Williamson Award 2010


Anne BeaumontThe 2010 Robert D. Williamson Award went to Anne Beaumont from the State Library of Victoria.

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 2010 Robert D. Williamson Award Citation for Anne Beaumont reads as follows.

Over the more than thirty years of its existence, VALA has been fortunate in having a large number of highly dedicated people involved with its various committees, and it is therefore not surprising that this award has gone to a few of those people in the past. This is also the case for this year’s award.

Our recipient tonight did not start her career in Information Technology; she did not even study librarianship as her first degree. After changing to librarianship, she came via government department libraries to her present employer. She has made an invaluable contribution, both in her initial role in reference and then when she moved to information technology. She has become one of those rare professionals who have managed to combine the skills and knowledge of librarianship and information technology.

She was involved in the planning and implementation of the conversion of the card catalogue of her major institution to machine readable form, and for the bar-coding of the collections. This made the organisation one of the major automated libraries in the country.

She has continued to be at the forefront of major IT applications introduced over a considerable time, including the introduction of the first OPAC, Dynix (which involved the development and evaluation of tenders, implementation and all associated upgrades) and its replacement Voyager; development of the Library’s digitisation program beginning with Pictoria. She identified and has continued to impress on her colleagues the importance of data (including metadata) to justify decisions and actions. She was involved in developing a model for an IT strategic plan for the State Library of Victoria.

Her practical approach to getting things done, her personality and her role as a mentor have encouraged and inspired many of her colleagues throughout the profession. She has been an active participant on many professional bodies and organisations. Apart from VALA these include Voyager User Group, PictureAustralia, and the NSLA Reimagining Libraries Working Groups, and she has presented at numerous conferences and workshops.

This award publicly acknowledges the outstanding contribution she has made and is continuing to make to the development of information technology usage in Australian libraries, to her significant influence on the development of information services, and her services to the profession.

It is with great pleasure that I announce the winner of the Robert D. Williamson Award for 2010 is:…. Anne Beaumont.