Kate Davis

Kate Davis

  • Metcalfe Award 2008

Kate Davis is an outstanding candidate for the Metcalfe Award. She has contributed to the profession through her work in national and public libraries, and has supported her new generation/graduate colleagues through her very active participation in newgen groups, her support of the New Librarians Symposium, and through personal support to her colleagues. She is currently chair of the ALIA New Generation Advisory Group (NGAC) which provides advice to the ALIA Board of Directors. Her national contribution, through the work she has undertaken on the Instant Messaging trial in AskNow, has demonstrated Kate's ability to work with a widely distributed team, to inspire and enthuse, and, just as importantly, to share with all Australia library staff the outcomes of the trial.

Since graduating, Kate has been an active library information professional, and an active member of ALIA. Although Kate has worked for Gold Coast City Council Library services for less than two years, her contribution to the branch has already been considerable. As Electronic Services librarian, Kate leads a team, drawing on staff from a large distributed network, to deliver a vast range of electronic services to almost 500 000 residents across the city. Within three years of graduating, Kate was appointed to a strategic library role that has significantly more responsibility than many graduates would achieve within their first ten years. This, in Gen Y terms, is a true indicator of ability, beyond awards and professional publications.

It is in activities embracing new technologies that Kate is most enterprising. She is quick to see the potential of new developments in information technology and demonstrates her initiative by quickly working out what is necessary to make the most of them, then actively seeking to acquire relevant skills when she discovers a gap in her knowledge. Her impact stands out from that of others similarly skilled in that she actively brings both staff and clients along to share her enthusiasm, and makes herself available as a willing mentor for others.

In 2006-2007, Kate made a unique and significant contribution to the development of virtual reference in Australia through her management of the Instant Messaging trial. With a team at the National Library, she researched and developed first a feasibility paper, then a proposal for a trial service. She then took on the management of the AskNow Instant Messaging service. She introduced a world first in trialling IM across multiple libraries and operators. Kate evaluated and reported on the project in an article in The Australian Library Journal and a presentation to VALA in 2008, as well as reports for library management.

Her demonstration of all that is best in modern librarianship and conveyance of the importance of service delivery and innovation to all she meets is to be commended. She shows personal commitment to developing innovative and inclusive services and sets a model to which we should all aspire.