Library Heroes 2018

Late 2018 ALIA asked for nominations for library and information service professionals who had made a positive impact in the industry and was someone's 'Library Hero'.

Eight of the nominations were published in the January/February edition of INCITE Magazine, please see those and the other nominations below. These nominations include individuals as well as programs.


Oriana Acevado

Multicultural Consultant for Public Libraries, State Library of NSW

Oriana Acevado works at the State Library of NSW as a consultant where she has advocated for the past three years on the Language Other than English program and manages the bulk loans services that provides contemporary lending collections in 43 languages.

She is driven to improve her community and this commitment can be seen in her representation for the State Library in government and non-government organisations for the advancement, participation and settlement of migrants and refugees in NSW.

Oriana has been described as an incredible librarian who is an inspiration to anyone that works with her.


Kylie Carlson

Co-ordinator Community Learning and Partnerships, Yarra Libraries

Kylie Carlson has created an Inclusive Storytime Model in her time at Yarra Libraries. This model provides an alternative method of delivering Storytime for children on the autism spectrum. She has worked closely with AMAZE the peak body representing people on the autism spectrum to create this model.

This program has been a massive success and Kylie’s drive and passion are instrumental in its future. She has been described as an empathetic and valuable member of the team.


Jack Chan

Community Coordinator at Mill Park Library, Yarra Plenty Regional Library

Jack Chan has performed remarkable work in engaging with the local community at the Yarra Plenty Regional Library (YPRL) in his position as the Community Coordinator. In May 2018 he successfully brought Comic-Con to the library, which was a huge success and will be running at Watsonia Library in 2019.

Jack has also been instrumental in the delivery of the Libraries After Dark program at Mill Park Library, a program that offers an alternative venue for people after 6pm.

He has worked at YPRL for almost 15 years and has been described as a tireless advocate and innovative in this thinking.


Clare Fisher

Manager, Alice Springs Public Library

Clare Fisher has played a large role in several programs that have benefitted Alice Spring Public Library (ASPL) and the community. These programs include STEAM into Alice, Connect to Tech and Geek in Residence.

Each of these programs are designed to connect the community with technology and provide a space where they can learn and ask for advice. Clare has been described as committed to her work, and a gamechanger in the programs available at ASPL.


Tammy Hickey

Librarian, Paroo Shire Council

Tammy Hickey works at Cunnamulla Library in regional Queensland and has done wonderful work that has secured multiple grants and increased community engagement. She is dedicated to building relationships with the local community, youth and Indigenous population as well as attracting attention and resources to the library. Each year she organises a competition centred around ANZAC day where children can win a trip to Brisbane. One of her more unusual successes was arranging a performance by the magician Cosentino. Her drive and enthusiasm are key aspects in the running of the library and she is a valuable member of the team.


Mylee Joseph

Consultant, State Library of New South Wales 

Mylee Joseph works as a public libraries consultant for the State Library of NSW. She has assisted in many valuable programs including the Early Literacy Framework in NSW which has been a research partnership led by Dr Emilia Djonov at Macquarie University. Mylee has also been recognised for her work with Danish librarian Jan Holmquist on ‘23 mobile things together’, a project that aims to support library professionals in ongoing development. This project has been translated into several languages including Russian, German and Filipino. She has been described as inspirational and her passion for libraries has been witnessed around the world.


Alissa McCulloch

Cataloguer, National Library of Australia 

Alissa McCulloch currently works as a cataloguer at the National Library of Australia. She is dedicated to her work and is particularly interested in metadata. She believes in empowering, supporting and welcoming library users through meaningful cataloguing. Alissa is active in the library community and is one of the coordinators for ALIA ACTive, where she helps organise events and engages with other members of the library and information services community.  She has been described as focused and passionate about the library and information services industry.


Melanie Mutch

Community Liaison and Programs Co-ordinator

Melanie Mutch is one of the two founders of Librarians’ Choice, along with Megan Tolnay. Librarians’ Choice aims to help readers discover new and interesting books and has been operating since 2016. Librarians’ Choice is a favourite for many members of the library and information services community, and has a dedicated social media following. Melanie has worked in the industry for more than 20 years and has a strong interest in Readers’ Advisory services. She is always looking for opportunities to advocate for libraries, and to help people discover their next favourite Australian book.


Petrina Osborne

Librarian, Systems Support and Delivery in Libraries Tasmania

Petrina is a librarian who works in Systems Support and Delivery in Libraries Tasmania, which provides the library management system (LMS) and backbone for the library services of the State Library of Tasmania, Tasmanian Archives and public libraries in more than 50 sites across Tasmania. Throughout 2018, Petrina has been a quiet achiever in several significant projects for the team.

The projects include new initiatives to abolish overdue fees and to increase communication with clients, as well as research and recommendations for remote book locker technology. She has improved communication between the support team and staff in all the other sites through a library system newsletter for staff and a new intranet for Systems Support and Delivery.

Another of Petrina’s strengths is training and development and she has produced School Library Guidelines to support staff in Tasmanian schools training around new library membership cards; and improved LMS training for staff within Libraries Tasmania. She has also been an active member in training and development of client experience techniques. Petrina is always willing to listen to others and to share her knowledge and has participated in a staff swap with a small regional town public library. She is also an ALIA mentor and active in the ALIA Tasmania group.


Jenny Peck

Librarian, Languages and Multicultural Resources Centre

Jenny Peck is a librarian at the Languages and Multicultural Resources Centre (LMERC) in Carlton, Victoria. Jenny is a tireless advocate for the library as well as the services that LMERC provides to the community. She frequently liaises with students, pre-service teachers, community language tutors, teachers, education support staff and schools across all the sectors to provide the best possible service. She has been described as hardworking, dedicated and focused in her work and has been integral to the success of LMERC.  


Pixie Stardust

Metadata and Special Collections Librarian, Flinders University

Pixie wears a lot of hats, as the Metadata and Special Collections Librarian at Flinders University; the Secretary of the SA Library & Information Network; and as a co-convenor of the New Librarians Symposium 2019. She is an active member of the SA GLAM community. In addition to NLS9 she is on the organising committee for joint ASA/ARANZ/ICA/PARBICA conference in 2019. She is always looking for new ways to contribute to the profession and the SA GLAM community. Pixie has been described as someone with great energy and drive, who is committed to the future of the profession.


Vanessa Subramoney

Libraries Services Coordinator, City of Karratha

Vanessa Subramoney works as a Libraries Services Coordinator for the city of Karratha in Western Australia. She has been described as supportive and empowering, and someone that is always looking for new ways to run programmes and engage her community in the library.

Vanessa is respectful and active in ensuring that all the libraries in the area are supported by making regular trips to more distant libraries to hear their concerns and ideas.


Sally Turbitt

Sally Turbitt is the former ALIA State Manager for NSW and was a co-host of library and information focused podcast Turbitt and Duck. Sally is dedicated to the future of librarianship and can often be found at events and talks discussing the best ways to support and improve the profession. In 2017 she was the co-convenor of the New Librarians’ Symposium and has worked with ALIA Sydney on Critical Librarianship events. 


Adelle Wilkes

Information and Research Specialist, Scotch College

Adelle Wilkes works as an Information and Research Specialist at Scotch College in Western Australia. Adelle has been instrumental in creating and maintaining the Approaches to Learning hub. This hub assists teachers in determining life skills necessary for ‘learning how to learn’. This has led to an increase in students’ skills and raised the profile of the library. She has taken library services to a new level and is highly regarded by her peers, executive and students. Adelle has been described as inspirational and someone who has made a significant positive impact in her community.


Zachary Kendal, Dr Lenise Prater, Sussanah Phillips and Dr Homa Babai

Pictured left to right:

Zachary Kendal, Librarian, Rare books; Dr Lenise Prater, Learning Skills Advisor, Social Inclusion; Dr Homa Babai, Learning Skills Advisor, Business, Economics, Education, Health Sciences; and Susannah Phillips, Subject Librarian, Social Inclusion. 


Zachary Kendal, Dr Lenise Prater, Dr Homa Babai, and Susannah Phillips were all nominated together for their work on the Inclusive Teaching Toolkit at Monash University. This toolkit was created to give all staff at Monash University the skills to engage with students in the library in an inclusive manner.  This toolkit operates on six principles, be aware and informed, use inclusive language, reflect on your teaching practices, be flexible and responsive, be proactive and intentional and display empathy and understanding.


Programs and Initiatives


Libraries After Dark

The Libraries After Dark program is an initiative that was started by Susan Rennie, Victorian Local Governance Association Senior Policy Advisor, and Judy Spokes, Moreland Council Social Policy Officer.

The program provides an alternative location for people in Victoria after 6pm. Initially the program was trialled in libraries geographically close to poker machine venues but has since expanded to include more of Victoria.

The program has been described as having an immeasurable positive effect on the local communities. 

Read more about the Libraries After Dark campaign.




Libraries Change Lives Local Champions (Victoria)

Libraries Change Lives is a ground-breaking campaign that articulates the vital importance of Victorian public libraries and the contribution they make to healthy communities.

Local Library Champions are passionate and enthusiastic library staff who have volunteered to help drive the campaign. Every library service in Victoria has at least one Local Library Champion leading the charge in their community.

These champions have been responsible for almost 20 launch events over the last 3 months and countless public engagements. They’ve created impressive local videos and story boards to showcase how libraries change people’s lives.

This early work has garnered significant positive coverage for public libraries in local media and through widely shared stories on social media - #librarieschangelives 

Public Libraries Victoria and State Library Victoria are deeply grateful.

Read more about the Libraries Change Lives campaign.