Welcome to the new Director General of the NLA

Anne-Marie Schwirtlich photo
The NEW Director-General of the National Library has been announced – Anne-Marie Schwirtlich.

Here is the bio from the National Archives:

Anne-Marie Schwirtlich was born in Bombay, India. She spent the majority of her childhood there, attending the Presentation Convent in Kodaikanal. She migrated to Australia in 1972 and attended Turramurra High School in Sydney. She graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons).
Anne-Marie Schwirtlich joined the Public Service in 1978 and worked in various departments including the National Archives, National Library and the Australian War Memorial. During this time she also graduated from the University of New South Wales with a Diploma in Archives Administration.
She was appointed Acting Director-General of the National Archives after the retirement of George Nichols in October 2000. She left the Archives in 2003 to take up the position State Librarian and CEO of the State Library of Victoria.

Anne-Marie has had a recognisably successful period at the helm of the SLV, which has seen offsite and onsite visitor numbers grow appreciably. A few years back the SLV21: creating a library for the 21st Century: a strategic plan set out her corporate vision, one which we could say was based on how the NLA was doing things. It might be the case therefore that no great changes in direction are planned. This would be a mistake.
The National Library in recent years has been responsible for many excellent technical innovations, such as PANDORA, , Picture Australia, Libraries Australia and laterly, Trove, but it has not for the most part politically or philosophically led the Australian library community. There is a vacant leadership role which requires filling, let us hope the new DG seizes the opportunities that this position entails. The Library community needs a leader who can advocate and engage on behalf of all libraries on the wider media, political and academic stage.

And here is the Press Release

The Hon Simon Crean MP

Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government
Minister for the Arts
11 February, 2010

New Director-General to lead the National Library

Arts Minister Simon Crean today announced the appointment of Anne-Marie Schwirtlich as Director-General of the National Library of Australia.

The appointment for a five-year term comes at a crucial time as the National Library is embracing and utilising digital technology for collection and storage of key cultural material.

“I look forward to working with Ms Schwirtlich and the Library’s Council as the National Library implements its transition into the digital age,” Mr Crean said.

“The role of the National Library has never been more important.

“With Ms Schwirtlich’s appointment the National Library will be well placed to realise the opportunities of new technology and the National Broadband Network, while developing the Library’s role as a highly valued centre for learning, knowledge creation, enjoyment and understanding of Australian life and society.

“I pay tribute to Ms Jan Fullerton, who led the library with distinction for 11 years until her retirement in November 2010,” Mr Crean said.

The Chair of the Council of the National Library, The Hon Chief Justice James Spigelman AC said Ms Schwirtlich would maintain the Library as an internationally respected reference and cultural centre.”

“Ms Schwirtlich has worked in national and state cultural institutions, including Arts Victoria, the National Archives of Australia and the Australian War Memorial and has a deep knowledge of the National Library and its challenges,” Mr Spigelman said.

“Most recently Ms Schwirtlich has been CEO and State Librarian at the State Library of Victoria, and brings a wealth of relevant experience to this new role,” Mr Spigelman said.
Ms Schwirtlich said she was looking forward to the challenge of the new role.

“The National Library of Australia is a leader in the international cultural sector. The role of libraries in this digital age has never been more important, and I look forward to the work of positioning the Library to serve Australians now and in the long term,” Ms Schwirtlich said.

Ms Schwirtlich will take up the appointment in March.

UPDATE: Listen to an interview with the National Library’s new Director General on ABC (radio) Canberra here and hear what she has to say about her appointment and the way forward.


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