John Horacek

John Horacek BA (Hons) MA FALIA

  • ALIA Fellowship 1995

John Horacek's career of thirty years in librarianship is a distinguished one. He has given loyal and effective service and leadership in the work-place combined with constant and vigorous involvement in the concerns and issues affecting the profession at large. John has been a consistent, vocal and valuable supporter of the objectives of ALIA since the 1960s, through his participation in Branch and national activities and publications. As a permanent member of the Victorian Resources Committee of Australian Council of Library and Information Services (ACLIS) (formerly AACOBS), he served as its convenor in 1984 and 1985, and in this role inspired, sponsored and directed a number of that body's initiatives. Most notable were the surveys of Victorian collections in anthropology, geological sciences and chemistry. As a member of the Planning Committee John delivered a paper at the AACOBS conference on the collecting of western European imprints entitled The acquisition of Spanish imprints by Australian libraries. He has been a member of statewide committees charged with examining the content of library technician training courses, the description of collections of state or national importance, and the national realisation of collecting priorities.

John Horacek's contribution to publication and to promoting research and development in Australian librarianship is exemplified by his editorship of one of the Australian library profession's most important journals, the Australian Academic and Research Libraries journal. John was its associate editor from 1972 to 1984 and its editor from 1984 to 1989. His work in commissioning articles, following up dilatory or reluctant authors and polishing and shaping the final product was carried out punctiliously and with flair, principally in his own time. If he had been less dedicated much research by others would not have seen the light of day.

His own contributions to research and development, however, are far from negligible. John's Master of Arts thesis at the University of London on the co-operation between the libraries which comprise the University of London system, was written during his tenure of the James Cook Bicentennial Scholarship in 1970 and 1971. He was also the libraries' representative on the study team which produced the first CAVAL report entitled Co-operative Action by Victorian Academic Libraries: 1-Cataloguing.

John's significant contributions to committee participation have not been confined to the national body of ACLIS. He has also been a member of the Victorian ACLIS committee, and the Resources sub-committee. He has served as the treasurer and treasurer/secretary of the Association for Iberian and Latin American studies in recent years and was a member of the organising committee of the inaugural conference for this Association held at the University of New South Wales in Sydney in September 1993. From 1993, John has served on the library committee of the National Korean Studies Centre and on the La Trobe University Press Board of Management.

These are the details that contribute to an impressive record of thirty year's contribution to the profession of librarianship by John Horacek. In addition, members of the profession who have dealt with John over the years have been conscious of the exceptional generosity and patience he has been able to bring to the solution of librarianship issues. John has rarely been too busy to listen, advise and participate. His never-failing engagement in professional concerns has been undertaken at the same time as demanding full-time employment. His efforts have been not only exceptional in themselves, but above and beyond the call of duty. The General Council of the Australian Library and Information Association is pleased to recognise as a Fellow this dedicated and creative member, John Horacek.