State Library welcomes the appointment of new State Librarian


Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon has been announced as the State Library's new State Librarian. 

Dr Butler-Bowdon, a published author in architectural and urban history, brings with her over 20 years of leadership experience in large public institutions. Her career ranges from the museum and heritage space to most recently the activations in our streets, centres and open spaces. Dr Butler-Bowdon is currently Acting Deputy Secretary, Cities and Active Transport at Transport for NSW and has previously held leadership roles at the Historic Houses Trust of NSW, overseeing programs and initiatives for some of Australia’s most important museums and institutions including Hyde Park Barracks, Museum of Sydney, Rose Seidler House and Vaucluse House. She was a curator in state cultural institutions for over a decade and has deep expertise in collections management. One of her great joys was writing her PhD in the Mitchell Library and drawing on the extraordinary collections as key to her research.

According to Dr Butler-Bowdon, “The State Library of NSW is an important cornerstone in our community. Its location, its position, its deep and rich collections, its global reach coupled with its statewide brief fill me with genuine excitement. 

“One of the keys to success will be balancing the focus on the physical library with the opportunities to work in western Sydney, and of course regionally through the Public Libraries network. 

“Together we will ensure that every citizen has access to this great library and its public network across NSW, as places of experience, learning, research, connection and community.” 

Dr John Vallance, is retiring after six years at the helm of the State Library as State Librarian after a distinguished career in the arts and academia. 

Dr Butler-Bowdon will commence in the role on Wednesday 15 November 2023.

Read media release here


Listen to an interview with Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon (starts at 02:01:59) on ABC Evenings talking about here new role.