Twila Herr

Twila Herr BEd, GradDipLib, MEd, CALIS, FALIA

Fellowship conferred 1992

Twila Herr has made a significant and distinguished contribution to both the theory and practice of librarianship as a cataloguer, a teacher, and as a researcher. Her particular contributions have been in the areas of children's literature; information needs and service provision for the disabled, particularly the aged; and in the area of cataloguing and classification through her work on the Australian Committee on Cataloguing (ACOC)

Twila completed her formal qualifications in librarianship in 1973 when she gained the Graduate Diploma in Librarianship from Canberra College of Advanced Education, and has been an Associate of the Australian Library and Information Association since that time. She became a Life Member of the Association in 1989. Her first degree was a Bachelor of Education which she completed at the University of Nebraska in 1969, and was awarded the Nebraska Teachers Certificate.

Since qualifying as a librarian, Twila has gained a Master of Education from the University of Tasmania in 1984 with a thesis titled Introducing literature to the pre-school child: a bibliographic essay 1970-1980. She also gained the post-masters qualification of the Certificate of Advanced Library Information Studies from the University of Hawaii in 1984. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Tasmania, her topic being the Information needs and services for the disabled elderly.

Twila first worked in libraries as a library assistant at the University of Nebraska, initially in the Love Memorial Library and then in the Law Library, from 1965 to 1969. From 1969 to 1971, Twila worked as a reference/circulation assistant at Duke University Law Library in North Carolina. Twila's first library position in Australia was as serials cataloguer in the Menzies Library at the Australian National University, from 1971 to 1972. In 1973, Twila moved to Tasmania, where from 1973 to 1974 she was serials cataloguer at the Tasmanian College of Advance Education at Mount Nelson. From 1974 to 1976 she was readers' adviser with special responsibility to the Division of Administrative Studies and the Department of Environmental Design at the TCAE, and at the same time was the part-time librarian at Jane Franklin Hall, a residential college at the University of Tasmania.

In 1976, Twila was appointed as a senior lecturer in the School of Librarianship at the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education, which in 1981 was transferred to the University of Tasmania where it has been renamed the Department of Library and Information Studies. Twila has enjoyed two periods as acting head of Librarianship: in 1993 and from 1986 to 1987.

Twila has worked untiringly for the profession at the state and national levels of the Association.

In 1974 and in 1976, she was secretary of the Tasmanian Branch Council. In 1977, she was treasurer of the Tasmanian Branch, and during 1980 and 1988 was a Tasmanian Branch Councillor. In 1981, Twila was president of the Tasmanian Branch and in 1986 and 1989 was its vice-president.

At the national level, in 1976, Twila was on the executive of the University and College Library Section, and from 1982 to 1983, she was the Tasmanian General Councillor. 1985 saw Twila serve on the LAA Nominating Committee. From 1986 to 1991, Twila served two terms on the Board of Education, and during 1987 and 1988 was convenor of its continuing education and professional development committees.

In addition to her involvement with ALIA and her work as a teacher and researcher, Twila has also held a number of positions on the Australian Advisory committee on Bibliographic Services (AACOBS) and its successor the Australian Council of Libraries and Information Services (ACLIS). These include membership of the AACOBS Tasmanian Committee from January 1986 to June `988 and membership of the AACOBS National Council and Standing Committee in 1986-87. Twila was the chairperson of the ACLIS Tasmanian Committee for 1988-89 and 1990-91. She was also a member of the ACLIS National Council and the ACLIS Co-operative Activities Committee from November 1989 to June 1992. She was an AACOBS representative on ACOC in 1986-1987 and was re-elected as an ACLIS representative on ACOC for the 1990-1992 term.

As a teacher, Twila has made a significant contribution to library education in Tasmania over an extended period. Generations of students have enjoyed her dedication, humour and have eagerly sought the high standards she has set. Her teaching interests have been particularly in the field of cataloguing.

Many of the publications written by Twila were the result of research in the area of librarianship particularly in the areas of services for children, print handicapped users, users with special needs and the aged. The listing of Twila's publications is impressive for its length and the breadth of her interests. As a research and writer in librarianship, while Twila's research interests are broad, there is an underlying theme of an interest in the disadvantaged. In 1989 Twila received an $18 000 grant from the State Library and Archive Trust, State Library of Tasmania, to work on a research project Library service to Tasmanians with disabilities. This social concern and awareness is an important part of her professionalism. Twila has also written about online searching, children's literature and computers in school library administration.

Twila Herr has made a long and distinguished contribution to Australian librarianship and to the Association. Throughout her career she has demonstrated a strong commitment to achieving quality results in close co-operation with her professional colleagues. Twila Herr is indeed a worthy recipient of the distinction of Fellow of the Australian Library and Information Association.