VALA Annual Report 2006/2007

VALA has had yet another busy and successful year in 2006/7.

During the year, our general meetings have continued to provide stimulating speakers on a wide range of topics (often followed by an enjoyable social event for those able to join speaker and Committee at dinner). The VALA Award, a Travel Scholarship and the VALA Student Awards were announced at the November meeting.

Planning for the fourteenth biennial conference is now well under way, and the Main Announcement and Registration brochure for VALA2008 will appear early in August. Special thanks to the members of Programme and Conference Committees for their hard work on this.

General Meetings

As always, the Association is grateful to the speakers who give of their time and expertise for our general meetings, and also to the University of Melbourne for continuing to provide the venue for most of our meetings.

June 2006RFID: making inroads into Australian librariesSuzanne Gately, Hobsons Bay Libraries, Eoin Geaney, 3M Australia Pty Ltd, Alan Butters, Sybis
September 2006The importance of being StandardKerry Blinco, RUBRIC Project
November 2006Recognising Web 2.0Kevin Yank,
March 2007Smash and Grab: using RSS and mashups to engage with online usersToby McAleer, Australian Tax Office
May 2007Does It Really Meta? A panel discussion on the pros and cons of federated searchingDennis Warren, La Trobe University, Di Clifford, Geelong College, Gary Hardy, Swinburne University of Technology, Julie Rae and Dale Cousens, Viclink


The VALA Award was presented to the State Library of Queensland, for the Queensland Stories Program.

A Travel Scholarship was awarded to Ellen Forsyth, from the State Library of New South Wales, who was awarded a VALA Travel Scholarship to investigate customer service benefits of using Vocera badges, which are a portable wireless technology (WiFi), to facilitate roving reference service. A paper reporting on her investigations will be presented at the Conference next February.

VALA Student Awards were presented to Anna Farrell, who was a student at RMIT University, and to Mary Neazor, from Monash University.

The Robert D. Williamson Award is only given in Conference years, and nominations for this award are to be sought shortly.

VALA also contributed to an industry fund set up under the auspices of ALIA, to help fund the involvement of Australia’s expert, Alan Butters, on the ISO Committee that is working on a standard for RFID in libraries. Alan will be presenting a paper at the conference next February.


The 2006/2007 committee has been:

Tom DenisonPresident
Ted ChrisfieldVice-President
Lian ToddTreasurer (resigned January 2007)
Jennifer EddySecretary (until February 2007)
Treasurer (from February 2007)
David Feighan(from October 2006) Secretary (from February 2007)
Dale Cousens
Bart Rutherford(from February 2007)
Darrin Vouch
Helen Wolff

I would like to thank my fellow Committee members for their support during the year, especially while I was working overseas for the last five months. I would like to thank Ted Chrisfield for chairing all meetings in my absence, as well as Anne Beaumont, who stepped in during the last few weeks to chair the Programme Committee meetings in the difficult task of devising the provisional conference programme. Thank you to Anne and Ted.

Thank you also to Alyson Kosina, from CSE Systems Pty Ltd, and to the team from Waldron Smith Management, for their assistance – and farewell to Vanessa Russell, who has left Waldron Smith Management to work in the UK.

Special mention is due for Lian Todd, who resigned from Committee after more than six years, including as Vice-President, President and Treasurer. Thank you, Lian, for all your hard work. Thanks also go to Darrin Vouch, who is retiring after four years, including as Vice-President and President – and congratulations to Darrin and his wife, Sandra (another former VALA President) on their new baby. Helen Wolff is also retiring from Committee after two years to spend time with her baby, but hopes to return in the future.

Tom Denison
27 June 2007