Heather Davis*

Manager Libraries and Learning, City of Sydney

*Heather is a candidate for General Director

What motivated you to seek election as an ALIA Director?

Participation in our association is something that I feel I have a responsibility to do as a leader in the sector to contribute the perspective of my colleagues in public libraries and to continue to build my own informed view of the environment we are operating in through engaging with other professionals.

In recent years I've been reminded of the importance, value and power of professional networks as we shared, learned from each other and banded together to advocate for libraries and their communities through the pandemic.

I see opportunities for ALIA to be not only an amazing network for its members, but also a voice to position the sector for the future and respond to our changing environment. The time is ripe with opportunities for the profession and to work together to build our future and this is a wonderful professional development opportunity that helps contribute to the strength of the sector.

What skills and experience would you bring to the Board?

I bring academic and practical experience in LIS and local government with strengths in strategic planning and implementation, communications and corporate governance.

I have led and managed large and small public library services through periods of transition including in preparation for council amalgamation and through the pandemic.

My most recent academic research explored the opportunity for libraries to deliver cultural sustainability and community resilience outcomes, comparing leadership and governance structures and funding sources in different western countries.

I work consciously and apply my personal values of continuous growth, freedom to learn and  innovation to everything I do, with an informed idealism to always try to make things better.

What are the three most important issues currently facing ALIA or the LIS workforce?

The LIS sector is built upon strong foundations of adaptability, having continuously responded to and absorbed new technologies and community expectations over recent decades. We have a set of new opportunities to respond to as we position the sector as key to long term community outcomes, whether through school, academic, public or health libraries.

Our profession requires response and action on issues such as:

  1. Truth and its impact on community health and cohesion
  2. Literacy in our communities and its contribution to wellbeing, inclusion and growth
  3. Skills and values within our workforce, their evolution and contribution to the sustainability of the profession