Friday, October 30, 2009

Vale ~ Kay Poustie OAM

Colleagues and friends are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Kay Poustie OAM, ALIA Fellow, on 29 October 2009, after a brief illness.

Kay was a deeply respected and treasured colleague whose immense contribution and passion for public library services was recognised Australia wide, and in international circles. Kay will be sorely missed, but her legacy to the library profession and public library members will live on.

Kay contributed tirelessly to the library and information profession and to the promotion of ALIA throughout her 46 years of ALIA membership. Through her positions in the WA Branch, the Public Libraries section (WA Group) and on the ALIA Board of Education, Kay influenced the development of the library and information profession in Australia. She contributed to the quality of public libraries and was dedicated to the delivery of excellent service and to ensuring free access to information through the public library system. Kay worked unstintingly to raise the awareness of influential decision-makers about the importance of public libraries.

Kay was also committed to the importance of continuing professional development. She generously shared her broad experience with colleagues; her enthusiasm for ALIA and the professional comradeship it offers encouraged others to support and enjoy the Association. As part of that commitment, she was chair of the finance committee for the first ALIA Biennial Conference held in Perth in 1990, and then returned as program chair of the ALIA Biennial Conference when it was held again in Perth in 2006.

Kay's activities were not restricted to the field of librarianship. She was active in the wider community through Zonta International, an international service organisation for executives in business and the professions, and from 1989 to 1992 served on the Board of Meath Homes for the Aged in Western Australia.

Kay was awarded an ALIA fellowship in 1997. Her Fellowship citation provides more details of her contributions to ALIA and our profession.

In 2008, Kay was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the library and information services sector, to the community through the Zonta International movement, and to aged welfare.

ALIA mourns the passing of a very distinguished ALIA member.

Jan Richards
ALIA President

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