Candidate Information - Director



We asked the candidates for the 2016 ALIA Board of Directors election to provide a little more information about why they nominated for the Board and what they hope to achieve should they be elected.

Here's what the Director candidates,  Holger AmanKym AndrewsJane Cowell, Penny Davies, Roger Henshaw,  Annette McGuinessMarian Morgan-BindonMalcolm O'Brien, Lyndall Osborne and Monika Szunejko had to say....


 Holger Aman

What motivated you to seek election as an ALIA Director?

I have a deep and abiding desire to give back to the profession that has given so much to me. I think that joining the board will be an opportunity to contribute to the future of the LIS profession and I think I have the skills and attitudes to make a difference. LIS is a profession that centres around helping, and I think that this way, I can help the helpers!

What skills can you bring to the Board?

I’ll bring a strong commitment to community, communication and liaison to the board. I’m committed to improving links between library and information professionals across all sectors and I have skills in liaising between sectors. I am able to create and drive change, while still ensuring that change leaves no-one behind. My passion, enthusiasm and empathetic approach allow me to do this. I pride myself on my collaborative working and planning skills.

What are the three most important issues facing ALIA or the LIS profession?

We still struggle to face some of the changes that are coming our way. We are caught in a middle ground between librarian best practice (only using authoritative sources, conscious searching etc) and the realities of the way that many of our clients practically find and use information. We are caught between maintaining relevance and maintaining our value.

We are struggling to maintain cohesion in the profession, especially around continuous professional development.

Our profession seems to be occasionally overlooked as the organisations they are part of grow and change, rather than growing and changing with the organisations.

What would you like to accomplish as a Board member?

I would like to strengthen the groups that run events for members on the ground where possible (while making these available to remote members using recording or streaming), I’d like to create closer ties between all of the segments of the profession and I’d like to see greater engagement of the wider profession with both ALIA and continuous professional development.


Kym Andrews

What motivated you to seek election as an ALIA Director?

My involvement with ALIAWest and ALIA’s Children's and Youth Services Section (WA) has greatly contributed to my own professional development and career. I believe that nominating for the ALIA Board will allow me to give back to the profession which has given me wonderful career opportunities and a strong sense of professionalism.

What skills can you bring to the board?

I possess extensive management and organisational skills gained over years of employment in libraries as well as with my volunteer positions.  I am proficient at public speaking and presentation thanks to working with ALIAWest and I am extremely passionate about libraries.  I have experience in public libraries and special libraries with a range of roles including marketing, promotion and outreach programs. I am a swift learner and am eager to engage in the requirements of being a board member and representing the LIS profession.

What are the three most important issues facing ALIA or the LIS profession?

Relevance. One of the most important issues facing ALIA is maintaining relevance in the rapidly changing library and information services environment. The Association needs to be more involved in the wider GLAMR community and to introduce further initiatives into important issues such as literacy and digitisation. The Association and the LIS professions need to be continually looking at ways to connect people to information.

Innovation. Our profession is in a period of great upheaval and change, however it is vital that ALIA and the LIS professions view these challenges as opportunities to adapt and innovate. It is an exciting time to be involved with libraries, as a group we need to respond to the complexity by embracing innovative ideas, strategies and leadership which are all vital for meeting the complexities of the emerging future

Advocacy.  While ALIA does a terrific job at advocacy on the wider scale, especially through FAIR, more needs to be done to demonstrate the value of library and information services to government, private organisations and our wider client groups, through a more concentrated media and public relations strategy. ALIA also needs to support leaders within the library and information services who are both future-looking and advocates for those who work within the sector.

What would you like to accomplish as a board member?

I’m nominating for the board as I want to be more involved with my profession.  I would like to help with increasing the personal development opportunities available to all who work in libraries and information services.  I am also passionate about the need for a professional body that is responsive to opportunities to innovate and lead its members into the emerging future. As a ALIA Board Member, I would like to accomplish:

  • Greater advocacy of innovative leadership that is future-looking and supportive of all who work in the sector;
  • More involvement in the wider GLAMR sector;
  • Further initiatives tackling literacy;
  • Excellence in service to members and the LIS profession.


Jane Cowell

What motivated you to seek election as an ALIA Director?

As I have been on a 25+ year journey in my career in libraries and contributing at all levels of government – Local, State & National – I feel it is time I put to use my skills, passion and knowledge to progress the ILS professional conversation on a global stage through ALIA.  I am committed to the view that Libraries, in whatever form, change lives and I want to be at the table in discussing the future of the profession, with politicians, community and stakeholders as well as with the profession.

What skills can you bring to the board?

I am a professional librarian with over 25 years of experience in libraries, have completed the Company Director’s course and bring an understanding and commitment to innovation and change in the ILS profession both in the delivery of services and in the professional development of those in the industry.  I have high level strategic, leadership and organisational skills that I can bring to the Board as well as a key understanding of the private sector through my role as a senior consultant for an economic consultancy firm.  My career has included significant library research projects, statewide initiatives, government library services and wide consultancy projects across Australia giving me a deep understanding of the Australian library world across library sectors.

What are the three most important issues facing ALIA or the LIS profession?

For ALIA, it is essential as a member based organisation that it maintains a sustainable member base, has a positive impact for its members and provides continuing relevance to the ILS profession and those in the broader information based professions. 

It is imperative to enable ILS professionals, both current and future, to position their skills and develop their roles for continuing relevance in the Digital Age.

There needs to be an effective voice for the profession, in both the political and public sphere that can respond quickly and provide articulate and timely advocacy for the profession when a local response is not able to be voiced.  We are more effective when we work together than one library responding or defending a position on their own.

What would you like to accomplish as a board member?

Higher profile for the ILS profession across all levels of public and political awareness in the digital space. 

Greater influence on the continuing professional development opportunities and their take-up by the profession.  We need to have a real focus on our own continuing learning and growth of our skill sets.

Break down the walls between the different library sectors for greater collaboration for the benefit of our communities, our staff and ultimately the opportunities available to change individual lives.

Bring about content marketing for the profession as a whole – gather the stories of the lives that change and use those to advocate for libraries as essential services.

Penny Davies

What motivated you to seek election as an ALIA Director?

I am passionately committed to the Library and Information Sector and work to make it as vibrant, dynamic and valued an institution, service and profession as it can be. I have many years experience serving on boards for a range of organisations and believe that strong leadership at the Board level is always important to foster and encourage growth, vibrancy and sustainability for the sector as a whole. I believe that I can make a valuable contribution to the profession by contributing my extensive knowledge, experience and skills in corporate governance, strategic planning, community engagement, financial management, regional planning and development amongst others, serving on the board.

 What skills can you bring to the Board?

I have many years experience serving on boards in a range of roles, mostly in executive positions. I am both visionary and analytical and the marriage of the two enables the successful realisation of exciting and creative projects. I am highly organised and disciplined with the ability to resolve conflict in an impartial and reasoned way. I bring highly developed problem solving skills and a thorough understanding of meeting procedure and processes.

I have a strong background across school, public and state libraries, education, heritage and the arts. Coupled with this is over five years working directly in the community development field. I believe that many of the tenets of librarianship and community development are shared with social justice and equity being paramount. I am a confident and effective communicator with skill in developing profitable cross-sector partnerships for the realisation of ‘big-picture’ projects. I have extensive personal and professional networks across many sectors and levels of government. I bring a clear understanding of how government works with an extensive knowledge of metropolitan, regional and rural communities.

What are the three most important issues facing ALIA or the LIS profession?

I believe the LIS sector needs to be constantly vigilant in an ever changing world. Identifying the three most important issues for ALIA and the profession I would choose:

Sustainability and adaptability/vibrancy of the profession

Elevating the value placed on professional growth and development both by the individual and organisations

Staying abreast of changes in technology and to harness these quickly, effectively and rigorously with energy and excitement for the opportunities they provide.

What would you like to accomplish as a Board member?

I would like to use my skills, experience and vision to work with ALIA to continue to provide critical vision, leadership, advocacy and strategic direction for the sector thereby securing the LIS profession as a vibrant, critical and embedded institution in cultural and professional thinking.

I believe that the future for the sector is full of possibility and potential but also precarious in a world of constant budget stringency, rationalisation and progress. Ensuring the profession continues at the forefront of relevancy for all in our society irrespective of age, culture or socio-economic considerations is a long held professional commitment.  To this end, I would like to see increased emphasis on celebration and recognition of Indigenous language and storytelling and a commitment to growing a commitment to literacy for all, particularly advocating for programs that contribute to reducing the decline in functional literacy across our nation. These actions are ones which must be addressed at the National level for enduring change and advancement.

I am also committed to promoting the library and information services profession to future and potential candidates as a vibrant, dynamic, intrinsically important and valuable career. Coupled with this is a need to halt the decline of LIS courses across our tertiary sector and ensuring that courses are delivering industry ready graduates.


Roger Henshaw

What motivated you to seek election as an ALIA Director?

As a library technician, a librarian, an experienced library and information services manager and now a library consultant who works across all library sectors and levels of government I have wide experience of the challenges and issues currently facing the profession. This experience has highlighted the need for all sectors to work together and to think and plan strategically across the board to ensure the ongoing relevance of libraries and the profession is recognised, supported and enhanced. While each sector may have their own set of challenges, the fundamentals remain the same e.g. the need for access to professional development opportunities, recruitment and attracting the right people to the profession, staff reductions, de-professionalisation in some sectors, ePublishing, digitisation, the practical challenges presented by technological change, and of course shrinking budgets. ALIA has a critical cross-sectoral role to play, as is evidenced by, for example, bringing together all the various public library associations under the Australian Public Library Alliance umbrella, and in its lobbying and advocacy activities on behalf of the entire profession. Being an ALIA Director would allow me to utilise my knowledge and practical experience to the benefit the organisation, and to help inform future planning and initiatives that would benefit the whole profession.

What skills can you bring to the Board?
  • Board experience including eight years as a board member and office holder of the Motor Neurone Disease Association NSW; nine years as a Company Secretary of Public Libraries Australia; and a founding member and Board member of the Australian Library Suppliers Association.
  • 31 years’ public library experience
  • 13 years as a Library Manager (including cultural service management)
  • Accomplished and recognised skills in organisational review and strategic planning
  • A different perspective - a view from the other side - as a library supplier
What are the three most important issues facing ALIA or the LIS profession?
  • Relevance i.e. the provision of demanded and needed services to our users; developing and innovating service delivery, and our services and the profession being viewed as important and necessary by our users, the community, funding bodies, and government (all levels). Perceptions of what we do are frequently not aligned with the importance and scope of the profession.
  • LIS education and attracting the right people to our profession i.e. leaders, thinkers and innovators
  • The need for the association to project a national, unified face in its marketing and advocacy endeavours, while representing the needs of the various sectors.
What would you like to accomplish as a Board member?
  • Grow my knowledge of the profession, its challenges, innovative practices and successes
  • Be part of the conversation that seeks to address change and support our profession
  • To listen and learn - we really do need to understand the pressures and challenges facing all library sectors and importantly the people that work in them
  • Represent public library interests.


Annette McGuiness

What motivated you to seek election as an ALIA Director.

I have been involved with ALIA in some way ever since I joined the Association in 1993 as a student.  As the years have passed I have become more involved at the local committee and higher education sector levels and I feel the time has come to make a contribution at the national level and to the broader information industry.  Being an ALIA Director is a way that I believe I can make this greater contribution.

What skills can you bring to the Board?

I believe I have a range of skills and experiences that will be valuable on the ALIA Board. In addition to my technical, strategic and creative problem resolution skills that I have developed from my 20+ years of working in the library and information sector, I have strengths in building relationships, in seeing and representing issues from different perspectives and in advocating on behalf of an individual or organisation to achieve outcomes.   My career has been primarily in the academic library sector, however, I have worked closely and developed strong networks with people in the national, state, public and government library sector as well as archives and museums.

What are the three most important issues facing ALIA or the LIS profession?

Three important issues that I see as facing ALIA and the LIS profession are:

  • Increasing and retaining a strong enough ALIA  membership base to sustain the services and support provided now and into the future
  • Continued advocacy for measuring/conveying the value of libraries and information services;
  • Staff development, education and career future-proofing in such a changing environment.
What would you like to accomplish as a Board member?

I would like to accomplish a greater connection between ALIA and our ‘community of practice’.  I am a big believer of the Aristotle philosophy that the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.  I would like to work together – together with Board members, with Association staff and members, with LIS educators and LIS staff in all types of organisations so that what we produce together is worth more than anything that we can achieve on our own.


Marian Morgan-Bindon 


What motivated you to seek election as an ALIA Director?
  • I would like to contribute to the future performance and strategic objectives of our professional association.
  • I welcome the opportunity to be representative of the library and information professional community and build on Alia’s advocacy success, at local state and federal levels.  
  • I seek your support to continue to influence an agenda that builds on Alia’s strategic objectives and future outcomes for our industry.
  • I would like to ensure our library and information spaces remain as incubators of ideas, innovation and forces for social change.
What skills can you bring to the Board?
  • I bring considerable experience in:
    • strategic and critical thinking,
    • financial accountability and responsibility and
    • risk management. 
  • I have demonstrated negotiation and influencing skills together with the capacity for lateral thinking and creativity in dynamic environments. 
  • I deliver flexible and relevant services to various customer bases. 
  • I bring energy and enthusiasm and believe I can apply these skills and experience to meet the existing and future needs of our membership and our industry.
What are the three most important issues facing ALIA or the LIS profession
  • Membership - building and supporting our membership, their aspirations and professional development and employment opportunities.
  • Advocacy and leadership for the profession and issues of importance e.g. influencing policy and decision making (Cooking for copyright -FAIR campaign; early literacy initiatives) at all levels of government
  • Strengthening, supporting and securing the brand library in the public and private sector, with other associations and allied sectors in Australia and internationally.
What would you like to accomplish as a Board member
  • Contribute to build the responsive organisation we need ALIA to be (professional development and quality LIS education, opportunity and capability building)
  • Continue to effect change and influence at a national level
  • Building external advocates and influence at local state and federal levels
  • Build awareness of the depth of our organisation.


Malcolm O'Brien

What motivated you to seek election as an ALIA Director?

As I have been in the library industry for 10 years in various roles, I felt it was time to be more involved in policy development and industry issues. In my daily work I talk to many librarians about issues concerning them and their libraries. If I am on the board I can raise these concerns at a national level and represent a wide range of views.

What skills can you bring to the Board?

I have 30 years’ experience in publishing, management, marketing and sales and have a wide perspective on relevant issues. As a vendor who would be part of Alia, I see the Vendor/ Library partnership to be critical in a modern library’s development. Honest and open business relationships are key to collection and budget management and creating new opportunities for the library.

What are the three most important issues facing ALIA or the LIS profession?
  • Affordable and effective digital content strategy,
  • Engaging with the widest possible section of the community and
  • Creating the most opportunities with diminishing budgets.
What would you like to accomplish as a Board member?

I would like to represent the views of rural and remote libraries as well as urban libraries. I would like to be involved in the evolution of the Home Library services in the coming digital age.

I’d also like to explore ways of involving teenagers and young adults in their local library and have them view it as their community hub rather than a room full of books. 

I think libraries and social media are a natural fit and can partner in many interesting and innovative ways.

Mostly I just want libraries to grow and prosper and be appreciated as the great community resource they are.


Lyndall Osborne


What motivated you to seek election as an ALIA Director?

Having been involved with public, academic and research libraries for many years, I would now like to have a part in helping to shape the future of ALIA and the profession.  As well, I feel it’s time to give something back to an organisation which has supported me and the libraries in which I’ve worked. With a strong professional association, even in this time of shrinking budgets for libraries at every level combined with competing cultural, social, leisure and entertainment venues and resources, libraries will continue to hold a vibrant and relevant place in education, research, industry, government and the national and local social dialogue.

What skills can you bring to the Board?

I believe my strengths are in demonstrable passion for libraries and the profession, prior governance experience, strong strategic leadership and planning skills and a high level understanding of financial and risk management.

What are the three most important issues facing ALIA or the LIS profession?
  • The relevancy of the profession
  • Advocacy for fair funding for libraries of all types
  • Attracting diverse young people to the profession, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
What would you like to accomplish as a Board member?

I would like to see the development of programs that encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples into the profession.  These programs need to go hand-in-hand with the wide adoption and support of the ATSILIRN protocols which are intended to guide libraries, archives and information services in appropriate ways to interact with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the communities which the libraries serve, and to handle materials with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content.  I would also like to see increased advocacy for funding for libraries of all types, including the adoption of strategies to more widely highlight the value of libraries and librarians to the nation.


Monika Szunejko

What motivated you to seek election as an ALIA Director?

ALIA has sustained me throughout my career, through networking opportunities and connections to colleagues across the country, stimulating conferences, the CPD scheme, weekly newsletters providing points of provocation and inspiration, and through opportunities to serve with the ALIAWest Committee in 2006/7.  ALIA has grown and transformed into a dynamic professional association with an inspiring agenda and I want to play an active role in achieving the goals of ALIA.

Currently I am in a place in my career when I can have an impact on the LIS profession and libraries.  Through my local, national, and international connections and leadership of national infrastructure I am in a position to move ALIA's strategic agenda forward and give back to the profession I have gained so much from.

This is a wonderful opportunity to work with others for the greater good, and an opportunity for me to develop in other areas.

What skills can you bring to the Board?

Alongside my strength in national cooperation and enthusiasm for the power of libraries and LIS professionals to build strong communities I offer:

  • Local knowledge and a global approach – through working in local, academic, public, state, and national library sectors.  Since 2013 I have worked in the national and international arena to strengthen services and infrastructure for all Australian libraries using national infrastructure such as Libraries Australia, national resource sharing, national data sharing services.
  • Experience with a wide range of libraries to move the agenda forward –  from collaborative partnerships between local libraries and the State Library of WA through to the collaborative partnership of national services such as Libraries Australia.  I have experience in delivering strategic and timely advice at a national level through my service on the Libraries Australia Advisory Committee, and Australian Committee on Cataloguing.
  • Leadership skills – and experience in using these skills to help other leaders.  I am an active mentor, deploy skills in leading from a following position [leading from any position], and strive to build resilience and leadership skills for followers who are leaders.
What are the three most important issues facing ALIA or the LIS profession?
  • Sustainability – Libraries can be vital, visible, and viable.  Libraries are relevant and can be run cost-effectively.  Our call is to demonstrate that we are good stewards of information, stewards of services that support education, and that effectively run libraries are a cornerstone of civil society that build social, cultural, intellectual, and business capital.
  • Collaboration and Cooperation – is the oxygen that fuels the Australian library environment.  Australia has world leading collaborations in Libraries Australia, Trove, the NSLA eResources Consortium, and a range of local consortia that enable libraries and library service providers to run cost effectively.  Sustaining collaboration requires ongoing engagement with all partners to deliver benefits to all.
  • Education - Technology is a major driving force.  In a time often characterised by constraint some libraries may find themselves lagging behind the technology curve.  ALIA’s education agenda plays a role in supporting the LIS community to build technological skills and knowledge and helps people to keep relevant and responsive to technological changes and to changing user expectations.
What would you like to accomplish as a Board member?

My focus has been on and will continue to be on building skills, services, and infrastructure that support individuals, library services and the communities we serve. 

I would like to pursue two goals in support of members and member institutions:

  • To ignite a conversation about national data and resource sharing.  In this time of evolution and change Australian libraries can move beyond the RDA implementation conversation and talk about what it means to open data, unlock the wealth of information in our library systems, and set Australian collections free.
  • Keep communication lines open with libraries (large and small) on the latest trends and technologies.  In support of ALIA’s education, professional development and future-proofing agenda I aim to connect professionals and their institutions with the tools and data that can support members to build their skills and services.



Board election candidates

Select this link to access supplementary information relating to candidates for the Vice President and Institutional Director positions that become available in May 2016.


Election process

Information about the election process can be found here.


Want to know more?


Questions about the election process or the work of the Board can be forwarded to the ALIA Board of Directors.