The Redmond Barry Award is the Association's highest honour that can be bestowed on an individual not eligible for associate or library technician membership of the Association. It is awarded in recognition of:
- outstanding service to or promotion of a library and information service or libraries and information services.
- to the theory or practice of library and information science, or an associated field. Nominees do not need to be a member of the Association.
The award is named after Sir Redmond Barry, 1813 – 1880, who is regarded as the founder of the State Library of Victoria. Sir Redmond emigrated from Ireland to Australia in 1839, practised law in Melbourne and became Victorian Solicitor-General and a Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1852. In 1853 he was appointed Chancellor of the University of Melbourne and Chairman of Trustees of the Public Library of Victoria and held both positions until his death.
This award is peer-nominated. Confidentiality in nomination is essential and nominees should not be aware that they are being nominated for an award. Premature disclosure of details may prejudice consideration of the nomination.
Nominations are considered by the Excellence Awards Panel which makes a recommendation to the Board of Directors. More than one award may be made each year if there are multiple nominations which are considered worthy of the award. Details are published only when a nomination is successful.
The award is generally open for entries from April to 30 June each year.