Ann Ritchie

Ann Ritchie MSc, B App Sci, (Lib & Inf), AALIA (CP Health)

  • ALIA Fellowship 2017

The ALIA Board of Directors is delighted to confer the distinction of Fellow on Ann Ritchie, with special consideration for her work in the field of health librarianship.

Ann Ritchie is an exceptional Australian health librarian who has had a profound impact on the profession and her colleagues. She has an enviable track record of exemplary high achievement and dynamic visionary leadership. She has been a credit to the profession from her earliest days in librarianship.

Ann involved herself with ALIA from graduation as a librarian. She is that most precious person in an association, she joins, contributes, involves others, takes on responsibilities others shirk, networks, advocates, researches, improves practice, educates, creates communities of practice around ideas and is tireless in the pursuit of excellence in the profession and in advocacy for the contribution its members make to the evidence base of health systems in Australia.

Ann’s achievements are many: serving two terms as an ALIA Director (2003-2007); researching and publishing extensively; a demonstrated ongoing commitment to mentoring those new to librarianship; editing the Australian Library Journal; serving over a decade on the advisory board for the international Health Information and Libraries Journal.

Her representation in numerous places reflects the esteem of her colleagues and wider network. These include the Libraries Australia Advisory Committee (Special Libraries) representative, December 2009 to December 2016, IFLA’s Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning (CPDWL) Section (Standing Committee inaugural chair 2001-05), OCLC Board Alternate member for the region (2008-2009), the Palliative Care Knowledge Network Management Group member (2012 to present), inaugural chair of the National Chief Health Librarians Forum (2008-2010), and a member of the Electronic Resources Australia Governance group (2007–2008).

In health librarianship Ann has been a driving force both as a member of the Health Libraries Australia (HLA) group (in various capacities) and since taking on the role of Convenor in 2013. She formed and directed the National Chief Health Librarians Forum; convened and organised a series of annual national professional development days; and worked with colleagues in HLA and ALIA more broadly. She collaborated with Health Libraries Inc in Victoria and ALIA to commission research into an independent assessment on the return of investment of health libraries in Australia prepared by SGS Economics.

Ann was the project leader in national workforce and education research to determine the requirements and competencies for health librarians in the future workforce, and was instrumental in the development of a
structured, modular framework of post-graduate and continuing professional development; she also supported the national census research to gather data on the Australian health library workforce. In 2014 this was followed by the development, with Queensland University of Technology, of an online introductory course, Health Librarianship Essentials that was offered in 2015 and 2016.

As HLA Convenor Ann has also forged alliances with sister health librarian associations in Victoria, the UK and the US and with associated health information bodies on common workforce issues - the Australasian College of Health Informatics (ACHI), Health Information Management Association Australia (HIMAA), Health Informatics Society Australia (HISA) and the Australasian College of Health Service Management.

Ann is joint leader of a current national research project investigating how Australian health libraries support their healthcare organisations to achieve accreditation under the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. These achievements are not Ann’s alone and that is a measure of the leadership she has shown throughout her career. She has an incredible capacity to reach out to other interested and committed colleagues and to lobby for funding and the means to bring the big picture ideas to reality.

For her long standing and dedicated service to health librarianship and to the Association, Ann Ritchie is awarded the ALIA Fellowship.