The President of the Library Board of Victoria, The Hon John Cain, today announced the appointment of the State Library of Victoria’s new Chief Executive Officer and State Librarian, Sue Roberts.

Ms Roberts comes to the role with 15 years’ experience in strategic library leadership in the UK and New Zealand. She will relocate to Melbourne from Wellington, where she has been University Librarian at Victoria University since 2007, and serves as Chair of the Council of New Zealand University Librarians and Director of the Library Consortium of New Zealand.

A published author and leading thinker on the changing role of libraries, Ms Roberts’ previous positions include Dean of Learning Services at Edge Hill University in the UK and the Director of SOLSTICE, a national centre for excellence in online learning.

‘Sue Roberts is well known in the international library community as one of the dynamic breed of young library leaders who are transforming the industry to face the challenges of the 21st century’, Mr Cain said.

‘The State Library of Victoria has already positioned itself among the leading libraries in the world in tackling these challenges, and Sue’s appointment marks an exciting new phase in the Library’s ongoing transformation.’

Looking forward to commencing in the role, Ms Roberts said: ‘I am eagerly anticipating the challenge of leading such a vibrant and iconic institution. I look forward to getting to know the staff and the many users and supporters of this magnificent Library.’

The State Library of Victoria is the oldest public library in the country and the most visited of all state libraries. Over the last five years the Library has experienced a 95 percent increase in visitors through its doors, and a 117 percent increase in online visitation. More than 280,000 items from the Library’s extensive collection have been digitised and made available online, and popular travelling programs have opened up access to the library’s collection by touring treasured items to regional and remote areas.

The Library received a $5.6 million funding boost in the 2011-12 Victorian Budget to help respond to its increased visitor numbers and the rising demand for digitally-delivered information.

Ms Roberts’ appointment follows the departure of Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, earlier this year to take up the role of Director-General of the National Library of Australia. Mr Cain acknowledged the contribution of Acting Chief Executive Officer Sue Hamilton.

‘Sue Hamilton has done a stellar job at the helm of the State Library since February 2011, and will ensure a seamless leadership transition in the new year. We are grateful for her sure hand and hard work.’

Sue Roberts will commence at the State Library of Victoria in late March 2012.

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