VALA Award 2014

The winner of the 2014 VALA Award is the Curtin University Library App.

2014 VALA Award winnerThe Curtin Library App provides access to Curtin Library resources and services via a mobile app that can be used on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The app enables real-time, personalised, context-sensitive information, with the ability to make bookings for library items and facilities.  

Students can:

  • Search the Curtin library catalogue, including the library’s “virtual bookshelf” ( and database lists
  • View all Curtin library information literacy and resource guides (LibGuides or those LibGuides of relevance to the user’s subject area.
  • Check items they have on loan or request, due dates, and fines information
  • Book library workshops and study rooms
  • View today’s library opening hours and availability of library computers (real-time)
  • Browse and comment on the library news blog o Use LibAnswers ( to read answers to library questions or pose a new question.
  • Through the app’s barcode scanning feature, users scan the ISBN or library barcode of any book of interest they find to initiate a search for it in the Curtin Library catalogue and check its availability/current loan status at Curtin.
  • Users can avoid the need to write down call numbers – simply displaying the catalogue record for the item on their phone while they walk the library stacks retrieving items.

Karen Tang, Associate Director, Corporate Services at Curtin University, was present to accept the award.

Other nominations

We wish to acknowledge other institutions who submitted entries:

  • Australia National University for the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) project

    The Australian National Data Service (ANDS) helps make data more valuable for Australian researchers, research institutions, and the nation. ANDS does this by improving data collection, management, connectivity, discoverability and reuse. ANDS has enabled all university libraries in Australia to build research data management capability, thereby taking on new roles within their institutions and helping to transform the profession. Thanks to ANDS’ contribution, Australia is considered one of the world leaders in this regard.

  • Deakin University for interactive installation “The Verge”

    The Verge is a series of highly engaging and visually stunning interactive touch screens. Geelong Waterfront Campus students and staff can quickly and efficiently find their way around the Library spaces, with the Verge providing assistance in way finding for both the Library and wider campus.

  • Melbourne Library Service for the 2014 ICT and Creative Spaces fit-out of their newest community hub, Library at The Dock

    The Library at the Dock is a 6 Star green energy rated building, a $26M project of which more than $1M was dedicated to the IT & AV fit out. This project included the supply and implementation of creative technologies as well as multipurpose digital screens and mobile devices.

  • Parkes Shire Library for REaDtember

    REaDtember – A yearly festival of mixed-media play and learning using social media, audiovisual technology, and unconventional media such as coffee cups, cardboard dice, and steampunk optical illusions!

  • Penrith City Library for their E-Connect Home–Library Outreach (ECHO) project

    E-Connect Home–Library Outreach (ECHO) is a new program which was introduced to the Home Library Service at Penrith City Library during the FY 2013-2014. This project provides one-to-one digital access training to targeted clients in their home using Penrith Library iPads, navigators and eResources.