Judith Baskin

Judith Baskin

  • ALIA Fellowship 1988

Text from InCite  vol. 9, no. 21, p9, 1988

Judith Baskin  made a significant contribution to the objects and work of the LAA and to the profession in and beyond Australia.

She gained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne, completed the Preliminary and Registration Certificates of the Association and was admitted to Professional Membership and then to Associateship of the LAA in 1967.

Following service in various positions in the then Commonwealth National and Parliamentary Libraries she was Deputy Liaison Officer for the National Library of Australia (NLA) at the Australian High Commission, London from 1963 to 1966. After a year as Assistant Editor to Phyllis Mander Jones in the compilation of the Guide to Manuscripts in the United Kingdom relating to Australia and the South West Pacific, she returned to Australia and to the position of Chief Librarian, Acquisitions in the NLA. Subsequent positions included those of Chief Librarian, South and South East Asia, Principal Librarian in Bibliography, Cataloguing and Medlars Section, and in the Policy Secretariat, and Director, Bibliographic Services Branch.

In 1981, she was promoted to the new position of Director, Networks Branch and in that position she made a major contribution not only to the NLA but to the wider profession. From the inception of the Australian Bibliographic Network (ABN), Ms Baskin was responsible for its management, including development of broad policy recommendations, and its success was largely due to the high level of political, professional and management skills she brought to the position.

Judith Baskin is an active and committed member of the LAA. She was President in 1982, and a member of the Executive Committee from 1981 to 1983. A significant achievement in that time was the purchase of the property in Ultimo. Ms Baskin developed closer links between the Association and the New Zealand Library Association (NZLA) leading to a joint conference in Brisbane in 1984,  and promoted the hosting by the LAA of the 1988 International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions {IFLA) conference in Australia.

She was a member  of the Futures Committee, has been a member of the Publications Board since 1983 and represented the LAA on the National Book Council from 1981-83, having  previously been the NLA's representative from 1975-78. She was an active member of the Canberra-based committee that mounted the Association’s 50th Anniversary celebrations in 1987.  She was Secretary of the ACT Branch in 1972-73, President in 1974 and General Councillor for the ACT in 1975-77.

Judith Baskin has had a long interest in developing effective links with the profession overseas. She was a member of the NLA’s 1980 and 1983 delegations to the National Library of China, and she was invited personally to participate in the opening ceremonies of the new National Library of China building in Beijing in September 1987.  She has participated in numerous regional library conferences and activities.

Ms Baskin played a major role in the development of the Commonwealth Library Association.  She was Honorary Treasurer from 1983-1986, and also served as Vice-President.