Sir John Starke

From INCITE Volume 6 Number 7 17 May 1985 ISSN 0158 0876

It is most fitting that the LAA has chosen to confer its Redmond Barry Award upon Sir John Starke.

The Redmond Barry Award is named in memory of Sir Redmond Barry, who, among other duties, was the first Chairman of the Trustees of the Melbourne Public Library (now the State Library of Victoria) from 1854 to 1880, and Senior Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria. Sir John Starke is President of the Library Council of Victoria and Senior Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Sir John was appointed as second President of the Library Council in 1967. He has been a forceful defender of the principle of free public library service both in the State Library and in the Victorian public library system. In February 1984 he went to Sydney to meet with the President of the Council of the State Library of New South Wales to discuss federal aid for public libraries, and he insisted that the Library Council of Victoria press for a federal inquiry into public library services.

Sir John has been the chief proponent in the fight for a Government commitment to the building of a new State Library of Victoria and it is in no small part due to his endeavours that the Government has recently appointed a State Library/Museum Buildings Advisory Committee to advise the Government and to be responsible for overseeing the building of this major cultural facility.

General Council felt that it was most appropriate to recognise Sir John Starke’s 18 years of distinguished service to the Library Council of Victoria, to the wider Victorian library community and to the development of Australian libraries by conferring the Redmond Barry Award upon him.