Kerry Smith

Dr Kerry Smith AM BAppSc(LS), MA, PHD(Murdoch), FALIA

Fellowship conferred 2001

Kerry Smith has a long history of achievement in, and dedication to, the library and information profession. Since her entry to the profession in 1981 as the librarian of the Australian Mineral Ventures Library in West Perth, she has been a committed and enthusiastic advocate for the library and information industry.

For almost twenty years, Kerry has actively promoted the Association and what it stands for. Kerry has made an outstanding contribution to the objects and work of the Association. Every task she has undertaken for the Association has been done enthusiastically and wholeheartedly. Kerry has always spoken for what she has believed is the right direction for the Association.

From her first position as publicity officer in 1983 she went on to become president of the Special Libraries Section in 1988-1989. She has also been active in executive and working roles in the Public Libraries Section, the ALIA Publications committee, the Board of Education, the Education for Library and Information Services group and the One Person Library Special Interest Group, and was responsible for the publicity on the ALIA 1990 biennial conference. She passionately defends the right of every Australian to equity of access to information. She is a staunch advocate for the Association and its place within the profession and wider community, and is committed to raising the standards of library and information workers.

Kerry has raised the profile of special libraries and contributed to their advancement through her participating on several national and state committees and working groups. She has promoted professional development opportunities for special librarians and encouraged communication between special librarians, so often isolated by their professional circumstances. In recognition of her continuing efforts for special librarians she was awarded the ALIA Special Librarian of the Year (WA group) award in 1995.

In 1991, Kerry moved to Curtin University to take up a position as lecturer in the School of Information and Library Studies, now a study area in the School of Media and Information. From that time, dialogue between the school and the profession has been enhanced and continues to be excellent. She promotes the need for quality in library and information education. As a lecturer, and in her wider role as head of school, Kerry demonstrated the importance of information skills in the community. She became head of the School of Information and Library Studies in September 1996 and led the staff through a period of change and restructure.

As president of the Association in 1997, Kerry was outstanding in her commitment to the profession and ALIA. Her presidency was characterised by her willingness to meet members both singularly and in groups and was always available to listen to their concerns and to lobby government on library and information issues.

Kerry's professional activities included bodies other than ALIA. She was responsible for establishing the Australian Geoscience Information Association (AGIA) Western Australia branch in 1984 and played a major role in seeing it develop as the largest and most active branch of AGIA in Australia. AGIA's objective is to initiate aid and improve exchange of geoscience information in Australia and overseas.

As an elected local government representative she has been a staunch advocate for the benefits to the community of quality public library services. She continues to be an active officer of IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.

Kerry's commitment to the Association, and her active participation in the promotion of professional development, library education, statistics, benchmarking and better standards, make her a most worthy recipient of the award of Fellow of the Australian Library and Information Association.

HCL Anderson Award citation 2017

Kerry Smith has a long history of achievement in, and dedication to, the library and information profession. Since her entry to the profession in 1981 as the librarian of the Australian Mineral Ventures Library in West Perth, she has been a committed and enthusiastic advocate for the library and information industry.

For almost 20 years, Kerry has actively promoted the Association. Kerry has made an outstanding contribution to the objects and work of the Association. Every task she has undertaken for the Association has been done enthusiastically and wholeheartedly. Kerry has always spoken for what she has believed is the right direction for the Association.

From her first position as publicity officer in 1983 she went on to become President of the Special Libraries Section in 1988–1989. She has also been active in executive and working roles in the Public Libraries Section, the ALIA Publications Committee, the Board of Education, the Education for Library and Information Services Group and the One Person Library Special Interest Group, and was responsible for the publicity for the ALIA 1990 Biennial Conference. She passionately defends the right of every Australian to equity of access to information. She is a staunch advocate for the Association and its place within the profession and wider community, and is committed to raising the standards of library and information workers.

Kerry has raised the profile of special libraries and contributed to their advancement through her participating on several national and state committees and working groups. She has promoted professional development opportunities for special librarians and encouraged communication between special librarians, so often isolated by their professional circumstances. In recognition of her continuing efforts for special librarians she was awarded the ALIA Special Librarian of the Year (WA Group) award in 1995.

In 1991, Kerry moved to Curtin University to take up a position as lecturer in the School of Information and Library Studies, now a study area in the School of Media and Information. From that time, dialogue between the school and the profession has been enhanced and continues to be excellent. She promotes the need for quality in library and information education. As a lecturer, and in her wider role as head of school, Kerry demonstrated the importance of information skills in the community. She became head of the School of Information and Library Studies in September 1996 and led the staff through a period of change and restructure.

As President of the Association in 1997, Kerry was outstanding in her commitment to the profession and ALIA. Her presidency was characterised by her willingness to meet members both singularly and in groups and she was always available to listen to their concerns and to lobby government on library and information issues.

Kerry's professional activities included bodies other than ALIA. She was responsible for establishing the Australian Geoscience Information Association (AGIA) Western Australia branch in 1984 and played a major role in seeing it develop as the largest and most active branch of AGIA in Australia. AGIA's objective is to initiate aid and improve exchange of geoscience information in Australia and overseas.

Kerry was active on behalf of the profession in domains other than the library sector. During her elected terms at ALIA, Kerry was an elected local government representative and was very vocal within the state and national local government networks to promote and raise awareness of the important contribution public libraries make within their communities.  This assisted in strengthening the strategic relationship between ALIA and the Australian Local Government Association.

Within IFLA, Kerry has focused her participation in the areas of education, research, professional development, management and marketing and library history.  Kerry has built an extensive global network of colleges and in doing so has increased the awareness of colleagues from other countries of the Australian library and information sector. She has coordinated the preparation of international standards and guidelines, and has willingly shared with Australian colleagues her knowledge of international developments.  

For all these achievements, Kerry Smith  is a very worthy recipient of the distinction of the HCL Anderson Award.