About the Tasmanian Library Advisory Board
The Tasmanian Library Advisory Board (TLAB) is a voluntary, independent advisory group established under the Libraries Act 1984. The Board’s role is to advise the Minister and the Secretary on issues concerning the delivery of our services in Tasmania, in particular, the public’s right of access to information and ideas. The Board meets four times per year.
Members of the Tasmanian Library Advisory Board
The current members of the TLAB are:
- Dr Mary Duniam
- Ms Jen Fitzgerald
- Dr Dianne Snowden, AM
- Ms Mary Lijnzaad
- Ms Jan Butler
- Cr Dick Adams, OAM
- Ms Suzanne Martin
- Ms Jan Richards AM
- Cr Beth Warren
- Ms Sue McKerracher, (Executive Director, Libraries Tasmania)
To make contact with the TLAB please telephone (03) 6165 5559
Board member profiles:
Dr Mary Duniam
Dr Duniam’s expertise is in local government. She has been a Councillor of Waratah-Wynyard for seventeen years, Deputy Mayor for eight years and is Deputy Chief Representative of the Cradle Coast Authority. In 2017, Mary obtained a PhD relating to local government and social enterprises in Tasmania, illustrating that community is the potential terrain for social entrepreneurship and collective impact. She has also co-authored chapters in three separate research publications. Mary is a current Board Member of the Tasmanian Women’s Council and the Tasmanian Heritage Council; and is also Deputy Chief Representative on the Cradle Coast Authority.
Ms Jen Fitzgerald
Jen has been a TLAB member since 2011, representing the interest of state-wide library users.
Jen came to the Board after working as an Adult Education tutor, and describes herself as a passionate library user. She is an enthusiastic supporter of the increased provision of digital items and digital access and believes that the broad learning opportunities and accessible services available at local Libraries work to improve quality of life for community members.
Jen’s previous board experience has focused on education and local community development. Her employment history has been predominantly in the non-government sector.
Dr Dianne Snowden, AM
Dianne has been a TLAB member since 2008, representing the interests of state-wide library users.
Dr Snowden is a professional historian, heritage consultant and genealogist. She served as Chair of the Tasmanian Heritage Council from 2012-2014 and lectured in online Family History at University of Tasmania from 2014 to 2016. Dianne taught Adult Education classes in family history for more than 25 years.
Dianne is Chair of the Cascades Female Factory Community Advisory Committee and founding member of the Female Convicts Research Centre. She is a former Director of the National Trust of Australia (Tasmania) and the National Archives of Australia Advisory Council.
Dianne’s most recent publication (with Irish historian Joan Kavanagh) is Van Diemen’s Women: A history of Transportation to Tasmania.
Mary Lijnzaad is the manager of the library at the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona), and has worked with that collection for 22 years. She worked in disability services and staff training for 10 years prior to moving to Tasmania in 1996 where she retrained in library services. Mary has a passion for libraries and the provision of access to quality information and educational services that enable lifelong learning. She also has a keen interest in library technologies and design and how they can be utilised to improve user outcomes.
Ms Jan Butler
Jan has been a TLAB member since 2016, representing the interests of state-wide library users.
Jan taught mathematics and computing for over 20 years at secondary and tertiary level in various parts of Australia. Most recently, Jan was Executive Officer of the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia, responsible for managing all aspects of the organisation including finance, compliance, conference organising and publicity.
Jan is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a senior member of the Australian Computer Society. Previous board positions include Musica Viva Tasmania and St Mary’s College, Hobart.
Jan has an Honours degree in Mathematics and Statistics and postgraduate qualifications in education, educational computing and French. As an IT expert, Jan is interested in the development of digital technologies, the future of books, and how libraries are adapting to the changes brought to the Internet.
Cr Dick Adams, OAM
Cr Adams has been a TLAB member since 2016, representing the Local Government of Tasmania as the north of Tasmania nominee.
Dick has a lifelong interest in adult literacy. He is the Patron, and a Life Member of the Tasmanian Council for Adult Literacy. He is well known for his advocacy for adult learners in Tasmania. Dick was a National Ambassador of the National Year of Reading for 2012 and is a member of the Tasmanian Book Council.
Dick has sat in both State and Federal Parliaments, the latter for 20 years finishing in 2013. He has been involved in many committees included chairing the Parliamentary Library Joint Committee and was the Federal Parliament representative on the National Library Board. On leaving Federal Parliament in 2013, Dick was elected to the Northern Midlands Council.
Ms Suzanne Martin
Sue is a graduate of the Tasmanian Leaders Program and the Australian Rural Leadership Program. She has held roles on the executive committees of the Australian Veterinary Association (Tasmanian Division) and Tasmanian Women in Agriculture and is a past recipient of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation’s Community Leadership Scholarship.
Sue believes that libraries need to continue to evolve and adapt to our changing world so everyone in our society continues to be able to access the information and related services that they need and can do so in a way that is relevant to the world in which they live.
Sue is a veterinary surgeon and an active member of her rural community in northern Tasmania. Suzanne has held a number of positions on a wide range of government and industry boards and committees.
Sue was appointed as a public member of the Press Council in August 2013.
Ms Jan Richards AM
Jan has extensive public library experience (30 + years) at a senior management level, and a strong record of working with local, state and federal governments in advocating for libraries. In late 2020 she moved to Tasmania from NSW, making the change from managing a large, multi-council, regional library service into consultancy (Jan Richards Consulting). Jan thrives on working with colleagues, giving them the proficiencies and confidence to make positive change.
Jan is a past President and Fellow of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), and past Chair (2008-2020) of the Australian Public Library Alliance (APLA). In her APLA role she worked closely with colleagues from Libraries Tasmania and has a clear understanding of the history, successes and challenges that face the network.
Jan is an engaged affiliate of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and have held a number of elected positions over the past decade in the areas of Public Libraries, Literacy and Reading and Standards.
Cr Beth Warren
Beth Warren has a lifelong passion for information and good communication, having completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Information Science (later called IT). She has a keen interest in the appropriate use of technology as the foundation for streamlining business processes; and is focussed on providing high quality data to support informed decision making. This was gained through many years working in the software development industry, business analysis and project management of software systems.
She has built a career based on explaining complicated concepts in plain English.
Beth is currently a Councillor on Clarence City Council and sings with the TSO Chorus.
Ms Sue McKerracher
TLAB member (Secretary’s nominee) and Executive Director Libraries Tasmania since 2021
Sue has been a CEO and Board Director working across government, business and the not-for-profit sectors in the UK and Australia, with special expertise in Australian libraries, library education and literacy.
Previously, Sue held the position of CEO, for the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), the peak body for libraries and information professionals, heading up the team based at ALIA House, Canberra, and staff working in every state.
In this role, she pursued a broad range of interests on behalf of ALIA members, including lobbying for copyright law reform, supporting humanities research, improving digital access to cultural collections, championing Australian writing, developing an early language and literacy strategy, and ensuring quality education.