census data
- Time series spreadsheets, and
- Other spreadsheets and data cubes
This issue of LEP News focusses on the ABS web site - on free statistics on the ABS web site and on the redesign of that part of the web site previously known as 'AusStats'. These innovations mean that the community now has free access to many more statistics than previously and that those statistics are now arranged in a way that makes them easier to find and download. This will be welcome news for libraries - and indeed the feedback we are receiving about the web site is very encouraging.
In January that great ABS flagship title, Year Book Australia, was released. A print copy has been sent to every LEP member library. If you haven't yet, open your library's copy and become acquainted with this year's issue. The coverage is broad - everything from Australia's system of government to climate. Keep the latest Year Book near your Library's Information Desk. It truly deserves to be the reference librarian's best friend.
Lastly, 2006 is census year, with the next Census of Population and Housing coming up on 8 August 2006. Activity is gearing up in the ABS and LEP libraries will again have opportunities to highlight the census to their communities.
LEP National Manager
The ABS is committed to providing easy access to ABS information. A major re-design of the part of the web site previously known as 'AusStats' was released on 27 January 2006. The name 'AusStats' been discontinued and this part of the site is now known simply as 'Statistics'. The changes can be seen by clicking on the Statistics' link on any ABS web page.
All the existing content has been retained and additional access points have been added. ABS information and statistical titles can now be accessed by:
- Topic (such as Economy or Labour Force)
- Catalogue Number
- Release Date, and
And having selected a title, users will find that all the relevant information relating to it is accessible from clearly labelled tabbed pages.
If you would like to provide your feedback on the ABS web site, or for more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
ABS Statistical Publishing Development
Who’s new in the LEP
The ABS welcomes Debrah Lewis to the position of Director, ABS Library and Extension Services. This follows Karen Vitullo's appointment as ABS ACT Regional Director. Debrah's name will be familiar to many, as she has returned to the ABS after working in the State Library of WA, the Satyananda Yoga Academy and the Dept of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Previously she worked in the LEP, and was ABS Library Director from 1994 to 1997.
And new LEP Coordinators in..
Heather Burns has worked in ABS Client Services for 10 years, and has an extensive knowledge of ABS data. As a Geography graduate of Adelaide University she has a particular interest in Census data. Heather will be busy early in the year as a Commonwealth Games volunteer. But she will not be neglecting her Victorian LEP clients and has scheduled training and visits across Victoria.
Greg Lawrence takes over LEP Qld from Tanya Lucas. Greg joined ABS in 1997 to manage ABS' key clients in government, and to support electronic products from the 1996 Census. He has specialised in providing customised data to clients and has also provided CDATA training to clients across the country.
WA LEP libraries will welcome Margaret Garner to the LEP. Marg has been with ABS for eighteen years. She has previously worked on the Consumer Price Index, the Average Weekly Earnings Survey and the Monthly Labour Force Survey. Margaret is delighted to be working in LEP and is looking forward to meeting LEP clients in WA.
The latest on the CensusAtSchool project
So far there are over 2,300 schools across Australia registered for CensusAtSchool. Your local school may be one of them. CensusAtSchool is a non compulsory free classroom resource for Australian teachers. Students answer interesting and non invasive questions about themselves and then investigate the data collected.
Find out more about CensusAtSchool from the link on the ABS home page. Keep up to date by subscribing to the free CensusAtSchool Email List from the 'Teacher Area' link on the CensusAtSchool main web page.
ABS Marketing Services
(02) 6252 5121
Order your 2006 ABS Library and Information Week Kit
The free ABS LIW Kit is very popular and with numbers limited, it is not too early to place your order. This year's Kit includes material supporting Census on 8 August 2006. Email your order to email@example.com
How will your library be promoting statistics in LIW this year? Let us know. And don’t forget to highlight your LIW events when you apply for the 2006 LEP Excellence Award.
Winners of LEP Quiz in November LEP Newsletter
- Bronwyn Betts, Victoria University
- Leanda Elliott, Wimmera Regional Library
- Geraldine Holscher, Corangamite Regional Library Corporation
- David Kennedy, Richmond Tweed Regional Library
- Beth Peisley, University of Wollongong Library
What does free statistics on the ABS web site mean for our library?
As well as the familiar ABS pdf publications on the web site, there are over 2000 Times Series as well as spreadsheets, Census files and over 100 multidimensional data cubes - in all, more than 320,000 web pages. This will mean that library clients will be asking about accessing and using this additional data.
...and easy access
Free statistics means that libraries which subscribed to the eLEP service or to AusStats no longer need to manage complicated IP addressing. Access is available to anyone in the community with an Internet connection.
What ABS titles will our library receive in print?
All LEP member libraries will continue to receive free print copies of titles on the ABS Flagship List. The List is provided as part of your LEP membership. It consists of 8 titles, mostly annuals, and includes the popular Year Book Australia, Australian Social Trends and Measures of Australia's Progress.
The Flagship List does not replace access to ABS information on the web but complements the content of the site. The List is shown on the LEP web pages.
In addition to the Flagship List, the National Library, State and Parliamentary libraries continue to receive Deposit copies of all routinely printed ABS titles.
What ABS printed publications should we retain?
The ABS has no plans to remove any of its web content. Therefore, many older printed titles may be discarded, particularly when space is limited and demand is not great.
At the very least Flagship titles should be retained for several years. For detailed advice on retention see the LEP's guidelines.
Are there any implications for our library catalogue?
With all publications now available to all, libraries can take advantage of the National Library's e-collections service to acquire a set of ABS MARC records to add to their in-house library catalogue. These records include a hotlink to the main page for each title. All issues available in full text can be downloaded via this hotlink. The hotlinks added by ABS Library have not been affected by the re-design of the web site. Find out more about e-collections on the National Library of Australia web site at www.nla.gov.au.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader V4 or above
- Spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel
- Decompression software such as WinZip
- SVG viewer software to view drill down maps
- SuperTABLE software. Required for some files.
Tips for finding statistical information on the ABS web site
…Using shortcuts from the ABS home page for quick queries
National statistics - including population, Key National Indicators and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) - can be accessed from the left-hand panel on the ABS home page.
Statistics by Region provides 5 years of easy-to-access comparison data down to Statistical Local Area. Also includes Local Government Areas. Access the profiles from the right-hand panel on the ABS home page.
Census data provides a comprehensive set of detailed demographic statistics, collected every five years. Census 2001 and Census 1996 data is available from the Census link, located in the horizontal navigation bar at the top and bottom of all ABS web pages.
Themes web pages bring together information are subject guides to ABS statistics. They pull together relevant ABS information on a particular theme and also link to other organisations that release information on the same theme. Themes link from the navigation bar at the top and bottom of all ABS web pages, and from the left hand panel of the web page.
Topics offer a subject-based approach to access ABS information. Drill down from 5 broad subject groups to more specific topics within each. Click on the Statistics link and select Topics from the left-hand panel.
Key Products links to titles such as Year Book Australia and Australian Social Trends. These offer a wealth of statistical analysis on social and economic issues, and are an excellent starting point for research.
Use the search facility on the web site. The Help pages provide Search Tips. Alternatively, try the advanced search functions of popular search engines, such as Google, to interrogate the ABS site. For example, typing ‘pets site: abs.gov.au’ in the Google search box will retrieve only items from the ABS web site.
And historical titles?
Information about titles released between 1907 and 1993 can be found in the Historical Publication Index on the LEP web pages. This Index does not link to full text for these older publications but does provide a valuable tool for researchers.
To open and use SuperTABLE datasets you will need to download and install the free SuperTABLE on your PC. Download this from the Space-Time Research web site. Specialist SuperTABLE help is available from the Space-Time web site.
- Online Help link at the top of web pages
- Call the ABS National Information and Referral Service (NIRS) on 1300 135 070 for a free 5 minute consultation
- Call your local LEP Coordinator
ABS enters the classroom in TAFE SA!
Susan Brunner, Librarian and Lecturer at TAFE SA, Elizabeth Campus Library describes ABS information as a "treasure trove for students and for lecturers". She is innovative in bringing TAFE students to ABS statistics. She has included ABS content in online, face-to-face, and blended course presentations in a range of courses and learning materials. Susan has included ABS within the Learn Information Literacy Initiative (LILI). LILI provides tutorials to students and is a national award-winner for study skills building.
And it doesn't stop there. Other initiatives require students to undertake a range of interesting activities. These include "stats ‘n chat" which focusses on Census data, the economy, and social trends. TAFE SA's 'Ready Reference and Small Business' web links include ABS among the “top 10 web sites”. Currently Susan is developing a 'Webquest' for Vocational Preparation students which will require them to undertake searches for ABS information.
...and in NSW
In 2005 many LEP libraries helped celebrate the ABS Centenary. Inspired by this, UTS library students Amie Zar, Nicole Doherty-Wiley, Rosemary Hanz and Kathy Yue Yang presented an Information Session on the ‘Evolution of the use of ABS statistics in local libraries’ for their classmates. Amie Zar, a Library Technician at Leichhardt Public Library said that, “ABS has consistently met the challenge of changes in our libraries”. The session was a great opportunity for the students to discuss common questions about the ABS web site, LEP, free statistics on the web and CLIB.
Well done UTS students!
LEP travels to regional SA
Pam Balfour and Carla Bianco visited libraries from Mount Gambier to the Riverland to the Clare Valley and the Murray mouth at Goolwa. Sessions on the ABS web site and Census were the popular choices for training, providing a timely refresher for many staff and a first opportunity for others. Pam also conducted a series of very popular sessions in the ABS Adelaide Office. This included training for the library students at the University of South Australia, Magill Campus, and for staff of the State Library of SA.
Jill Patmore, Manager of the Alexandrina Library Service, in the foyer of the Goolwa branch
STOP PRESS The LEP is offering training sessions in making best use of the new look ABS web site. Contact your LEP Coordinator to find out more.
2006 Year Book Australia out now!
Year Book Australia 2006 was released on 20 January and all LEP libraries were sent a print copy. The first Official Year Book was published in 1908 and nearly a century later Year Book Australia is still the principal reference work produced by the ABS.
Libraries know the Year Book as a wonderful reference resource for everyone from primary school students to academic researchers - indeed for anyone interested in information about Australia. Its coverage includes Australia’s geography and climate, government, international relations, defence, education, and health and welfare.
This year's issue features a special article on deserts and desertification covering desert climates, archaeology, environmental history and flora and fauna.
Don't forget to look for the complimentary Year Book CD ROM inside the back cover.
The January 2006 issue of the Local Government and ABS Newsletter includes:
- 2006 Census topics
- Information Technology on Australian farms
- What's happening in Local Government Finance
New and forthcoming releases
These titles are a selection of what the ABS is currently releasing this quarter. They are available free on the ABS web site. Keep up to date by subscribing to the free Email Notification Service or to ABS RSS.
Australian Economic Indicators (Cat. no 1350.0). This is an LEP flagship title and is a one stop shop for economic information including labour force and demography, national accounts, international accounts, consumption and investment, production, process, incomes and labour costs financial markets, state and international comparisons. Next release 13 March 2006.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Australia (Cat. no 4715.0.55.005). A useful reference tool on topics that measure health status, health actions taken, and lifestyle factors which may influence health. Next release date 13 March 2006.
Job Vacancies, Australia (Cat. no 6354.0)
Contains estimates of the number of job vacancies with state and territory and industry dissections. Released 11 January 2006.
Tourist Accommodation, Small Area Data, Australia (Cat. no 8635.0.55.002). Results from the on-going quarterly Survey of Tourist Accommodation for Australia. Released 10 January 2006.
Shortcuts - The Environmental hot spot!
When it comes to statistics about the environment the ABS is a good place to turn. Land management, water, energy and household statistics are all available on the ABS web site free-of-charge.
A good place to begin is the Theme pages on the ABS web site. These pages provide a one stop shop on a wide range of subjects. Click on Themes on left hand panel of the ABS home page and choose Environment and Energy.
Key environment publications
- Australia’s Environment: Issues and Trends (Cat. no. 4613.0). An environmental snapshot, this title presents a wide selection of information and statistics about major aspects of Australia's environment. It is aimed at a general audience.
- Environmental Issues: People’s Views and Practices (Cat. no. 4602.0). The 2005 issue focussed on energy use and conservation and covers a range of issues including energy sources, energy use and energy saving measures in households.
- Water Account (Cat. no. 4610.0). Presents information on the supply and use of water in the economy as well as about water stocks, environmental flows and water trading.
- Land Management: Fitzroy and Livingstone Shires, Queensland, 2004-05 (Cat. no. 4651.0). Details a local area survey undertaken using a land parcel approach for data collection, enabling the dissemination and mapping of small area statistics.
- Water use on Australian farms (Cat. no. 4618.0). As with the other titles, this publication provides a wealth of fascinating information.
Keeping up to date
Subscribe to the free ABS Environmental Statistics Newsletter. Email your address details to firstname.lastname@example.org in the Centre of Environment and Energy Statistics.
You can also subscribe to the ABS Email Notification Service or ABS RSS to be sent alerts when new issues of your favourite publications are released. Subscribe to these from the ABS home page at www.abs.gov.au