John Shipp

John Shipp BA Dip Ed Dip Archives Admin BA(Hons) FALIA

Through his achievements as the librarian of two universities, his work for the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) and his presidency of the Australian Library and Information Association, John Shipp has made a lasting contribution to Australian librarianship.

Coming from the contemplative world of archives, he engaged with vigour the demands of university library practice, first as executive officer and then as chief librarian, from 1986 to 1997 at the University of Wollongong. Under his leadership, the library won an Australian Business Excellence award in 1996. His emphasis on quality staff development and improvement in client service has continued in his management of the University of Sydney library. He further strengthened University librarianship with his leadership in 1999 of the working party on benchmarking for library and information, which formed an integral part of a broad study of benchmarking of universities. He was a founding member of the National Scholarly Communications Forum and was repeatedly appointed by the Australian Vice-chancellors Committee to the Standing Committee on Information Resources. His expertise on library matters is valued by Australian and overseas university vice-chancellors.

As vice-president and president of CAUL, he understood the need to develop strong links with the Australian government bureaucracy. Putting much time and considerable political skill into this process, he was successful in attracting resources for key CAUL initiatives at a time of diminishing budgets. He was active in CAUL's support, together with the National Library of Australia and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and others, for a successful defence of the principles of access to copyright material in the World Intellectual Property Organisation negotiations.

His commitment to the library profession as a whole, his experience of professional structures and interests and his personal qualities of intelligence, humour and sensitivity were crucial to the creation of a new Association from the merger of ALIA and ACLIS, which occurred during his three-year presidential cycle from 1997 to 1999. John Shipp's distinguished contribution to the advancement of Australian librarianship and university practice and to the profession as a whole is acknowledged in this conferring of fellowship of the Australian Library and Information Association.