Janine Schmidt

Janine Schmidt BA MLib AALIA FALIA

  • ALIA Fellowship 2004,
  • Member of the Order of Australia - AM 2013

Janine Schmidt has taken a strong leadership role in Australia in library and information science. With creative, intelligent approaches and a commitment to excellence, she has consistently given of her time and energy to drive change for the benefit of libraries and their clients, and for the profession.

As university librarian at the University of Queensland, she has transformed what was a large, but in many ways very traditional, library into an organisation which is used as a benchmark by many universities within and beyond Australia. She has taken the fullest advantage of the new information and communication technologies to make the University library accessible to the whole University of Queensland community, and has collaborated closely with other universities and secondary schools to give their students and staff access to the library. Thanks to her dedication, drive and leadership, the University of Queensland Cybrary has received various awards and distinctions, including an Australian University Teaching Award, and the Cyberschool won the ALIA Innovation Award recognising new, original and creative practices in a library. More recently, the inaugural ALIA Excellence Award was presented to Janine for the University of Queensland Ipswich Library, recognising excellence in building design and service delivery.

At both the State Library of New South Wales and the University of Queensland, Janine has championed staff development and cultural change as ways of improving services. She has also adopted a marketing and promotions approach to inform users of the services available to them, seek their feedback and to position the library in the minds of those responsible for policy and funding.

Janine is a tireless ambassador for Australian librarianship, as well as cross-sectoral, national and international collaboration. She is an advocate for the need for free access to information, particularly in the new information society where the digital divide is very real. Janine's extensive bibliography of publications and conference presentations, along with her membership of national and international committees, forums and associations provide evidence of the influential role she has played.

Janine's career has spanned the academic library, special library and the state library sectors, as well as library and information studies education. She has worked with senior personnel from cultural heritage institutions on various national task forces and committees, including Towards Federation 2001. Janine has spoken widely on the need to promote and market library and information services, reaching out to all library sectors and other cultural and information agencies.

A significant part of Janine's career was devoted to library education. Although well-known and respected as an innovative manager, close beneath the surface is Janine the teacher. Her innovative approach to curriculum development and teaching while at Kuring-Gai College of Advanced Education in the late 1970s and early 1980s gave her a national reputation in this field. Janine generously and constantly shares her knowledge with other members of the profession and is well-regarded by many as a mentor. She was president of ALIA's Education for Librarianship Section in 1981, and was the deputy chair of the ALIA Board of Education from 2000 to 2002.

The significance of the contribution to librarianship made by Janine Schmidt lies not only in the excellent management of the University of Queensland library, but in the recognition of librarians as leaders in the use of good management techniques and as innovators. Her activities have contributed to a very positive image of Australian libraries and librarians outside the library and information sector, both nationally and internationally. Within the University of Queensland, Janine is recognised as one of the most able managers and her advice and opinions are sought by senior officers on matters not just pertaining to libraries.

Janine is regarded highly by her peers for her professional knowledge and her commitment to the profession. She is the prototype for a positive image of the profession - dynamic, chic, professional, articulate, organised and intelligent.

Her commitment to broader professional ideals is demonstrated by her participation in professional organisations and her record of publication and conference participation both in Australia and overseas. Her career achievements show that she has made significant contributions to the theory and practice of the library profession in a wide range of areas. These, and her willingness to participate and show leadership in ALIA and other professional arenas make Janine Schmidt a most deserving recipient of the distinction of Fellow of the Australian Library and Information Association.