Library manager receives prestigious fellowship

Library manager in the Reading Room

We’re thrilled to share that Library Manager Philippa Stevens has been awarded a 2019 Churchill Fellowship

Churchill Fellows are given the opportunity to travel abroad to gather insights and knowledge that will benefit Australia. This year, 115 Australians will set off on this journey.  

We caught up with Philippa to learn more about her Churchill project. 

What will you be working on as part of your fellowship? 

I was selected for my topic on ‘benchmarking the balance of access, security and preservation for significant library collections.’ It has been a strong interest of mine since arriving at the State Library in 2012, working with the unparalleled collections as the Library’s Manager of Information & Access. 

Why is this important to you? 

Giving researchers access to original documents is an important function of the Library. However we need to manage the balance between equity of access and ensuring the long term preservation and security of collection material.  

I am interested in answering the following questions: ‘What does best practice for providing access and maintaining security in comparable collections and libraries looks like?’ and ‘How are these risks managed on the ground in busy institutions?’  

Where will you be looking for answers? 

My planned itinerary includes key institutions in Europe and the United States. I am very much looking forward to planning all the finer details of my research trip which also includes attending the Council of European Research Libraries Security Working Group Summer School in Vienna.  

Philippa follows in the footsteps of State Library Conservator Kate Hughes (2015 Fellow),  former Manager of LIAC Elizabeth McKibbin (1999 Fellow) and former Curator of Photographs Alan Davies (1986 Fellow).  

About the Churchill Fellowship    

The Churchill Trust was formed with the principal objective of perpetuating and honouring Sir Winston’s memory by the awarding of Memorial Fellowships to be known as ‘Churchill Fellowships.’  

The aim is to provide an opportunity for Australians to travel overseas to conduct research in their chosen field that is not readily available in Australia.  

It also aims to reward proven achievement of talented and deserving Australians with further opportunity in their pursuit of excellence for the enrichment of Australian society.