Merlie Cuzens

Merlie Cuzens

  • Fellowship 1973

Fellowship citation from the Australian Library Journal, October 1973, pp 377-378  

Merlie Ivy Cuzens graduated Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne after serving in His Majesty's Forces in World War II. She completed the Registration Examination in 1961 and has been a professional member of the Association for eleven years.

Her working life as a librarian has been spent in Commonwealth Government Department libraries. After working in the medical library of the Repatriation General Hospital at Heidelberg and the libraries of the Departments of the Air and Defence, she was appointed in charge of the Repatriation Department Library Service, and subsequently of the Engineering Library Service, Australian Post Office.

The Board of Examiners has looked carefully at the evidence presented to it and is satisfied that Miss Cuzens fully merits the distinction of a Fellowship.

Miss Cuzens has for many years been one of the most active members of the Special Libraries Section.  She has been both President and Secretary of the Section and also convener and a committee member of the Victorian Division.  In 1965 she was convener of the co-ordinating committee of the Section which conducted the Costello course on co-ordinate indexing, and she has been heavily involved in the organization of several other successful courses con­ ducted by the Section, including the seminar on on-line libraries, which was presented earlier this year by the IBM Advanced Systems Development Division, Los Gatos, California. These courses have undoubtedly been one of the most seminal influences in Australian librarianship during the last ten years.

In addition to her work for continuing education, Miss Cuzens delivered lectures in special library administration to Registration students in Victoria for a number of years and has acted as senior associate examiner in this subject for the Association.  She was a member of the Victorian Branch committee which was largely responsible for securing the establishment of the Library Technician Course at the Whitehorse Technical College, Melbourne, the first course of its kind in Australia, and since 1972 she has been a member of the Commonwealth Public Service Workshop on training for assistant library officers.

As senior librarian in the Engineering Library Service, Australian Post Office, Miss Cuzens was responsible for introducing one of the first manual SDI systems in Australia. Her work with the Department has also involved an investigation into the requirements for a library service for the Department of Posts and Telegraphs in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea and the preparation of a detailed procedure manual to guide its development.

Miss Cuzens has been actively concerned to improve the status and salaries of Commonwealth librarians. She was responsible for the formation of the Librarians' Group of the Professional Officers' Association in I 962, and was its convener for a number of years. She worked on the first case for Commonwealth librarians to go before the Commonwealth Arbitrator, and she has acted for librarians on a number of occasions in negotiations between the POA and the Public Service Board.

Miss Cuzens has been a member of the Association and Victorian Branch Committees on Standards and Status.  She has served as a special librarian on AACOBS and on the Victorian Book Resources Committee since 1967, and is a member of the Australian National Committee of the FID. Miss Cuzens has always been keenly interested in new developments in librarianship, and has travelled overseas on a number of occasions to further her knowledge.

Her influence has not been confined to the field of librarianship. She has published relatively little, but articles by her have ap­peared in journals concerned with public administration and telecommunications as well as librarianship. She is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Public Administration, Victorian Regional Group, and not only has her participation in Institute activities given Victorian administrators a better under­ standing of librarianship, but she has encouraged a number of other librarians to join her as members of the Institute.

In the opinion of the Board of Examiners, Merlie Ivy Cuzens, Bachelor of Arts, Associate of the Library Association of Australia, has made a distinguished contribution to the profession of librarianship in Australia through the scope of her activities and the initiative and energy with which she has pursued them, and the Board recommends without dissent that she be invited to accept the distinction of Fellow of the Library Association of Australia.

Margaret Ramsay, Chairman, Board of Examiners, August 1973.