Tania Barry

Tania Barry BA (Lib&InfoSc) DipFLM AALIA

Recipient of the Metcalfe Award 2006

The ALIA Metcalfe Award acknowledges high achievement by a personal member in the first five years of practice. Tania Barry has combined extensive work in several areas for ALIA with academic success in her study program and contributions above and beyond requirements at Wyndham Library Service.

Tania has been a very active member of ALIA. The New Generation Policy and Advisory Group, the Library and Information Week Planning and Advisory Group, the Victorian Library Technicians Group, the ALIA Vic Specials and ALIA Vic have all benefited from her energy and interest. She was instrumental in organising a library technicians' remote mentoring group, matching protégés with appropriate mentors. She led the re-vitalising of the Library Technician of the Year Award, co-ordinating and chairing the judging panel 2004-2006. She was convenor of the 2005 Dunn & Wilson Scholarship panel. She has actively promoted both awards, as well as ALIA's PD scheme. She was awarded the ALIA Silver Pin for five years service in 2005, an outstanding achievement for a member who first joined the Association in 2001.

At Wyndham Library Service she transformed the junior fiction area in her first six months of employment as Children's and Youth Services Librarian. She solved ongoing problems the library had with suppliers, applying resources more effectively to appropriately targeted areas. She created and wrote most of the monthly newsletter Chatterbox, which has proved highly successful with Wyndham's young clients, incorporating their contributions. She has also, as an extra project, led the Weribee/Wyndham Heritage Project, digitising the local history collection.

Tania has created partnerships for the library with many local organisations, including kindergartens, primary, secondary and cultural schools, the local Council, the Maternal and Child Health service, Family Day Care and educational institutions offering child care certificates. All these aim to increase awareness of the services the library offers. Memberships, program attendance and loans have all increased. Tania used the Premier's Reading Challenge Program as an opportunity to contact every school in the Wyndham region, and it is estimated she has reached over 1,000 of the 1,100 children enrolled in local kindergartens in 2005. Her work, particularly with disadvantaged children and a pilot program to support antenatal classes and teenage mothers, is an example of a library ensuring a free flow of information and support to groups with few resources.

At Charles Sturt University Tania was consistently the top student in her subjects and has received the Dean's Award for three of her four years of study for a BA (Library and Information Science), graduating with Distinction in 2006, receiving both of CSU's undergraduate prizes: The ALIA Award, and the Zenith Management Services Award. She set up a Victorian study group for distance education students and contributed to reviews and has promoted library training and ALIA within and outside the university.

Tania Barry has made a significant contribution to many areas of the profession in a very short time. Her energy, her achievements, her willingness to take on additional responsibilities and her commitment to the profession make her a worthy recipient of the Metcalfe Award.