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Stephen’s new library role means great things for region

Bundaberg Library
Stephen Harris at the Bundaberg Library.

Bundaberg will soon become more visible on the national stage of the library and publishing sectors thanks to Information Services Librarian Stephen Harris and his new appointment.

Stephen has taken on the role of Queensland State Manager for his profession’s peak body, the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA).

While he still holds his current role at Bundaberg Regional Council, Stephen said his ALIA appointment would give him the chance to develop his leadership skills, while also creating new opportunities for the Bundaberg Library.

“The appointment adds value to the library by having staff that can affect change in the industry at State and Federal levels,” he said.

“It shows that our staff have high level capabilities and a commitment to the profession.

“Collaborative opportunities will arise through my connection with the various groups throughout Queensland that I will be interacting with.”

Recently returning from Canberra where he met ALIA’s national team, Stephen said he was keen to provide his input at a state and national level.

“My appointment will raise the profile of Bundaberg considerably,” said Stephen.

“I’ll be called on for advice in a number of areas using my knowledge and experience, as well as attending events like library openings and symposiums.

“Most events occur in Canberra or Brisbane but certainly, with me being based in Bundaberg, I can push for more library events to be held in our local area.”

Stephen said through his new role, he had plans to put the local region on the map.

“I plan to talk about Bundaberg…a lot!” he said.

“Especially in terms of young graduates entering the profession and looking for opportunities.

“I also look forward to giving an insight into the region during federal meetings.”

Stephen applied for the Association’s top position in Queensland motivated by his desire to gain valuable management experience and put into practice the skills he is learning from Council’s Leadership Development Program.

“It’s all part of my five-year plan to progress my professional career,” Stephen said.

“ALIA’s management team considered what I’ve already achieved in the information services landscape at the Bundaberg Library and in advocating for the profession.

“They’ve offered me an indefinite term to continue to advocate and see what I can achieve for libraries across Queensland.

“It will open more doors giving me closer contact with the nation’s power players in libraries and the chance to influence federal government decision-makers to bring 1968 library legislation into the digital age.”

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