Patricia Ward

Patricia Ward BA DipEd FLAA

  • ALIA Fellowship 1988

Patricia Ward has made a distinguished contribution to the library profession; Patricia Ward was a teacher-librarian in the NSW Department of Education until 1987. Since that time she has worked freelance. She was president of the NSW Branch of the LAA in 1978-79, and General Councillor for NSW in 1980 and 1981. She was a NSW Branch councilor in 1976-77, and again from 1987. A foundation member of the School Libraries Section, she has at different times been president and secretary of the Section's NSW Group. She has participated in the activities of the Library Technicians and Public Libraries Sections and is currently a committee member of the NSW Group of the Local Studies Section.

Patricia Ward's interests are diverse. In a time when there was little guidance for teacher-librarians she took a major initiative in organising seminars for them, and published the proceedings. A number of significant seminars which contributed to the development of standards and practice were organised by Mrs Ward in the 1970s in areas such as education for teacher-librarianship, implications of the Karmel Report and library services for young children.

Her professional development activities have extended to librarians in local studies and local government, and to library technicians. As convenor of the NSW Branch Committee for Education for Local Studies Librarians she has encouraged the mounting of short local studies programs at the University of NSW School of Librarianship and the publication of papers from these. She has been a part-time lecturer at Kuring-gai CAE and for the NSW Department of Education retraining courses for teacher-librarians. She was a member of the Advisory Committee of the NSW Department of TAFE on the Library Technicians Certificate Course from its inception until the committee was discontinued in 1987.

Patricia Ward was instrumental in the foundation of the NSW Action Committee on Local Government Records, and has been secretary since its inception in 1981. This broadly based group has been responsible for amendments to the Local Government Act which extend the classes of documents to be preserved, and this has led to the recent production of a General Records Disposal Schedule for Local Government in NSW.

One of Patricia's most successful initiatives has been the Conservation of the Move project. She was the driving force in the preparation of a submission for funding to the NSW Bicentennial Council to appoint a consultant conservator to advise on preservation, conservation and appropriate use of primary source materials held by local government bodies and societies and public libraries. The result was a three year state-wide program - Conservation on the Move - a joint activity of the Library Association of Australia, the Regional Galleries Association of NSW, the Australian Society of Archivists (Sydney), the Museums Association of Australia (NSW) and the Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials (NSW). Central to the success of the project was the agreement negotiated by Patricia Ward with the University of NSW to enable the conservator to work in the conservation laboratory at the School of Librarianship from her appointment in 1986.

Elected to the Publications Board of the LAA in 1982, Mrs Ward has been a strong advocate of divisional publishing, and a source of guidance and support for divisions in this area. She has edited a number of monographs in the areas of school and children's librarianship, local history resources, conservation and local government records. Most recently she has edited Stopping the rot: a handbook of preventative conservation for local studies collections by Helen Price, the Bicentennial Conservator.

Patricia Ward's greatest strength has been the diversity of her involvement in the profession. She is an excellent communicator, and an active participant. She has formed links between the public and teacher-librarians, librarians and library technicians, archivists and local government. She has made a major contribution to library and information services in Australia through her publishing activities and her commitment to the professional development of library staff in schools and local government.

The General Council of the Library Association of Australia considers Patricia Ward a most worthy recipient of the award of Fellowship of the Association.

Obituary Patricia Bruce Ward AM. BA, Dip Ed. FLAA. inCite vol. 11, no. 7, 28 May 1990, p. 7

Patricia Bruce Ward, a foundation Associate member of the Library Association of Australia died in the Hawkesbury train crash on Sunday 6 May 1990.

Patricia Ward's greatest strength has been the diversity of her involvement in the profession. Her professional development activities extended to librarians in school libraries, local government, and to library technicians. She served as ALIA NSW Branch President and General Councillor and was a founding member of the ALIA School Libraries Section, with terms as President and Secretary of this Section. In 1982 Patricia Ward was elected to the Publications Board of the Association, and provided a source of support and guidance for its many publications.

In 1988, the distinction of Fellow of the Australian Library and Information Association was conferred on Patricia Ward in recognition of her outstanding commitment and contribution to librarianship and the library profession. In 1990 she was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to librarianship.

Mrs Ward's professional interests were shared by her husband John – who also died in the crash – recently retired Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney. Professor Ward was a member of ALIA, and a former member of the Library Council of NSW, and actively supported his wife in her library science and publications activities.

Patricia Bruce Ward’s vision, resourcefulness, humour and tireless commitment will be greatly missed by her many colleagues and friends in the library and information industry throughout Australia.