Candidate Information - Vice President



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 Vice President candidates, Vicki McDonald and Alan Smith had to say....


Vicki McDonald

What motivated you to seek election as an ALIA Director?

Throughout my career I have been actively involved in ALIA:  I have been an office bearer for Queensland-based groups, a member of conference organising committees and also served as a Director on the ALIA Board.  I believe it is a professional obligation to be actively involved in my professional association which has translated to my personal active involvement, as well as supporting colleagues.  I feel that my broad involvement across the library and information sector, together with my senior leadership experience, will enable me to make a worthwhile contribution to the work and aspirations of the Association.

What skills can you bring to the Board?
  • Previous experience on the ALIA Board and committees, as well as experience as an officer on IFLA Standing Committees
  • Executive management and leadership experience
  • I have worked across sectors (university, public and state libraries), rural and metropolitan libraries, and my career has encompassed position at all levels: library assistant, library technician, graduate librarian, manager, executive leader.
What are the three most important issues facing ALIA or the LIS profession?
  • Advocacy: making issues that matter to us as library and information professionals visible to the broader community
  • Professional development: Skills development and ongoing professional development in
  • the context of a dynamic working environment
  • Being relevant and respected within our organisations and communities.  This is achieved through our collaborative and progressive approach, and continuous assessment of our priorities, resources and services. 
What would you like to accomplish as a Board member?

It would be a great achievement, as a Board member, to know that I have contributed to members feeling compelled to renew their membership because they acknowledge the importance of their professional association and can see the value the Association offers both to individuals and the profession.


Alan Smith


What motivated you to seek election as an ALIA Director?

I am a great believer that if there is something that you care about and want it to endure that you have to be actively involved. Either as a patron offering financial support; exerting whatever influence you can upon other people who could offer financial and in kind support; or giving time by helping with the management and governance.  Which is why for many years I was President of Museums Australia (Vic), a Committee Member of the Friends of the Australian Ballet (SA) and am currently a Council Member of The Australiana Fund, a Committee Member of Musica Viva (SA) and a member of the Dame Peggy van Praagh Leadership Circle of the Australian Ballet.  I want to bring the experience I have gained over the decades in the cultural arena to assist ALIA.

What skills can you bring to the Board?

Corporate governance, advocacy, strategic planning, fiscal prudence, political awareness, negotiating and diplomacy.  Opinion is still divided as to whether one of my other attributes should be called articulate or verbose!

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

Relevance is far and away the most important.  How we define that relevance, how we attain and nurture it, how we both express that and impress it upon the wider world outside of our immediate circles.  This of course encompasses one of the other great issues facing us – education for libraries, which has to continue the transformation that has been occurring n our view of what a LIS professional is.  The third great issue for us is the ever shrinking resources for libraries and library professionals.  I strongly believe that advocacy alone cannot deal with this implacable reality.  Partnerships, collaborations and joint ventures across the whole cultural and educational sectors and beyond are our way ahead.

What would you like to accomplish as a Board member?

Above all I would like to help build cross-sectoral alliances, assist in negotiating better legislative outcomes in areas of vital importance to us such as copyright and to work with my colleagues towards making ALIA an even better organization for all of us.



Board election candidates

Select this link to access supplementary information relating to candidates for the Institutional Director and general 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.