Inspiring librarian with a passion for young adult fiction wins ALIA's 2021 Marjorie Cotton Award

Canberra, 29 November 2021: ALIA member Lisa Robertson, a Senior Library Technician at St Patrick’s College for Girls in NSW, is the winner of this year’s Marjorie Cotton Award. With a passion for young adult fiction and an outstanding track record in developing initiatives that foster a love of reading in students, Lisa is a worthy recipient of this prestigious award named for NSW's first professionally qualified children's librarian, Marjorie Cotton.

During her time at St Patrick’s, Lisa has significantly raised the profile of the College through a range of initiatives. She created and facilitates the College's Junior and Seniour Book Clubs, where students engage with a wide range of titles and participate in discussions relating to plot, character development, general themes and how these may reflect students’ own life experiences.
Lisa also created the College’s Creative Writing Club and a course for the Enhanced Learning Students entitled ‘IL skills for teens: Life-Long Learning.’ She launched the 'Perfect Date with a Book' and ‘Blind Date with a Book’ campaigns where students completed a short online questionnaire regarding their reading preferences and were matched with a wrapped book. This proved to be very popular with the students, with over 20% of the student body participating.
During the Covid-19 lockdowns, Lisa created a library guide that students could consult to assist with their well-being. The guide includes isolation self-care articles, screen-free activities, free eBooks and audio books, free Manga, a podcast list, interactive online activities, recipes, meditation and mindfullness resources, and video tutorials for learning new skills such as sign language or sewing.
The testimonials in support of Lisa’s nomination speak of her enthusiasm and professionalism, her ability to anticipate the recreational and informational needs of a growing young population, and her innovative approach to implementing engaging literacy-building programs.
We congratulate Lisa on her achievement and look forward to presenting her award at a special online event on Wednesday December 1.
About the Award

The Marjorie Cotton Award, maintained by the ALIA Children's and Youth Services Group, promotes the role and image of librarians working with young people, and recognises individual achievement and co-operative networking in providing services for young people in public libraries and school libraries.