Jan Richards

Jan Richards AM FALIA (CP)  

  • ALIA President 2009
  • ALIA Fellowship 2013
  • Order of Australia - AM 2017
  • HCL Anderson Award 2019

Fellowship conferred 2013

The ALIA Board of Directors confers the distinction of Fellow on Jan Richards who has made a distinguished contribution to the practice of library and information science in Australia.  She has been a passionate, long term, public advocate for Australian libraries throughout her career.

Jan joined ALIA as an Associate member in 1979. [Note: Jan was a general member from 1972-1979]. During her time as a member she has made a significant contribution to the Association and has held many positions within the Association including President (2010), President elect (2009), Chair of PLAC (2008 to present day) and has been a member of three Biennial Conference Organising Committees (1995, 2002 and 2011).

Jan has been the Manager of Central West Libraries since 1994. In her time as the Manager of the library service she has made a long lasting and extensive contribution to her local community and the profession. During her 19 years as manager she has overseen the relocation and refurbishment of four libraries. Other achievements include positioning Central West Libraries as an essential and respected part of the community, and  securing additional funding from the member councils so as to increase opening hours and in turn usage of the libraries.

Jan’s contribution to public libraries and the profession at the State level has been significant, an example of her achievements was running the @yourlibrary campaign between 2003 and 2009, which was a huge commitment and also led to her nomination as a Life Member of Public Libraries NSW in 2012. Along with her active involvement with Public Libraries New South Wales (and its predecessor Country Public Libraries Association of NSW) since 1994, Jan has also ventured into further challenges on an international level through IFLA, as a member of the IFLA Committee on Standards, and Information Co-ordinator for the Public Libraries Standing Committee.

In awarding the distinction of Fellow of ALIA on Jan Richards, we recognise the contributions Jan has not only made, but will continue to make, to the Association and to the industry.


Mrs Jan RICHARDS, Orange NSW 2800 For significant service to library and information management through executive roles with professional associations. Service includes:

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions: Chair, Committee on Standards, since 2015. Secretary/Information Coordinator, Public Libraries Standing Committee, since 2011.

Australian Library and Information Association: Chair, Australian Public Library Alliance, since 2008; Member, since 2006. President, 2010. Vice-President, 2009. Member, Conference Organising Committee, 1995, 2002, and 2011. Fellow, since 2013 and Member, since 1979. [Note: general Member since 1972, Associate Member since 1979]

Library Council of New South Wales: New South Wales Local Government Representative, since 2012. Chair, Public Libraries Consultative Committee, since 2012 and Member, 2002-2008. Member, Honours Committee, current.

Country Public Libraries Association: Past Secretary, 2004-2008. Life Member, since 2012. Member, since 1994.

Past Board Member, Public Libraries Australia. Past Secretary, Central West Zone, New South Wales Public Libraries Association.

Manager, Central West Libraries, since 1994 and Manager, Banjo Paterson Writing Awards, current.

Librarian, New South Wales Agriculture, 1990-1993.

Librarian, Wollongong City Library, 1975-1990.

Representative Member, Orange Regional Arts Foundation, current.

Board Member, Orange Community Resource Organisation, (CareWest), 1996-2005.

Publicity Officer, Colour City Dragon Boats, current.

Member, Centenary of World War One Committee, Orange, current and Local Coordinator, Coo-ee March, 2015.

Justice of the Peace, current.

Member, Community Advisory Committee, State Records New South Wales, 2000- 2014.

HCL Anderson Award 2019

Jan Richards has made a distinguished and sustained contribution to both the Australian library profession and the international scene. Throughout her career she has shown a personal commitment to excellence and to furthering the profession.  This commitment is clear through her work with ALIA, serving on three ALIA conference organising committees, as Chair of the ALIA Public Libraries Advisory Committee, as President Elect in 2008-2009 and as President in 2009-2010.

Notably during her ALIA presidential tenure, Jan convened the first ever Public Libraries Summit in 2009. As a direct result of the Summit, Australia’s public libraries became more visible to the Federal government. As Chair of the ALIA Australian Public Library Alliance (APLA) from 2010, Jan has shown high levels of leadership in bringing together Australia’s public library sector. A major achievement of APLA during this period has been the creation of agreed Standards, Guidelines and Outcome Measures for Australian public libraries nationally.

Jan has managed Central West Libraries, NSW, since 1994 and in that time, she has made a made a lasting and extensive contribution to her local community and the profession. Additionally, Jan has been an active member of New South Wales Public Libraries Association (and its predecessor Country Public Libraries Association of NSW) since 1994, including four years as secretary, and in 2003 she led the  state-wide campaign @yourlibrary where her innovative approach led to the development of a national profile for marketing public library services. This achievement contributed to her nomination as a Life Member of the NSW Public Libraries Association in 2012. She has also served three terms with the Library Council of New South Wales (2012-2020) and during this period was Chair of the Councils’ Public Libraries Consultative Committee. 

On the international level, Jan has also shown significant leadership through IFLA as a member of, Information Co-ordinator and Chair for, the Public Libraries Section Committee and as Chair of the IFLA Committee on Standards.