Honorary Doctorate for national library leader

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Honorary Doctorate for national library leader


3 April 2012

A former Sunshine Coast hinterland resident, who is recognised internationally for her contribution to the digitisation of Australian libraries, will receive an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the Sunshine Coast this week.

Recently retired Director-General of the National Library of Australia, Dr Janice Fullerton of Canberra, said she was looking forward to receiving the prestigious award at USC’s Graduation Ceremony tomorrow (Wednesday 4 April).

“It is absolutely lovely to be honoured by a University which didn’t exist when I was a local but that is a part of the world I come from,” she said.

Dr Fullerton, 65, has family links to the Sunshine Coast hinterland dating back 100 years.

She attended Beerwah State School and Nambour State High School, and her family’s pineapple and macadamia farms are still in operation in the Glasshouse Mountains/Beerwah area.

Dr Fullerton’s exemplary 43-year public service career began as a trainee librarian for the National Library of Australia in 1967. She was promoted to Director-General in 1999 and remained in that position until her retirement in 2010.

“There was virtually no automation when I started and by the time I ended my career, libraries were totally based on using technologies,” Dr Fullerton said.

“Digitisation enables libraries to do better and easier what they’ve always tried to do, which is to meet the needs of their readers.”

Dr Fullerton was awarded an Order of Australia in 2005 and recently received the HCL Anderson Award from the Australian Library and Information Association.

USC’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said Dr Fullerton was highly regarded in her industry and deserved recognition for her leadership and innovation.

“Dr Fullerton’s outstanding efforts ensured the National Library of Australia achieved an increased visibility of collections, and the enabling of free access to the national catalogue through Australia’s web archive Pandora,” he said.

“She initiated the Australian Newspaper Digitisation Project and the creation of the Trove search service which provides easy online access to the content of thousands of Australian collections.

“This Honorary Award recognises her strong links to the Sunshine Coast region where she grew up on a pineapple farm near the Glasshouse Mountains.”

Dr Fullerton said her three brothers would be attending tomorrow’s Graduation Ceremony to cheer her on.

— Michelle Widdicombe

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