Eugenie Greig

Eugenie Greig BA FALIA

  • ALIA Fellowship 1996

The thirty-seven years which Eugenie Greig has dedicated to the library and information sciences have been distinguished by the professionalism evident in all aspects of her life: her interest in the policies and developments of the Association; her efforts to foster the professional growth and career development of her staff; her eagerness to expand her knowledge and further, to disseminate information, in her field of expertise. The international reputation of Australian library and information sciences, and cataloguing in particular, has benefited from Eugenie's expertise and her willingness to devote her own time to professional activities.

Eugenie commenced her distinguished career in the cataloguing department of the Fisher Library at the University of Sydney in 1959. Shortly after she left to work at the Florence and University Library, Rome, for the tenure of the Italian Government scholarship in librarianship she had gained. Upon her return to Australia, the Macquarie University Library was fortunate enough to secure her services as assistant librarian and, two years later, head cataloguer. In 1981 Eugenie was appointed as the associate librarian, cataloguing, at Macquarie where she remained until her retirement in November 1993.

Eugenie's professionalism was demonstrated early in her career when, in 1965, the then librarian at the University of Sydney described her as the outstanding member of the group of professional librarians working in the cataloguing department noting her conscientiousness, tact and firmness in her dealings with staff. Another contemporary described her as the most outstanding young librarian with whom she had worked. She believed Eugenie's ability in the field of cataloguing derived not only from her strong interest in languages, but also from her knowledge and understanding of cataloguing at the international level, knowledge strengthened during the tenure of her Italian Government scholarship and her attendance at the 1961 Paris International Conference on Cataloguing Principles. As one of few Australian representatives at this landmark conference which paved the way for the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules and progress towards standardization in European cataloguing codes, Eugenie made important contacts which proved to have an enduring influence in her work on cataloguing.

Eugenie's response to the intellectual rigor of her contacts and to the leadership of several Australian librarians enabled her to lead her department in the innovative approaches in the use of LC cataloguing and LC cards that Macquarie University took in its foundation years. Eugenie inspired her staff's co-operation in the aims of achieving both quality and economy in cataloguing and processing.

At a time when the development of automated cataloguing was in its infancy, Eugenie was a strong proponent of the benefits of co-operative effort, convinced that it would lead to more efficient cataloguing. As co-operative efforts between the universities of Macquarie, Sydney, New South Wales and Wollongong began, Eugenie demonstrated necessary attention to detail and an appreciation of the need for control. While relishing the intellectual aspects of cataloguing, Eugenie was pragmatic in her approach to the technical means of implementing system conversions.

Eugenie's interest in cataloguing was maintained throughout her career. The Committee on International Cataloguing, of which she was a convener, provided significant input to the development of AACR2. Eugenie served on the Australian Committee on Cataloguing and attended conferences, seminars and workshops, in Australia and internationally, on cataloguing and management. As a result of these activities, Eugenie is recognised by her peers internationally, thus raising the profile of Australian librarianship. She has actively disseminated the knowledge and information she has acquired, particularly from her international contacts, to her colleagues. Eugenie is a noted mentor of younger librarians and has always been keen to open up professional development opportunities for younger members of the profession.

Eugenie's contribution to the objects and work of the Australian Library and Information Association has been significant. She was a member of the planning committee for the 1983 National Cataloguing Conference and, in 1987, successfully reconstituted the Cataloguers' Section (New South Wales group). Eugenie has taken a keen interest in the policies and developments of the Association generally, especially in relation to continuing professional development.

A regular and long-standing reviewer of books for Australian library journals, Eugenie has published numerous conference and ACOC reports to disseminate information to Australian cataloguers. Her reviews are thoroughly researched and scholarly, representing a significant intellectual input. As a member of the editorial board of Cataloguing and Classification Quarterly (United States of America), Eugenie was regularly called on to referee articles prior to publication, demonstrating the high regard in which her professional qualities are held overseas as well as in Australia.

Eugenie began her career with a strong foundation in languages and worked as a specialist languages cataloguer. Her expertise in languages and cataloguing has enabled her to surmount the challenges she has encountered including the implications for machine-readable cataloguing in Australia of the use of Chinese, Japanese and Korean and the use of non-Roman scripts, 'community' and Asian languages.

Eugenie Greig has demonstrated an awareness of the broader picture and her ability to place her particular expertise as a cataloguer in context. She has consistently performed beyond the boundaries of her position description and invested much of her own time in professional activities. Eugenie's personal standing among library and information sector professionals has contributed significantly to Australian librarianship in the area of cataloguing in particular, and helped it to gain a positive international reputation. Eugenie Greig is a worthy recipient of the distinction of Fellow of the Australian Library and Information Association.