Andrew Wells

Andrew Wells BSc, MA, AALIA, FALIA

  • ALIA Fellowship 2011

Andrew Wells has contributed to all of the objects of the Association through various leadership roles, and by demonstrating the value of the profession and of being actively involved in the profession. His involvement in a leadership role in various key initiatives, together with his leadership of a range of open access initiatives since his appointment as University Librarian have promoted the free flow of information and ideas in the interest of all Australians and a thriving culture, economy and democracy.

Andrew has been a senior member of the Australian library community for over two decades. Since being appointed as the University Librarian at the University of New South Wales in 2001 he has made a significant leadership contribution through membership of the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) Executive, as Deputy President then President of CAUL (2007-2009) and as Chair of CEIRC (the CAUL Electronic Information Resources Committee) (2006-2007, 2010- ). During this time he has also actively contributed to the development of the profession through participation in leadership programs (Aurora and the AVCC Library Conference) and through numerous presentations.

As CAUL President Andrew actively lobbied governments and acted as an advocate for libraries in various forums. He was particularly effective in building a relationship with Universities Australia, the peak university body, to ensure that academic libraries' views on copyright and consortial purchasing were articulated, and he continues to represent CAUL in this forum.

In his roles as CAUL President, a member of the CAUL Executive and CEIRC Chair; Andrew has fostered the improvement of the services provided by academic libraries, and by developing the range of services and activities his library is involved in, he has demonstrated that libraries can extend the contribution they make in their communities.

Andrew has contributed to many university activities, including a four year period as a Board member on student bodies; the UNSW Union and Arc, between 2004 and 2008. Andrew has overseen major changes to the University Library's services, organisation and buildings. He has taken a strong interest in improving facilities and steering the Library through a period of rapid changes in scholarly information.

Andrew has embraced the use of new technologies to further the role of libraries and has been the leader in the development of a number of initiatives. During his time at the University of New South Wales he has been involved in two successful competitive grant funded projects through the Systemic Infrastructure Initiative, under the Backing Australia's Ability program, directed by the Department of Science, Education and Training. UNSW Library was the lead institution in a project to redevelop and expand the Australian Digital Theses Program, managed by UNSW Library on behalf of the Council of Australian University Librarians. UNSW Library was also a successful partner in receiving funding for the ARROW (Australian Research Repositories Online to the World, 2004-2008) project, led by Monash University. ARROW developed institutional repository software which has been deployed in 12 Australian university libraries.

Andrew was a chief investigator on the Dictionary of Australian Artists Online (DAAO) project and has provided management oversight since 2004. The University of New South Wales Library and College of Fine Arts are leading an Australian Research Council funded project to create the DAAO. The DAAO aims to be the authoritative online biographical dictionary of Australian artists. Andrew also serves on the board of Directors of Intersect, the NSW peak eresearch organisation and is a member of the Intersect eServices and Strategy committee.

When employed at the National Library, Andrew directed the implementation of Kinetica, which replaced the Australian Bibliographic Network and involved migrating a 10 million record database to a new Web-based platform and transferring over 1,100 libraries to the new service. Other activities at the National Library included involvement in the development of the PANDORA Archive for Australian Internet resources, the Register of Australian Archives and Manuscripts (RAAM), the redevelopment of the Interlibrary Resource Sharing Directory and oversight of the Australian Libraries Gateway. Prior to joining the National Library, Andrew held senior positions at the State Library of New South Wales.

A feature of Andrew's contribution as a leader has been the interest he has taken in developing other librarians. He has been an Auroran mentor four times (2003-2006), and convened the programming committee for the AVCC Library Conference several times. He is currently on the programming committee for the CCA EDUCAUSE Australasia 2011 Conference .In these ways he has fostered younger librarians' professional interests and aspirations and encouraged people to contribute to the improvement of library and information services.

In awarding the distinction of Fellow of the Australian Library and Information Association on Andrew Wells, the Association recognises the significant and valuable contribution Andrew has made to the library and information services profession in Australia and his dedication to the aims of the Association.