Williamson Award 2002


The 2002 Robert D. Williamson Award went to Hans Groenewegen from Monash University for his outstanding contribution to librarianship especially in the area cooperative automated cataloguing systems.

The 2002 Robert D. Williamson Award Citation for Hans Groenewegen reads as follows.

VALA’s most prestigious award is the Robert D. Williamson Award, which is in memory of one of the early pioneers of our industry, Bob Williamson. This biennial award is presented to an individual or organisation who or which, in the opinion of the judging panel, has made and is currently making an outstanding contribution to the development of information technology usage in Australian libraries and is positively and significantly influencing development in information technology usage within libraries.

The recipient of the Robert D. Williamson Award for 2002 has practiced as a librarian in Victoria, in New South Wales and in Europe. He has worked for public librares, for special libraries, for a university library and for a library consortium. He has been a Library Assistant, a Systems Analyst, and a Library Manager.

His library automation experience started with databases and database systems, grew with the development and use of a variety of information systems, and most recently leapt forward into the realms of electronic publishing and virtual libraries. A number of the systems he has developed, worked with and nurtured, have been cooperative systems. One of the first was a cooperative system for the storage and dissemination of information for a special library – perhaps one of the earliest database systems in the library world.

A decade later he oversaw the implementation of a regional Union Catalogue, managed a cooperative automated cataloguing system and a library network. Even as a Library Assistant in the early 1970s he was closely involved in the development of new information processing techniques, such as optical character recognition, computerised photocomposition, and online real time information retrieval systems. At the time these were all revolutionary developments.

For the past decade he has played a leading role in managing the transition of a major university library from a purely print-based institution to one which has become increasingly digital. These developments have included the first CD-ROM network for the University, the University’s Campus Wide Information System (the predecessor of the Web), electronic publishing, a pilot e-reserve project, and a Digitisation Centre.
In addition he has become an expert on the economic, legal and copyright issues of e-publishing, as well as the issues relating to preservation and conservation.

He has published extensively, presented a wide variety of papers and served on the VALA Committee for a number of years, including a term as President. He has taught an online course in Information Management and Systems.

The public library was the Public Library of New South Wales, the special libraries the Australian Atomic Energy Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, the library consortium was CAVAL, the regional catalogue was COOL-CAT and the university is Monash University.

This award publicly acknowledges the outstanding contribution he has made to the development of information technology usage in Australian libraries, to his significant influence on the development of information services and his services to the profession. The fact that he is here at this VALA Conference is testament to the fact that although he has retired he will continue to make a contribution.

It is with great pleasure that VALA announces the winner of the 2002 Robert D.Williamson award – Hans Groenewegen.