Recipient: Ruth Jones (Northern Territory)
The Australian School Library Association (ASLA) is honoured to announce the winner of the ASLA Citation Award for 2003 and to commend and give recognition of services rendered to the profession.
This citation, awarded biennially at the ASLA National Conference is given for outstanding leadership in promoting and developing teacher librarianship in one or more of the following fields:
- Policy formation
- Program implementation
- Administration of the Association
In 2003 ASLA recognises the contribution of a creative and quiet achiever whose service is one of 'leading from within', of encourager, and enabler. We recognise her valuable role as mentor and motivator, and as a 'storyteller' of the professional association.
The recipient of the 2003 ASLA citation has given dedicated service and positive leadership to the Australian School Library Association and to the profession, particularly in the area of Publication. Her work and approach has had ongoing positive consequences for the profession of teacher librarianship across Australia.
Ruth Jones: Recipient of the ASLA Citation Award 2003
Once upon a time, way up in Bamyili in the Top End, the vision to create a thinking space, a learning space, a reading space, for her young students drove Ruth Jones to develop the first library in a remote area of the Northern Territory and from there, Ruth launched her lifelong career as teacher librarian.
Completing a Graduate Diploma in Teacher Librarianship from Melbourne State College in 1980, Ruth's career has involved several challenging positions in remote Australia. At the same time as holding executive positions as a School Library Advisor in the Northern Territory, the Alice Springs School of the Air, and as Executive Teacher, Teacher Librarian and Acting Principal at Larapinta Primary School, she has maintained an active involvement in ASLA at the local, territory and national level.
Not allowing the difficulties of distance to prevent her from contributing fully to her national professional association, Ruth has instead demonstrated that a teacher librarian from her beloved bush who has her excellent communication skills, strong personal and professional networks and commitment, can indeed exercise leadership and make a significant contribution. She has provided exemplary service as an ASLA Councillor for SLANT and then ASLA NT since the 1990's. Not only has she made service to the national association a priority for herself, she has constantly promoted the value of working for ASLA amongst colleagues within the Northern Territory and has mentored other significant contributors to the association.
Ruth Jones has received this award in particular for her services in:
As recognition for her outstanding service as guest editor and then editor of the ASLA national journal Access from 1996 - 1997.
Taking over from the founding editor at a time when technology was rapidly changing the nature of the publishing process, Ruth stepped in at a crucial time for the journal and did a fantastic job in this highly responsible role. She implemented the recommendations of the first review of Access undertaken in 1994, and her courage to begin fanning the winds of change into our national journal Access, certainly made its mark. Looking back at Access it is notable that during Ruth's years as editor the journal became truly national in focus with regular contributions from all states and territories. The current system of rotating Commentaries sourced from member associations was introduced and a regular index instituted. She was responsible for updating the journal including a change of cover design incorporating ASLA's then new logo.
Her term as editor coincided also with the beginnings of the Board of Publications, and she supported two Chairpersons, James Henri and then Judy Hunter. Following her handing over of the editor's role in 1998 she continued to be a valued member of the Board of Publications as representative for ASLA NT, and offered her ongoing support and counsel generously to the incoming editor of Access.
Referees comments include:
"Ruth has been willing and supportive throughout many years as an ASLA Councillor. When there is advice needed, or a difficult task to undertake it seems to be Ruth's name that comes up as someone who can provide impartial, wise and practical advice and solutions. Her experience on Council and clear thinking is extremely valuable, she is prepared to tackle difficult decisions and issues, and does so with tact and inspiration."
"It is her love of people and her vision to see beyond her local area, to spread her ideas and talent across the NT and across Australia, that bears witness to her team spirit, which has placed her in positions of leadership as a teacher librarian."
"Ruth has brought her skills, her professional, friendly approach and her ability to keep a political eye on events and issues to the national scene and for that the profession is enriched. She has been a model of the role of ASLA Councillor in terms of ensuring strong communication channels linking the local profession with the national."
"From work for biennial ASLA conferences in NT in 1980 and 1997, to nurturing Access editors and national office bearers, to being a keeper and teller of the ASLA story over two decades, Ruth has influenced and empowered many in the profession."
Presentation of this award is an opportunity for her peers and colleagues to acknowledge her commitment to the profession and it is with honour that we bestow the ASLA Citation Award to Ruth Jones, a fitting tribute to a deserving candidate.
Thank you Ruth and congratulations.