ALIA's highest honour recognises one of Australia's library leaders

Wednesday 27 July 2016, Canberra: Recognising her outstanding contribution to the library and information sector, the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) has awarded one of its most prestigious honours to one of our most senior library leaders.
Director-General and Executive Member of the National Library of Australia, Anne-Marie Schwirtlich AM, is the recipient of the Redmond Barry Award which is named after Sir Redmond Barry, 1813 - 1880, who is regarded as the founder of the State Library of Victoria.
An archivist by training, Ms Schwirtlich is regarded as an outstanding leader in the library and archives sector.  
In 2011, she became the Director-General of the National Library where her list of achievements will long out-last her tenure. During her period in office, Trove has been embedded as an essential component of the Australian research infrastructure, growing to more than 500 million resources and achieving the highest award for Excellence in eGovernment in 2011.    
During her term, the National Library has successfully negotiated a change to legal deposit legislation that will enable the Library to acquire and preserve electronic and born-digital publications for future generations.   
The Library’s exhibition program has been exemplary, with events such as ‘Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia’ and ‘Celestial Empire: Life in China 1644-1911’ drawing record numbers through the Library’s doors.  
Ms Schwirtlich also oversaw the most substantial  transformation of public spaces in the National Library building since it opened in 1968. 
Prior to joining the National Library, she held many and varied roles in both National and State cultural institutions, including the National Archives of Australia, the Australian War Memorial, the State Library of Victoria and Arts Victoria.  
Her influence extends beyond the institutions in which she has worked. She has been actively engaged with professional associations throughout her career, including ALIA, IFLA and the Australian Society of Archivists, serving as president of that Association in 1989-1990. 
She is also the longest serving member of National and State Libraries Australasia, which she chaired from July 2004 to December 2006. 
Ms Schwirtlich will be presented with her award at a forthcoming ALIA event. 
Photo credit: Sam Cooper 

About the Australian Library and Information Association

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is the professional organisation for the Australian library and information services sector. With 5,000 members across Australia, we provide the national voice of the profession in the development, promotion and delivery of quality library and information services, through leadership, advocacy and mutual support.



Heather Wellard | Communications Manager |Australian Library and Information Association |

 t: +61 (0)2 6215 8225 | m: 0409830 439 | e:

Sally Hopman | Media Liaison Manager | National Library of Australia |

t: +61 (0)2 6262 1704 | m: 0401 226 697 | e:


Wednesday 27 July 2016 9:30am