Angela Bridgland

Angela Bridgland BA TTC GDipLib MEd FALIA

  • Fellowship conferred 1996

Angela Bridgland commenced her distinguished career in the library and information sector in 1975 at the Education Department of Tasmania Library Branch. After working for some five years as a lecturer at the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education, from which institution she had graduated with a Diploma in Librarianship, Angela was appointed to the (then) Melbourne College of Advanced Education's Division of Library and Information Studies. In 1994, Angela became director, Management Services, of the University of Melbourne Libraries.

A demonstrated and genuine commitment to the highest standards of professionalism, innovation and continuous improvement within the information profession has resulted in Angela being held in high regard, both personally and professionally, by people with whom she has come into contact during her distinguished career. Academic pursuits, active participation in external committees and continuous networking with colleagues has provided Angela with access to current developments and issues and resulted in a cross fertilisation of ideas and concepts through a selfless sharing of knowledge to the benefit of the profession. Angela has proved an excellent ambassador for the profession both internationally and through her work with government and the higher education sector.

A committed and forward thinking library educator, Angela's career as an educator has been noteworthy in Victoria and Tasmania as well as at the national level. Angela made a significant contribution to the higher education sector, commencing with the high standard of course development and delivery which she maintained during her employment as a lecturer in the School of Librarianship at the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education. In 1980 she was responsible for managing the transfer of the course from the CAE to the University of Tasmania and her considerable skills ensured the course was given its due recognition within the University curriculum. Faced with the government's proposal to relocate the course to Launceston and aware that relocation would result in decreased access to formal training in that State as well as a downgrading of the course, Angela used her superior lobbying skills to ensure that the School remained in Hobart.

During her period at Melbourne College of Advanced Education (now the University of Melbourne), Angela significantly contributed to maintaining the standard of the course both within the profession and the university through maintaining the highest levels of course development, preparation and delivery to under and post graduates, teacher librarians and generalists. She was instrumental in developing the Master of Library and Information Studies and demonstrated considerable ability and determination to achieve acceptance of the course at a time of upheavals associated with amalgamations.

Following her secondment to the State Library of Victoria as Head of Reader Services in 1983, Angela conducted an extensive review of work practices and developed improved management practices. A further example of Angela's efforts to widen her knowledge and awareness of practice was her appointment as the first Visiting Fellow to the National Library of Canada in 1987 where she undertook a training needs audit and developed a staff development program for all library employees to complement a major restructure.

Angela's teaching career has been distinguished by her personal interest in and willingness to act as role model and mentor to hundreds of students in Tasmania and Victoria. Students hold her in high esteem for her personal interest and responsibility for their development and this role, undertaken with distinction over and above her formal appointment, has made a considerable impact on the profession in both States.

Since 1994 Angela has played a key role in the senior management team within the University of Melbourne Libraries during a period of considerable change. Angela's expertise and considered facilitation of staff issues has underpinned the libraries' progress during this period. Angela has also demonstrated leadership through the implementation of competency standards at the Libraries and her human relations plan, one of the first of its type in Australian academic libraries, has been used as a prototype by other academic libraries. Angela has undertaken some ground breaking work in the implementation of competency standards at the University as part of that institution's overall quality management processes. She has significantly contributed to the library's commitment to the Australian Quality Council's quality criteria. Under her direction a benchmarking process has been established and will be developed throughout all aspects of the libraries functions.

Angela has been a tireless worker for ALIA at sectional, state and national levels and a strong advocate of the benefits of professional involvement. Angela has demonstrated considerable organisational skills in a number of activities at the state and national level, including organising and chairing conferences. These activities have been instrumental in improving the dialogue between practitioners and educators and in improving the skills of graduates. Her strong commitment to training and development was recognised by her peers when she was elected, in 1989, for two consecutive terms to the ALIA Board of Education. Her membership of the Victorian Branch of Arts Training Australia proved significant for ALIA as it enabled Angela to play a major role in counterbalancing the dominance of other sectors on the role of libraries in the arts industry. Angela's work with the Technician Training Institutions on the development of new courses and the industrial implications was another significant role which linked ALIA to Arts Training and integrated their endeavors.

Angela's extensive publications list has contributed to the advancement of knowledge and her regular presentation of papers at conferences and seminars has contributed to the transfer of knowledge in the profession. Angela's contribution to research and development within Australian librarianship has been significant and ongoing, and led to the award of Master in Education by the University of Tasmania in 1985. Angela is currently conducting research leading to a PhD at the University of Melbourne.

In recognition of her valued services to library and information services and the merit she has brought to the profession, it is fitting that the Association should bestow upon Angela the distinction of Fellow of the Australian Library and Information Association.