Jeanette Knox

Jeanette Knox MA FALIA

  • ALIA Fellowship 1990

Jeanette Knox has made an outstanding contribution to the library and information profession in Australia as an academic librarian of excellence, and as a leader in the Australian Library and Information Association. Jeanette has had a distinguished career in academic librarianship, serving on the staff of several university libraries in Australia and the United Kingdom before coming to Macquarie University Library in 1977. As head of reader services, she is responsible for standards of service to a large, diverse and demanding population of readers. She has fully maintained the record of innovation and excellence for which that department has been noted over the years.

Jeanette's resourcefulness, willingness to embrace new technology, her commitment to staff development and the development of effective readers services programs have been the major areas of leadership at Macquarie University. He eminently practical approach, her involvement of staff in decision making, her tolerance and her foresight have helped her department through financial stringencies and managing to do more with less. Jeanette Knox's professional interests are not confined to academic libraries. She has taken a keen interest in the problems of public and school libraries and has participated in various campaigns to gain improvements in service.

She has been a mentor to many and her encouragement, and her practical and freely given advice, reflects her commitment and interest in assisting others.

Jeanette Knox has ably served on many and varied committees. Her participation in the activities of the Association and its Queensland and NSW Branches has been consistent and productive involving positions of leadership including the presidency of the NSW Branch. As a member of the Futures Committee and of the Board of Education (for six years), her work and her discussion papers reflect her national and common-sense approach. During her two terms on the Board of Education her particular concerns were with the level and coverage of training for librarians and library technicians, particularly from the point of view of the practitioner. Her experience in the areas of staff selection and training and her leadership as convenor of the Course Recognition Committee were valuable contributions. She also prepared a number of high quality discussion papers for the Board, for example, a paper which led to the reshaping of the Association's policy and practice in relating to the recognition of overseas qualifications. Jeanette has since served as an assessor in NSW of applicants for Associate membership with overseas qualifications. Through her work in the field of Freedom of Information legislation Jeanette has made a significant contribution to the Association's advocacy of improved access to all types of information for all people.

It was during her presidency of the NSW Branch in 1977 that it began its examination of the need for such legislation and convinced the membership at large of its importance. It was largely due to her efforts that lobbying for the introduction of effective Freedom of Information legislation became an Association cause - one which was pursued successfully.

At General Council's request she has, since 1980, maintained a watching brief on Federal and State legislation and other FOI matters. In 1978 she was one of the Association's representatives at hearings into Freedom of Information legislation carried out by the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. With Merilyn Bryce she prepared the Association's submission on the revised Freedom of Information Bill which was introduced by the first Hawke Government in 1983. This submission was quoted extensively in debate.

Her work in this field has been effective, persevering and varied - and it continues to be so.

She has been involved with many activities at Macquarie University and has been president of the Macquarie University Club and the secretary of the Macquarie University Staff Association. Her work with the Glebe Society, of which she has been president, indicates her interest in improving the quality of life of residents and preserving the environment, both in her own area and in the wider context of the general community. Jeanette Knox has worked quietly and efficiently in numerous capacities for the Association. Her contributions to Australian librarianship and to the Association make her a worthy recipient of the distinction of Fellow of the Australian Library and Information Association as awarded by a resolution of the General Council at its meeting on the third of October, 1990.