Kathy Bail is chief executive of UNSW Press, a company owned by UNSW Australia that publishes non-fiction books, manages the UNSW Bookshop and represents publishers in its NewSouth Books division. She has extensive experience in media management as a journalist at Fairfax Media, Australian Consolidated Press and independent companies, editing magazines such as The Bulletin, The Australian Financial Review Magazine, HQ and Rolling Stone. She is on the board of Artspace, a contemporary art centre in Sydney, and is a member of the UNSW Arts and Social Sciences Advisory Council.
What inspired you to take this role?
Libraries have been a significant part of my life since I began to read and look at images. I ran out of books to borrow at my primary school library. Fortunately a local council library filled the gap and I went on to discover and appreciate some of Australia’s great State and university libraries. The past can be seductive – I’ve visited one of the oldest libraries in the world in the Fes medina in Morocco and seen rare books and manuscripts – though I can also get engaged by what the digital age might deliver. What’s important is access to books and knowledge and, of course, support for our best authors and artists. I hope I can assist to build on the work of the State Library of NSW and ensure it remains one of the world’s great cultural spaces.