Vicki McDonald

Vicki McDonald

  • ALIA President 2017-2018

Information provided for nomination as Vice-President 2016:

Lib. Tech. Cert., BA (Librarianship), Grad. Dip. Business Administration.

Executive Director Library & Information Services and Dixson Librarian - State Library of New South Wales

• QUT.  Associate Director [Library Services] Client Services and Learning Support. 
• SLQ.  Director Client Services and Collections and Executive Manager Policy and Development.
• Brisbane City Council.  Senior Program Officer Strategic Direction.
• Toowoomba City Council.  Manager Library and Information Services.

Active ALIA member:

• Information Online. Conference Committee 2017, 2015, 2013.
• ALIA Queensland Group Convenor 2010-2013
• PLAC Convenor 2002-2004
• ALIA Board member 2002-2004
• ALIA National Conference Committee 2004

IFLA: Chair Academic & Research Libraries Standing Committee [2015-2017}.

Professional Concerns:

My career has been libraries:  public, university and state, creating libraries that are relevant and accessible.  I understand today's context: reducing budgets, increasing accountability, digital opportunities and challenges, and our need to develop new skills.  I am committed to freedom of information and expression, equity of access and policies and practices to support these ideals.  Through our professional associations we advocate to government on the value of libraries and the importance of our professional ideals to society.  My participation in ALIA and IFLA demonstrate my commitment, and I seek the opportunity to contribute at a national level.

From the State Library of Queensland website:

Vicki McDonald, State Librarian and Chief Executive Officer.

Vicki McDonald is a key player in the transformation of the library sector in Queensland.

As State Librarian and CEO of State Library of Queensland she understands the need for a strong, relevant and innovative library service.

Her national and international experience led to her appointment as State Librarian and CEO of State Library of Queensland in 2016 following a career of passionate library advocacy that began with her first job as a library assistant at the Dalby-Wambo Public Library.

Her appointment at SLQ renews a long association that started in 2001 when Ms McDonald was seconded from Brisbane City Council. As an Executive Director at State Library, Ms McDonald was involved in policy, client services and collections before taking up a position as Associate Director Library Services (Client Services and Learning Support) at Queensland University of Technology.

Prior to her appointment as State Librarian and CEO, Ms McDonald was Executive Director Library and Information Services at the State Library of New South Wales, managing the library’s collections valued at $3B.

Ms McDonald is excited by the opportunity to elevate the role and importance of State Library of Queensland.

“SLQ belongs to the people of Queensland. It is inclusive and welcoming, a trusted source for information and a custodian of Queensland’s memory.”

Ms McDonald is the Past President of the Australian Library Information Association.  She is also very active in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), as Chair of Division I she is also a member of the IFLA Governing Board.  She is also a member of IFLA’s Asia Oceania Section Standing Committee.

Fellowship citation March 2019

From the beginning of her career, Vicki McDonald’s knowledge, professionalism and expertise have been evident. Following her first roles at Toowoomba Regional Council Library and Brisbane City Council, she has held senior roles in public, academic and research libraries. To each role and each sector, she has brought her ability to serve as a catalyst for change.

As the State Librarian and CEO of the State Library of Queensland, Vicki is known for her warm, empathetic leadership style as well as her ability to drive and implement change. She genuinely loves libraries and she selflessly gives of her time to contribute to her profession and also to mentor younger librarians who see her as ethical, generous and kind.

Under her leadership, the State Library of Queensland is at the forefront of digital innovation and is very actively promoting the 2019 United Nation’s International Year of Indigenous Languages. Vicki is an active member of the State Library of Queensland's Indigenous Advisory Group. She is learning to speak the language of the Aboriginal people where she grew up in Dalby. She greets State Library of Queensland staff in language at all staff briefings and has made Indigenous languages a natural part of the workplace culture.

Parallel with her paid employment, Vicki has developed her voluntary roles in the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), culminating as President of ALIA in 2017-2018 and as a Governing Board member of IFLA.

Vicki was first a member of the ALIA Board from 2002-2004 and she was asked to organise the ALIA Biennial Conference on the Gold Coast in 2004. The conference was a big success, due in no small part to Vicki’s contribution.

Vicki was elected to the ALIA Board again in 2015 and served as Vice President for one year, followed by President in 2017-2018. Her presidential theme was international relations. This led to the first Asia-Pacific Library and Information Conference on the Gold Coast in 2018, in partnership with the Library Association of Singapore and LIANZA, alongside an Asia-Pacific Library and Information Summit on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In June 2018, Vicki was invited to present on the work that ALIA has done in relation to the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals at IFLA’s International Advocacy Programme Global Convening in New York, USA. Nearly 40 participants, invited by IFLA, met at the Brooklyn Public Library, the United Nations Headquarters, and The New York Public Library to review two years’ work and take library advocacy to the next level. As a result of this presentation she was invited to present in South Africa on the same topic.

Vicki now chairs the ALIA International Relations Advisory Committee which advises the Board of Directors on the development and delivery of ALIA’s strategic action program for international engagement.

Vicki’s skill with conference programs has led to a run of highly successful ALIA Information Online conferences in Sydney and she has agreed to chair the program committee for the upcoming ALIA National Conference, to be held in Sydney in 2020. She has also been supportive of the ALIA 2019 Library Design Awards Conference, run as part of the Asia Pacific Architecture Forum, an initiative of Architecture Media and State Library of Queensland.

Vicki has been involved in IFLA since 2004, through Metropolitan Libraries (2004-2011); and Academic and Research Libraries (2011-2017), of which she was Chair 2013-2017. Since 2017, Vicki has been a member of the IFLA Governing Board, of which she is a greatly valued and effective member.

Vicki’s participation in ALIA and IFLA demonstrate her enormous professional commitment and her many accomplishments. People describe her as strategic, efficient and thoughtful. She conducts herself with dignity, calm and common sense, and she has a very strong work ethic. One colleague summed her up in a single word, “indefatigable”.

For her long-standing, energetic and dedicated service to librarianship and to the Australian Library and Information Association, the ALIA Board is pleased to award Vicki McDonald with this ALIA Fellowship.