VALA Events 2016: Technology (Alone) isn’t the Answer You Are Looking For

VALA invites you to our June Guest Speaker event and VALA AGM. Join us at The Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne on Wednesday 29 June from 5:30pm.

Our speaker is Mal Booth, University Librarian, UTS Library who will be speaking on the topic “Technology (Alone) isn’t the Answer You Are Looking For“.

VALA Guest Speaker Event and Annual General Meeting

Topic: “Technology (Alone) isn’t the Answer You Are Looking For”

Mal Booth



UTS Library has had its own Artist-in-Residence program since 2012. We’ve appointed a variety of artists from the UTS community to ask questions of us that we’d not ask of ourselves and to consider aspects of the Library and its progress from an artist’s perspective. This program has now been running long enough to consider its impact on the Library and to discuss what benefits it has given us. The five artists who have been appointed so far have each made new cultural works with modern technologies that have either demonstrated their facility with new media technologies or showcased contemporary design and innovation in ways directly relevant to modern libraries. I will briefly review the work of each artist and discuss their impact and the sometimes-serendipitous relationship they have to each other and of course, the Library itself.

The Future: If everybody behaves, stays awake and promises not to speak out of school, I might let the audience in on our Resident for 2017 and why we have selected him.

Q & A: Happy to take queries as they enter minds.

Pre-reading or other relevant information:

Speaker: Mal Booth, University Librarian, UTS Library

Hugely popular and deserving winner of the 2016 Williamson Award, Mal has helped to lead the UTS library to be one of the most dynamic, creative and interesting academic libraries in Australasia. Mal’s work has focussed on being an advocate for openness and new models of scholarly publishing and on pushing boundaries when it comes to Library design, moving beyond spaces and technology but seeing the library as connecting people, knowledge and the culture of UTS.

Mal was appointed University Librarian at UTS in mid-2012 and had been acting in this role since July 2011. He leads the planning team for the future Library as one of the major projects in the UTS Campus Master Plan. Current barrows he is pushing include: codesign; design thinking; sustainability; active community engagement; curation of collections; visual communications; and the development of cultural collections in libraries. He was formerly Head of the Research Centre at the Australian War Memorial and responsible for its library, archive and the Memorial’s web strategy. From 2006 to 2008 he curated the Lawrence of Arabia & the Light Horse exhibition which attracted almost 250,000 visitors. In late 2008 he made the first curatorial visit to a war zone by one of the Memorial’s librarian/archivists to identify, record and collect records of war from Australian forces before they withdrew from Iraq. He also hates having his photo taken. Twitter – @malbooth

And in his own words…..Serial pest. Apart from the work bio you can find above, I like spy novels, queer film culture, swimming and photography. I am proud to have convened the Australian Academic Design Libraries to support book design in Australia and to be on the Advisory Board for The Open Access Publishing Cooperative Study. I am passionate about design, Open Access and behaving like a human being when at work.

Please join Mal, the VALA Committee, members and guests for this very special VALA Guest Speaker Event, at 5.30pm, Wednesday 29 June 2016.


This talk will follow the business of the Annual General Meeting. VALA members will be advised separately regarding the AGM.


RSVP: limited numbers, so please register only if you will attend. No “no shows” please! (We know who you are….)

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Visitors are welcome at VALA meetings – but registration is essential!


Dulcie Hollyock Room
Ground Floor, Baillieu Library,
University of Melbourne.


Wednesday 29 June 2016, 5:30 for 6:00 – 7:30pm
Complimentary refreshments on arrival.


Join us from 7:45pm for a pay-as-you-go dinner at University House.

Dinner RSVP: Please indicate with your registration whether you will be joining us for dinner.

For any enquiries contact VALA Secretariat via or (03) 9844 2933