Alfred Gans

Alfred J Gans

Redmond Barry Award citation 2001

Alfred (Alf) Gans, as proprietor and managing director of ISA Australia (now divine inc) since 1979, has made a sustained and significant contribution to the work of the Association and to the practice of serials management in Australian libraries. Alf has given many years of dedicated service to our profession and supported the Australian library and information industry in many ways. He has given freely of his time and talents to promote debate about critical issues, to support the professional development of industry members and to sponsor special events and activities. He has been a talented innovator and a dedicated advocate for our industry.

As a supplier to Australasian libraries, Alf has introduced a number of innovative services to assist libraries to be more effective in their management of serial publications.

Alf's innovative approach to the conceptualisation, development and implementation of consolidation services is evidence of his commitment to providing quality client service.  They say that successful innovation is when something becomes accepted and part of the normal routine.  By these standards, Alf Gans has been a successful innovator for libraries in Australia.

As a library supplier, Alf has frequently put the values of the profession well above commercial interests. Alf has always been very active in key issues of concern to the industry and he has not been afraid to voice an opinion and back it up through action. He has also consistently offered sponsorship and support to libraries through participation in conferences, exhibitions and awards including in recent years, sponsorship of the ALIA (Qld) Special Librarian of the Year award.

Alf was foundation treasurer of the ALIA Australian Serials Special Interest Group (ASSIG).  He was a driving force in the activities of ASSIG and on behalf of Australian libraries and ASSIG in particular, Alf lobbied  for the exclusion  of books  and journals from the Goods and Services Tax regime. Although his attempts were unsuccessful, once the Federal Government decisions were legislated, he worked with other agents and librarians to clarify the implementation and operation  of GST to achieve the best outcome for  libraries.

Over the years he has given practical interpretation to what productive partnerships should be - based on mutual trust and respect and involving professionals working together. He has demonstrated his commitment to the Australian library profession in many practical ways - supporting professional newsletters and publications, sponsoring events, lobbying on behalf of the industry and supporting continuing professional development for members of the profession.


Over his career, Alf has also contributed to the literature of the field through the publication of Issues which filled a gap for topics related to serials management prior to the establishment of the Australian Serials Special Interest Newsletter and the Australian and New Zealand Journal  of  Serials Librarianship. Since then he has contributed to these and other publications including the editing of a special issue of the ANZ Journal of Serials Librarianship.

It is a rare situation to find a person so committed to the principles and values of   our profession who is not himself a librarian, but comes to our industry from the position of a library vendor. Alf, through his professional practice and achievements, is a true example of what real partnership across our industry can achieve.

Alf Gans has given outstanding service to our sector, through his development of new and  innovative services, his commitment to high quality service standards, and his leadership and encouragement. Alf Gans is a worthy recipient of the Redmond Barry Award.