ORANGE City Library and Central West Libraries manager Jan Richards has been honoured by her peers in the state’s public library network.
At the Public Libraries NSW conference last week Ms Richards was admitted to the roll of life members. Public Libraries NSW is the peak body representing regional and rural libraries across NSW.
Ms Richards said she was shocked to hear of the award.
“I wasn’t at the conference, I normally go but I was at the opera that night, when I got home I had a message from everyone telling me of it,” she said.
“It was a beautiful surprise.
“It’s lovely to have recognition for the work that I’ve done”
Ms Richards said she was deeply honoured by the recognition but owes it all to the staff at the Orange City Library.
“Even though it’s an individual award, it’s an award that reflects all of the team here,” she said.
“Everybody works as a collaboration and everybody deserves the recognition equally.”
Chair of the Central West Libraries Committee councillor Gavin Priestley congratulated Jan Richards on her achievement.
“The families and students of Orange have reaped the benefits over the last 18 years as Jan has worked as manager here,” Cr Priestley said.
“A contemporary library offers so much more than public access to books.
“The people of Orange and other central west communities are enjoying events like the Year of Reading and facilities like the Central West Writers’ Centre because of the quality of leadership that Jan has delivered,” he said.
The life membership award drew praise from the chairman of Public Libraries NSW Graham Smith.
“Jan Richards has been a leader within the profession for many years,” Mr Smith said.
Ms Richards was recently appointed as the local government representative on the Library Council of NSW and chairs the council’s Public Libraries Consultative Committee.
She is past president of the Australian Library and Information Association, and was the driving force behind the National Year of Reading 2012.
She also served two terms as secretary of the Country Public Libraries Association, the predecessor to PLNSW.
“These are but a few of Jan’s many contributions to the public library world,” Mr Smith said.
“She has had a much wider impact through her mentoring of professional colleagues and advice to others across the network, which only serves to make the honour of life membership even more richly deserved.”
Ms Richards was humbled by the recognition.
“It’s a nice coming together of a few things,” Ms Richards said.
Ms Richards has little time to revel in her recognition as she was off to Lithuania to speak at the International Federation of Library Associations on Wednesday.