LAAC: your voice at Libraries Australia

1981, from back: Bryan Yates, Chris Hannan, Judith Baskin, Hans Groenewegen, Arthur Ellis, Allan Horton, Warren Horton, Eric Wainwright, Lyn Pollack, Jim Dwyer, Enid Roberts, Jan Fullerton, Diana Carroll, Bryony Wilcox.
2017, from back: Amanda Magnussen, Robert Gerrity, Monika Szunejko, Alison Dellit, JoAnne Sparks, Laurie Atkinson, Alison Oliver, Nikki Darby, Vicki McDonald, Marie-Louise Ayres, Heather Walsh, Craig Anderson (on tablet), Geoff Strempel. Absent: Ann Ritchie


Libraries Australia Advisory Committee (LAAC) members recently recreated this 1981 photo—revealing how much has changed, and what’s stayed the same, over the 36 years of Libraries Australia’s history.

The original photo, taken on the foyer steps of the National Library of Australia, shows members and observers who attended the first meeting of the ABN Network Committee.

Thirty-six years later almost to the day, LAAC members posed in the same spot for this snap. Reflecting changes in technology, one member joined the LAAC meeting and photo shoot ‘virtually’—via videoonferencing and tablet.

The ABN Network Committee was established in 1981 to advise the Director-General of the National Library of Australia on the operation and development of the ABN (the forerunner to Libraries Australia). From the outset, the committee included representatives from the Australian library sector so that it could, in the words of committee chair Arthur Ellis, be ‘guided by the Australian library community whose interests it was serving’. 

Today, LAAC is made up of a mixture of appointed representatives of library sectors and peak bodies as well as specialist practitioners—ensuring broad representation across the library sector. And, while fashions may have changed, one thing remains the same: LAAC is here to represent you and your sector in the development, decisions and directions of Libraries Australia. 

Do you want to contribute or have your say about the direction or decisions of Libraries Australia? Check the list of LAAC committee members to find your representative, get in touch, and have your voice heard.