rod east memorial fellowship

The Rod East Memorial Fellowship is awarded on a biennial basis in recognition of the very significant contribution made by Rod East to the Librarianship Profession. Rod was Chief Librarian at the City of Noarlunga from 1981 – 1986. Under his leadership, Noarlunga Library became the first joint-use library in South Australia.

SA Public Library Network staff are invited to apply for the Rod East Memorial Fellowship to assist in funding a study tour or research activity/program that focuses on subject matter that is of present and future relevance to the development and improvement of public library services in South Australia.

It is envisaged that public library network staff may wish to avail themselves of this opportunity to study some particular aspects or new developments in their profession with ultimate benefit to their employer, the network, the community and themselves.

Applications for 2022 will be opening soon.

Rod East Fellowship Application and Conditions

Past nominees and fellowship recipients


Kathryn Bloem

Kathryn Bloem

Outreach Services Librarian
Playford Library Service

Using the power of the One Card network to improve program delivery for adults: How large library networks such as the New York Public Library Service deliver multiple programs across large geographical areas
The recreational and information needs of adults vary significantly depending on age and the stage a person is at in their life. Tertiary study, moving out of home for the first time, the young workforce, parents and homebuilders, empty nesters, older workers and seniors represent some of these varied groups.

COTA and the South Australian Government define ‘the aged’ as 50 years plus but the majority of the population would disagree and currently debate is raging about raising the retirement age. We are faced with the opportunities an aging population provides and public libraries can connect with this demographic in new and exciting ways.

The One Card Project is due to reach a significant milestone in 2014 with the final library added to the network. It has already delivered significant advantages to our customers through the range of items now available to them. I would like to investigate how, as a large network, we can further integrate our programming for adults.

The main focus of my study would be to:

  • Explore how large networked library services such as the New York Public Library manage multiple programs across large geographical spaces
  • Examine how to leverage from a large network to scale up our adult programming
  • Investigate how to increase capacity and create transferrable tools that can be used across the network regardless of geographical location and size.
Sean Boden

Sean Boden

Information and Access Team Leader
Salisbury Public Library Service

Cross-cultural learning: What South Australia can learn from public libraries in Japan
Japanese and South Australian public libraries share a number of commonalities around their focus and delivery of services and programs to communities, providing spaces for individuals and groups, and a commitment to literature and education. These common points are interesting in and of themselves, especially when considered against other points of convergence, such as the impact of the GFC, natural disasters and a population that is ageing and rapidly urbanising. However, where South Australian public libraries have noticed a downturn in traditional performance indicators, Japan is demonstrating the opposite with increases in use of facilities, professional employment and circulation of library materials.

The aim of this project is to visit a number of different public libraries in Japan (including meeting with the peak body, the Japan Library Association) to observe how they have succeeded in bucking the trend and how this can translate to public libraries in SA for current and future strategic planning.

Liz Byrne

Liz Byrne

Unit Manager, Community Connections and Learning
Marion Library Service

Enterprising Libraries – how public libraries support business and economic growth in their communities
Public libraries often look for a point of difference. In an era of information that is easily and readily available 24/7/365 what is it that libraries are doing differently to encourage people to visit our physical spaces, opting to surf our websites and choosing to be repeat and regular customers?

In early 2015, the City of Marion will be opening Australia’s first library, community and enterprise centre in the southern suburbs of Adelaide. The enterprise hub concept was recommended by an international consultant at a time when a number of funding submissions had been unsuccessful.

The enterprise hub concept is based on examples of libraries in the USA, UK, Singapore and South Africa which are situated in communities that face similar issues to those of Marion South – social isolation, lack of local employment opportunities, isolated home workers and disengaged young people.

The idea of the library as an enterprise hub has proven to be effective in the rest of the world. The notion was received positively by a number of key business personnel and focus groups in 2011 and was critical in obtaining funding from the Federal Government in 2012. The success of the Cove Civic Centre is yet to be determined and whilst programs and collections are currently being explored a personal visit to several public libraries with a strong business focus will not only strengthen the capacity of service delivery but also increase the understanding of how public libraries can collaborate with business people.

Jo Kaeding

Jo Kaeding

Youth Services Officer
Adelaide Hills Council Library Service

Opening Public Libraries to children with special needs and their families
One of the key principles of a library is that access is provided equally to all citizens of the community it serves (State Library of Victoria, 2009, p.1).

This is not always the experience of children with special needs and their families, as illustrated in the following quote. People with autism are often loud. They may feel the need to touch, pull out or even mouth books. They may have a hard time if a book or video they want to borrow is out on loan. … librarians in general have no training in helping patrons with developmental challenges. As a result, they often respond negatively to disruptive behaviour… (Rudy, L , 2011).

Whilst many public libraries recognise the need to increase access for a broad range of disabilities, there is a lack of published material in Australia to provide guidance.

This project will research the following:

  1. What barriers do children with special needs and their families face when accessing public libraries?
  2. What library programs can help improve access?
  3. What resources can be provided for use within the library by this group?
  4. What strategies and approaches can public libraries use to improve access?
  5. What library staff training will improve access for this group?

This project will fill a gap in knowledge on how to improve access to public libraries in South Australia for children with special needs and their families.

Holly Marling

Holly Marling

Children’s Services Officer
City of Tea Tree Gully Library

Library Users Are Happier People
Recent research studies are emerging about the connection to library users and positive wellbeing. “Library users are happier people”:

I believe it! Working at the library I see what a fantastic service is provided to communities. Libraries are not only a gateway to information but a provider of programs, services and resources that can be influenced by community members.

These high quality services I believe have the potential to raise the wellbeing of individuals and communities and I am interested in how libraries can enhance this bi-directional relationship, how community members can more easily connect and communicate with the program and service planners and providers and encourage the community to sense some ownership over their library.

It’s no wonder that research findings show a wide range of health and wellbeing activity is already happening within libraries but how is this articulated well to the public?

At Tea Tree Gully Library our Children’s and Youth team have developed and are planning resources and programs based on local research findings (Eastern Region Alliance Youth Portfolio 2013) and (The Australian Early Development Index 2012) that show the biggest issues of concern for youth are stress and study satisfaction and that children need supports in emotional maturity, social competence and physical and emotional wellbeing.

How can we inform our communities across the age demographic that we have a lot to offer in this area and of the personal benefits to being a library member and empower community members to access and use their local council resources?

Tania Paull

Tania Paull

Senior Coordinator Library Services
Barossa Libraries

Libraries as innovation incubators
Libraries as innovation incubators are places that spark imagination and create possibilities for enriching lives and employment in our communities. As South Australia’s economic situation continues to change libraries can assist the community to incubate ideas that lead to innovation, new opportunities and employment. How our libraries face the challenge of providing a new range of services that go beyond guiding customers to true innovation and enterprise development is being explored globally. By taking our services to the next level libraries have the opportunity to actively assist our communities leading to new economic opportunities. Innovative libraries are a catalyst for our communities to innovate, foster ideas and as a pathway to government initiatives. The study will look at models where libraries are a starting point for the community to innovate, develop ideas that lead innovation and new enterprises within their communities.

The study will focus on three areas:

  • Small business incubators
  • Creative industries and maker spaces
  • Youth Innovation

The Rod East Memorial Fellowship will support a study tour of the United Kingdom, the British Library Business & IP Centres, and the newly funded Enterprising Libraries by the Arts Council for services in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield. Creative industries and youth innovation will be explored at Aarhus, Denmark, and Netherlands libraries, DOK in Delft and OBA Amsterdam Central Public Library along with Australian models in South Australian, Queensland and Victoria Libraries.

Jo Kaeding was successful in 2014.  Jo will present her paper and the outcomes of her research at the Public Libraries SA Crawford Awards lunch on Friday 18th November 2016.


Rod East winner 2012Photos from the Rod East and Jim Crawford Awards 2012

German libraries and the Third Place: creating community relevancy in the era of the e-book – lessons for South Australia
by Harriet Winchester