Williamson Award 2006


Williamson Award 2006 Lloyd SokvitneThe 2006 Robert D. Williamson Award went to Lloyd Sokvitne from the State Library of Tasmania for his outstanding contribution to librarianship especially in the area of metadata and online information discovery.

The 2006 Robert D. Williamson Award Citation for Lloyd Sokvitne 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.

So far as we are aware, unlike at least three previous recipients, the recipient of the Robert D. Williamson Award for 2006 has never been a member of the VALA Committee, although he has been a speaker at VALA conferences.

His earlier years in libraries were spent on what some might regard as an apprenticeship in cataloguing and collection development. (Other people, of course, might regard this as essential!)

In the early 1980s, this person, to whom the adjectives thoughtful, intelligent, collaborative and courteous have been applied, moved into Systems Support and Development in the State Library of his state. Here he embarked on a course of action that led to him becoming a leading force in the development of web indexing services and web portal delivery, not only in his own state, but nationally.

As Manager and then Senior Manager, he has overseen the development of his state’s government web portal and a comprehensive web indexing service, as well as a unified cross-jurisdictional government services portal. Along the way he has developed considerable expertise in metadata – in fact, one of his colleagues has described him as a “prophet with a deep concern for the quality of metadata” – and his professional interests also include information discovery on the web and web content preservation. This last interest resulted in the development and implementation of an open repository service for electronic documents in his state.

His work has already garnered him and his institution a number of awards, including the VALA Award for 2000, which was awarded to his institution, the State Library of Tasmania, for Service Tasmania Online.

This award publicly acknowledges the outstanding contribution he has made and is continuing to make 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 was also willing and able, at very short notice, to fill the gap left by the unavoidable withdrawal from this Conference of Carl Lagoze is testament to his dedication and professionalism.

It is with great pleasure that VALA announces the winner of the Robert D. Williamson Award for 2006 – Lloyd Sokvitne.