Margaret Ingham

Margaret Ingham

  • ALIA Fellowship 1973

Fellowship citation from the Australian Library Journal, October 1973, pp 378-379 

Margaret Hope Maberly Ingham was educated in Victoria, where she graduated Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne. She later secured the Diploma in Education of that University.

After early experience as a teacher, Mrs Ingham first practised as a librarian in 1943. Then came a period of three years with the Women's Royal Naval Service.  In 1959 Mrs Ingham returned to librarianship, serving first as children's librarian of the South Melbourne Public Library until 1965. In 1966 she was appointed children's librarian, Public  Libraries Division, Library Council of Victoria, a position which she has held with distinction ever since.  Mrs Ingham has been an Associate and professional member of the Association since 1965.

In recognition of great courage and endurance displayed during a particularly harrowing wartime experience, she was awarded the British Empire Medal.

The Board has no doubt that Margaret Ingham is widely recognized in Australia as a leader in the field of library service to children and as an expert in children's literature.

Her publications in the proceedings of the Association's Conferences, and in those of the advanced seminar on children's librarianship held at the University of New  South Wales in 1971, her two  surveys of children's encyclopaedias issued in 1965 and 1967 respectively and her many  contributions to the popular press establish her without doubt as both extremely knowledgeable about  children's books and outstandingly able to communicate that knowledge effectively and enthusiastically. Her Research collections of children's books in Victoria, a report prepared at the request of  AACOBS, is further evidence of her thoroughness and clarity. 

Mrs Ingham has supported the Association and its objects with equal dedication. She has been President of the Children's Libraries Section, as also its General Councillor, and President of the Section's Victorian Division. She has served for five years on the Victorian Branch's Committee for the Promotion of School Libraries in Australia and on its working party on Library Services in Victoria. Since 1965 she has been executive member of the Children's Book Council of Victoria and in 1968 she convened the Committee on Standards for Public Libraries in Victoria set up by the State Librarian of Victoria. The standards which this committee established were widely drawn on by the Association's own Committee on Standards for Public Libraries.

In 1973 Virginia Haviland of the Library of Congress invited Mrs Ingham to give a paper at the International Summer Seminar on Children's Literature to be held  at Towson State College, Baltimore, 30 July-4 August 1973. In accepting this invitation with its implication of international recognition Mrs Ingham brought honour not only to herself but to her profession in Australia.

In the Board's view Margaret Ingham has made a particularly distinguished contribution to the practice of librarianship in Australia through her work as children's librarian with the Public Libraries Division of the Library Council of Victoria. It is clear to the Board that in this position she has operated at a level beyond that which could reasonably have been demanded of her by her employers. Through the institution and conduct of regular quarterly meetings with children's librarians, through the establishment of a model demonstration children's library, through the Victorian Children's Book Selection Committee which she established and has convened monthly since mid 1968, and through her pro forma Book selection policy for children's libraries,  she has exercised a marked personal influence on the notable upgrading of children's libraries in Victoria. Moreover, her publications and her methods have been widely admired and emulated outside her home state.

It comes as no surprise to find that Mrs Ingham has lectured regularly since I 966 on children's literature to students at  both primary and secondary teachers' colleges in Victoria and that, for many years, she covered the same subject for the Library Training School of Victoria.

The Board is unanimously of the  opinion that Margaret Hope Maberly Ingham, holder of the British Empire  Medal,  Bachelor of Arts, Diplomate in Education and Associate of the Library Association of Australia, well satisfies the requirements  for the distinction of Fellow of the Library Association of  Australia. The Board commends her to Council for this award.

Margery Ramsay, Chairman, Board of Examiners August 1973.