The HCL Anderson Award is the Association's highest honour that can be bestowed on an Associate Member of ALIA. It is awarded in recognition of outstanding service to the library and information profession in Australia, to ALIA, or to the theory of library and information science or to the practice of library and information services.
The award commemorates HCL Anderson, principal librarian of the Free Public Library of New South Wales from 1893 to 1906. Anderson created a collection and service policy to give his infant colonial library a stature of national importance. He worked with DS Mitchell, wealthy collector of Australiana, adding, to the bequest of justice Edward Wise, Mitchell's extensive collections of books, manuscripts and maps, to build and preserve the first collection of national significance. Anderson persuaded Mitchell to finance the housing of the collection in what is now the Mitchell Library of the State Library of New South Wales. In addition to this protracted task, Anderson promoted the education of librarians and the expansion of services to the community, (including those in remote areas), as well as to business and industry. His vision, dedication and achievements provide a model for those nominated for this award.
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 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.