Alisa Howlett

On Saturday 2 December 2017, the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) President Vicki McDonald presented the Metcalfe Award to Alisa Howlett (AALIA) at an event in Brisbane, in recognition of her achievements and contribution as an early career librarian, notably as a practitioner researcher and active member of ALIA Groups and Committees.

The Metcalfe Award recognises high achievement by an ALIA Personal Member in their first five years of practice in libraries and information services. It commemorates John Metcalfe, former New South Wales State Librarian, who established the Australian Institute of Librarians and was instrumental in the establishment of library education in Australia.

Her nominator said: "As well as being an LIS practitioner, Alisa has actively contributed to the education of future LIS professionals. She has frequently been a guest lecturer in the QUT ALIA Master programs and in 2015 took on the role of sessional tutor for two of the QUT subjects - 'professional practice' and 'management issues for information professionals.'

"Alisa adopts a practitioner-researcher approach to her professional practice and actively contributes to building the broader knowledge base of the Australian and international LIS profession through her involvement in research. As an LIS student, she designed and undertook two projects. The first explored what evidence sources library and information practitioners used to inform their practice with the view to raise awarenesss of evidence based practice in the LIS sector. The second explored innovation in Australian archives with the intention to ignite conversation about how archival institutions could further embrace innovation.

"As a practicing member of the LIS profession, Alisa's research activities have continued. Alisa actively writes on professional issues in LIS practice and research on her own website and writes regularly for ALIA's INCITE magazine.

"As a student, Alisa was already presenting at ALIA conferences (2011 ALIA People Power Mini-Conference and NLS5 2011 in Perth), and she continues to support students and new librarians in her roles as the Chair of the New Generation Advisory Committee, writing and presenting on behalf of the committee. Alisa has published five journal articles.

"This year she was appointed to a newly created role as the Coordinator of Evidence-Based Practice at the University of Southern Queensland Library. This role unites Alisa's experience in research and practice, and positions her at the forefront of the growing LIS research community in Australia.

"She has held the following positions:

  • Regional Coordinator, ALIA Students and New Graduates Group (2010-2014)
  • Organising committee member, NLS6 (2012-2013)
  • Committee member, ALIA Queensland (2013-2015)
  • Committee member and Chair, New Generation Addvisory Committee (2015-present)