Jean Murray

Jean Murray BA FLAA

  • ALIA Fellowship 1970

Jean Moreland Murray was education in New South Wales, graduating Bachelor of Arts of the University of Sydney in 1942. She completed the qualifying examination of the Australian Institute of Librarians in 1947 and is thus a professional member of the Library Association of Australia of more than twenty years standing. Miss Murray has already had two careers as a librarian and is now launched on a third. For fifteen years she was one of the country's leading special librarians, service as librarian of Australian Paper Manufacturers in Sydney from 1944 to 1950 and from 1953-1960 and as medical librarian of the University of New South Wales, in 1961.

From 1962 to 1970 Miss Murray was assistant general secretary of the Library Association of Australia, for the last year with the title of executive secretary.

In 1970 she was appointed assistant to the librarian, University of Sydney. Miss Murray has never abandoned her interest in special libraries. She was president of the section in 1959 and 1960 and, even after her translation to the Association's office, continued to write for the Australian Library Journal on special library topics, to review books in the field and, finally, to bring out a most useful pamphlet, Special Libraries in Australia: non-governmental in the Australian Library Pamphlet Series, in 1968.

Apart from her period of employment with the Association, Miss Murray has always been extremely active in its support. In addition to her presidency of the Special Libraries section, she represented the New South Wales Branch on General Council in 1960 and 1961 and was president of the Branch 1962 and 1963. The Board has been aware, moreover, of a long and uninterrupted period of support of both Section and Branch which goes far beyond the formal record of holding of office.

Coming to the years spent by Miss Murray in the Association's service, the Board is confident that Council, and indeed the membership in general, would support its firmly held view that the efficiency, skill and dedication which she applied to her duties as assistant general secretary have had much to do with the emergence of the Association as a professional organisation of repute, whose advice and assistance is regularly sought be outside bodies.

To take but one aspect of her duties of which the Board has intimate knowledge, the Association's examination system, under Miss Murray's organising hand, has developed efficiency of a high order. There must inevitably be minor criticisms of an operation as far flung and complex. Nevertheless, the Board is confident that the present smooth functioning, each year, of an examination involving more than 1500 candidates sitting for a total of 4500 individual papers at 92 centres spread over the world is an unassailable tribute to organisational ability and devotion to duty, far beyond what could reasonably have been required of Miss Murray as an Association employee.

A reviewer has said of Miss Murray's booklet on special libraries:

‘It is a model of clear and concise presentation of facts and is a significant addition to the previously all too meagre literature of special librarianship.’

The Board concurs with this judgment and reports that the same clarity and conciseness are to be found in Miss Murray's other writings. In addition to contributing articles and reviews to the Journal, Miss Murray also assisted Miss Hine in the preparation of the first cumulated index to it. In this and in the substantial but little known assistance she has given the honorary editor, in particular by proof-reading, Miss Murray has also contributed significantly to the 'new look' of the Australian Library Journal.

It is the unanimous opinion of the Board of Examiners, based on careful review of Miss Murray's writing, on its own knowledge of her work for the Association and on the many reports it has received of her activities, that she has made a distinguished contribution the practice of librarianship in Australia. The Board commends Jean Moreland Murray, Bachelor of Arts, Associate of the Library Association of Australia, to Council as a special librarian of note, as a significant contributor to Australian library literature and as a former officer of the Association whose efforts, far in excess of those that could legitimately have been required of her, have been of tremendous significance to the development of the Association and the achievements of its aims. The Board recommends that she be invited to the distinction of Fellow of the Library Association of Australia.