John Dwight

John Dwight BCom (Melb)

  • Redmond Barry Award 2004

John Dwight, executive chair of DA, has been a leader in enhancing the library and information services sector in Australia, and promoting the Australian library sector in the international arena for the past twenty years.

John Dwight joined DA in 1985. Through his work and activities with DA, John has done much to ensure that the Australian library profession operates at the forefront of international developments. He has encouraged the adoption of technological advances, promoted new products, and negotiated attractive consortial arrangements for the benefit of Australian libraries. DA have shown a creative support for the Australian library and information industry beyond the norm generally associated with commercial suppliers. Through DA, he has worked with major library and information organisations, such as the Council of Australian University Libraries and the Group of Eight libraries, and the company is a long-standing supporter of the sector, and ALIA, through participation in conferences and trade exhibitions. The company has an outstanding reputation for excellence with the Australian library community.

John has an excellent understanding of the needs of Australian libraries and has provided these insights to the publishers and organisations DA represents. He actively seeks advice from his customers, facilitates contact between publishers and librarians, and willingly shares his experience and expertise. The financial and intellectual support given by John and DA has encouraged discussion and collaboration between libraries both within Australia and overseas.

With a passion for providing a complete service to the library industry, John has led the transformation of DA into a full service provider for its Australian and New Zealand customers. He has built a very strong team at DA - they take time to listen to the views of customers, and like John, their conduct is professional.

John's enlightened management philosophies and his leadership qualities are much admired. He has embraced the Young Presidents' Organisation's slogan 'Better leaders through education and ideas exchange', and encourages his staff to fully participate in the profession through the exchange of ideas and sharing of their experience.

John Dwight has been personally involved in working with significant library organisations to develop their reach into and relationships with international bodies such as OCLC and the British Library. He was instrumental in liaising with senior management of OCLC to set up the OCLC Australia Advisory Committee. Together with the committee, he worked to ensure that not only were leading members of OCLC able to attend meetings, but that the committee was able to provide policy input which benefited the entire library community.

Through his support of the library and information profession, at an individual and a collective level, John Dwight has shown himself to be a most worthy candidate for the Redmond Barry award. It is the combination of a willingness to invest, without obvious financial return, in the development of the Australian library and information sector and the professional interaction with members of ALIA that has allowed DA to become an integral part, beyond the commercial settings, of Australia's library and information sector.

John is a very genuine and caring friend to many in the library profession. He has supported the activities of ALIA for many years and encouraged others to do so as well. His work has been exemplary and his wide knowledge and extensive experience have sharpened both bibliogprhical practices and efficient operations within libraries.

The Redmond Barry Award is the association's highest honour that can be bestowed on an individual not eligible for associate membership. It is awarded in recognition of outstanding service to or promotion of library and information services, or the practice of library and information science. John Dwight's outstanding contribution to the library and information services sector, make him a most worthy recipient of the ALIA Redmond Barry Award.