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2017 ALIA Excellence Award evening

On Wednesday 22nd November 2017, members of WA's library and information sector gathered at the State Library of Western Australia to celebrate the contribution of Dr Kerry Smith AM to the library and information profession, and to hear from the National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) CEOs on the leadership opportunities and challenges facing our State and National libraries today.

The evening began with ALIA President Vicki McDonald presenting the HCL Anderson Award to Kerry. The HCL Anderson Award is the Association’s highest honour awarded in recognition of outstanding service to the library and information profession in Australia, to ALIA or to the theory of library and information services. Congratulations Kerry!

The NSLA CEOs then each briefly spoke about the challenges that keep them awake at night. Some of the key points from the presentations included:
  • ensuring the safety of legal deposit copies in earthquake-plagued New Zealand; 
  • engaging with indigenous communities and developing indigenous collection strategies (Northern Territory and New South Wales); 
  • collecting born digital items and ensuring sustainability of digitisation projects in an uncertain funding environment (National Library of Australia); 
  • collaboration and communication within library teams (State Library of Queensland); 
  • managing diverse areas (including a nursery and a cemetery!) while navigating an "expenditure review" (ACT Library); 
  • providing library spaces for everyone, from babies to budding authors, in a busy and often noisy library space (State Library of Victoria); 
  • partnering with cultural institutions to engage with non-library users (State Library of South Australia); 
  • strategic planning for libraries of the future (State Library of Tasmania and State Library of Western Australia). 

The importance of strategic planning and partnerships were common themes across all presentations, and attendees were certainly left feeling inspired by the incredible work of our National and State Libraries.

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