As ALIA celebrates its 80th birthday this year, we thought it would be wonderful to ask our Members how they have been inspired throughout their careers. We created this blog so you could pay tribute to the people, the places, and the things which have motivated and encouraged you in your library and information science profession. Your Association provides lots of opportunities to meet, network, work on projects, join committees and attend events - perhaps you have a story about ALIA? 

Share your story about people - such as a special mentor, a leader, a volunteer, library user or colleague; places - the first library where you worked, your first overseas posting, the library where you spent most of your career, a lab in the library, a town or a city; or things - the technology which has transformed our workplaces, the help desk, the databases, the skills such as digitisation and data visualisation.

Write your Tribute post and we'll share with the library world via social media using #ALIA80  #Tribute #ALIA 

Feel free to comment on the heartfelt tributes from ALIA Members - there are some wonderful stories especially about the librarians who have inspired the next generation of information professionals.

Download this 'how-to guide' which explains how to upload your story.  If you would like email us your story/photos instead, please send to 

Thank you to Mrs Dunkle

Your Story

As a young child, I always had my head in a book and spent inordinate amounts of time at the Moorabbin Public Library in southeast Melbourne.  

Margaret Dunkle, as the Children's Librarian, kept aside new books for me, found little jobs in the library to keep me occupied (or perhaps out of her hair?!), guided my reading, involved me in summer holiday activities, and paved the way for starting paid work in the library when I turned 15.  Mrs Dunkle (I still can't call her Margaret!) inspired me into a library career of 40+ years.  

Connector of like minds and a generous spirit

Your Story

I forget when I met Sue Hutley for for the first time in person but I was immediately struck by how she delighted in connecting people she knew would get a long in GLAMR world.

She is great at reading people.

She is part of a circle of kindness of librarians that will pop a little thank you in the mail or drop you an email just to check in to see if you are okay.

I know that I am not the only one she does this for.

We see each other in person less these days but her kindness and generosity is something that I am grateful for.

New career began in 1989

Your Story

I'd like to thank two special people who gave me my first jobs in the profession.

I love science and politics and so how fortunate that my first two positions were with University of Technology Sydney Library (Gore Hill) and the Parliamentary Library in Canberra. Sally Schofield ran a wonderful and well-loved academic library and introduced me to super expensive Dialog searching and Brian Murray gave me the opportunity to work with amazing people in the heady days of the Hawke/Keating period.

First jobs are important, so please give new graduates a chance.

To all the Children and Young Adult Librarians of Queensland

Your Story

Back in 2009, I was a 22 year old who managed to land herself a fantastic contract job with the State Library Queensland project managing the Summer Reading Club program.

I got to fan girl as I emailed authors of some of my favourite books; but most importantly I got to work with Children and Young people librarians from all over Queensland!

The Harvey Library

Your Story

I grew up in the Western Australian town of Harvey, known for its citrus fruit, cows and Italian culture. I was, as the cliché goes, a small town girl with big dreams. And those dreams were fuelled by the things I found in books, borrowed from the Harvey Library.

Situated on Hayward Street, opposite the town oval and not far from where I went to primary school, the old cream building held everything this young girl needed to pass the time, learn about the world, and build upon her budding imagination and outlook on life.

From customer to colleague, mentor to friend - How one librarian inspires me

Your Story

My life as a librarian has been influenced and made immeasurably better by a man who started as a customer, became a colleague, then a mentor, and is now a friend. I owe a significant debt of gratitude to Ron Store for setting the benchmark of what librarians can achieve, when they choose to serve their community and colleagues with heart and dedication. 

First steps as a librarian

Your Story

My first position after completing my library training was in the Braille & Talking Book under the Library Manager Jan Smark, and second in charge, Iris Whittaker.

Both these women were brilliant to work with as a first time out librarian. They were intensely client-focussed, and determined that blind and print handicapped users would have access to exactly the same range of services available to full sighted public library users.

Digitising the Dawn - a Tribute to Trove and the National Library of Australia

Your Story

It's hard to believe it's now five years ago.

The National Library of Australia supported my little campaign to raise funds to have Louisa Lawson's journal for the Australian household, 'The Dawn' digitised and made available through Trove.

We raised the funds, and then the library did the work to digitise the collection. Originally intended to scan the microfilm, it turned out to be too poor quality, so they collaborated with the State Library of NSW to get hold of the only remaining hard copy, and scan it.