Library Board Awards recognise recipients for outstanding achievements

Monday 29 May 2017

At the Library Board of Western Australia Awards ceremony held at the State Library of Western Australia on Thursday May 25, Ms Nola Allen, Ms Susan Ashcroft and Ms Sue North were each conferred the distinction of Fellow of the Library Board of Western Australia for exceptional service to the community in the development of the Better Beginnings family literacy program. The Shire of Irwin received the Library Board of Western Australia Award for Excellence for its innovative approach to local history in its community. Ms Sophie Farrar was named the Australian Library and Information Association’s FA Sharr Award recipient as the library graduate with the greatest potential to make a significant contribution to the Library profession in the State, and longtime members of the Association were acknowledged.

Dr Margaret Nowak, Chairman of the Library Board of Western Australia, said that Ms Allen, Ms Ashcroft and Ms North were recognised for their outstanding achievement in the development, implementation and championing of the State Library’s award winning Better Beginnings family literacy program. Better Beginnings encourages family literacy by providing targeted programs for families with newborns to three year olds and school aged children; families in Aboriginal communities, and families from culturally and linguistically diverse heritage. The Better Beginnings program is available in every local government area in Western Australia, reaching more than 550,000 families, including 95 per cent of families with newborn children.

The Shire of Irwin received the Library Board Award for Excellence for the innovative approach their public library in Dongara has taken in capturing and disseminating local history in the form of oral histories that record the stories of people in the community. The community has embraced the initiative and stories are now being shared via traditional library collections, social media and ABC Open. Also Commended was the City of Wanneroo for the It’s All About the Play in the Library early childhood development program. The program provides the community a unique play environment for children and assists parents and carers to better understand the importance of play in early childhood development.

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) bestowed the FA Sharr Award to University of Notre Dame Liaison Librarian, Sophie Farrar. The FA Sharr Award honours Frances Aubie Sharr, the State Librarian from 1953 to 1976, in recognition of his contribution to libraries and librarianship in Western Australia. The Award is for the recent graduate with the most potential to make a significant contribution to the library profession. ALIA also acknowledged 54 current and former library professionals that have been members of the Association for 25, 30, 40 and 50 years.

"It's important that during Library and Information Week we recognise the significant contribution that professionals, such as those receiving awards tonight, are contributing. Their commitment to the profession and library services is truly for the betterment of the communities we live in,” Dr Nowak said.

The State Library hosted the Library Awards last night (Thursday, 25 May) during Library and Information Week, which runs from 22 to 26 May 2017. For more information about the State library of Western Australia go to

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Last updated on: 8 June 2017