Kathryn Eyre*

Head of Library and IB Diploma Extended Essay Coordinator - St Andrews Cathedral School

*Kathryn is a candidate for President

What motivated you to seek election as an ALIA Director?

As a current ALIA board Director, I feel well-placed to continue the work of the outgoing President Vicki Edmunds whilst continuing the current direction of the board. I understand the dynamics of the board and have seen first-hand how successful the individual directors, working as a unified team, have been at guiding the association from their various sectors of the library world. My working knowledge of ALIA, its initiatives, its committees, staff, and board directors, along with a wonderful working relationship with ALIA CEO gives me confidence that if I were successful, I would be able to continue the wonderful work achieved already. This knowledge and my love of the world of Libraries combined with my skillset has motivated me to continue working with my ALIA colleagues in guiding the future of the association and Libraries both within Australia and worldwide.

I have achieved a lot professionally in my career in education and more broadly in the library world. With over 25 years' experience as an educator and manager, coupled with extensive library experience, I have reached a stage in my career where it is important for me to contribute and share in a wider capacity

What skills and experience would you bring to the Board?

I have spent the last 18 months undertaking formal Director qualifications and training. This has given me detailed knowledge and understanding of Governance for Directors, Risk and Strategy for Directors and Finance for Directors. I am a member of Women on Boards (WOB), the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and Future Women. This is in addition to the practical skills I have developed whilst on the ALIA board which include technical board skills but also people and culture skills. My experience as board director and as a leader of library in schools (K-12) gives me knowledge of current and future trends in literature, education, libraries, and corporate governance. I have current experience in digital and remote learning and the operations of remote presentations and meetings. My network of library professionals within the school library world and local booksellers and several authors also makes me knowledgeable on the needs of the library community. I have assisted in organising several conferences, am a member of the CBCA (Children s Book Council of Australia) NSW Committee and several ALIA committees and groups. I have extensive experience of overseeing budgets, controlling, and tracking expenditure. I also have leadership experience and professional learnings to guide me and a strong spirit of collegiality. I can focus on desired outcomes and work towards those to drive meaningful and lasting change. My ability to be responsive and flexible in our world and work towards solutions and positive outcomes is also an asset.

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

Diversity, Inclusivity, and a Voice for all, particularly our First Nations. These are my drivers in the library world. Libraries are holders of Truth and Truth-Telling and have great capacity to bring about change in societies - locally and globally. ALIA needs a relevant and diverse representation from all areas of the library world, it needs a strong and modern voice advocating for career progression and security, and finally, we need to ensure truth and accuracy in information collecting, storing, and disseminating.

ALIA has a wide reach with its networks and supporters. A challenge is to increase diversity and inclusivity so that its advocacy can reach a larger and more powerful audience and be more authentic. ALIA can assist the local and global library world to continue to be truth tellers and holders of truth. ALIA has a broad membership base which draws from many library sectors. A challenge for ALIA is to draw together these sectors, speak to and accurately represent each sector and be relevant to the members of each sector. ALIA must show the inclusivity of all its members and fully represent all libraries and librarians. Integral to this representation and to reflect 21 century Australia, is diversity and inclusivity. Thirdly, ALIA must continue its focus on tackling the decline in the value of library services and in turn career progression and security. At a local, national, and international level the relevance of libraries, the funding of library services and the staffing of libraries is a great issue, and this is a challenge which is facing us all.