Tasmanian Library Advisory Board

About the Tasmanian Library Advisory Board

The Tasmanian Library Advisory Board (TLAB) is a voluntary, independent advisory group established under the Libraries Act 1984. The Board’s role is to advise the Minister and the Secretary on issues concerning the delivery of our services in Tasmania, in particular, the public's right of access to information and ideas. The Board meets four times per year.

Read the TLAB Strategic Action Plan 2021-2024 (pdf)

TLAB 2021 Meeting Dates

  • Monday 22 March 2021
  • Monday 24 May 2021
  • Monday 23 August 2021
  • Monday 29 November 2021

Members of the Tasmanian Library Advisory Board

The current members of the TLAB are:

  • Ms Mary Bent, PSM (Chairperson)
  • Dr Mary Duniam
  • Ms Jen Fitzgerald
  • Ms Kim Boyer
  • Dr Dianne Snowden, AM
  • Ms Mary Lijnzaad
  • Mr Alistair Scott
  • Mr Daryl Connelly
  • Ms Jan Butler
  • Cr Dick Adams, OAM
  • Ms Jackie Merchant
  • Ms Yolanda Sam
  • Mr Simon Fraser
  • Ms Liz Jack, (Executive Director, Libraries Tasmania)

To make contact with the TLAB please telephone (03) 6165 5559

Board member profiles:

Mary Bent PSM

Ms Mary Bent, PSM (Chairperson)

Mary has been Chair of the Tasmanian Library Advisory Board since 2012. She is also a President of Relationships Australia, Tasmania and a Director on the Board of Primary Health Tasmania.

Mary has post graduate qualifications in health economics and librarianship and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2010 she was awarded the Public Service Medal for outstanding public service particularly in public health and human services in Tasmania.

Dr Mary Duniam

Dr Mary Duniam

Dr Duniam’s expertise is in local government. She has been a Councillor of Waratah-Wynyard for 15 years, Deputy Mayor for six years and is Deputy Chief Representative of the Cradle Coast Authority.

In 2017, Mary obtained a PhD relating to local government and social enterprises in Tasmania, illustrating that community is the potential terrain for social entrepreneurship and collective impact. She has also co-authored chapters in three separate research publications.

Mary has tutored at UTAS in range of subject areas related to community and local government, and is a current Board Member of the Tasmanian Women’s Council and the Tasmanian Heritage Council.

Ms Jen Fitzgerald

Jen has been a TLAB member since 2011, representing the interest of state-wide library users.

Jen came to the Board after working as an Adult Education tutor, and describes herself as a passionate library user. She is an enthusiastic supporter of the increased provision of digital items and digital access and believes that the broad learning opportunities and accessible services available at local Libraries work to improve quality of life for community members.

Jen's previous board experience has focused on education and local community development. Her employment history has been predominantly in the non-government sector.

Ms Kim Boyer

Kim Boyer is an avid library user, a 26TEN supporter and a champion of all that our libraries have to offer.

With a career that has spanned health, education, policy, human resources, corporate services management, research and journalism, she is well-placed to provide strategic advice on a range of library and archive-related matters.

Kim has held a number of leadership roles, including that of Deputy Chancellor of the University of Tasmania, and has been a member of a range of boards and committees at state and national level.

Her educational qualifications include a BA (Hons) in English and a Master of Humanities (English).

Dr Dianne Snowden, AM

Dianne has been a TLAB member since 2008, representing the interests of state-wide library users.

Dr Snowden is a professional historian, heritage consultant and genealogist. She served as Chair of the Tasmanian Heritage Council from 2012-2014 and lectured in online Family History at University of Tasmania from 2014 to 2016. Dianne taught Adult Education classes in family history for more than 25 years.

Dianne is Chair of the Cascades Female Factory Community Advisory Committee and founding member of the Female Convicts Research Centre. She is a former Director of the National Trust of Australia (Tasmania) and the National Archives of Australia Advisory Council.

Dianne’s most recent publication (with Irish historian Joan Kavanagh) is Van Diemen’s Women: A history of Transportation to Tasmania.

Ms Mary Lijnzaad

Mary Lijnzaad is the manager of the library at the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona), and has worked with that collection for 19 years. She worked in disability services and staff training for 10 years prior to moving to Tasmania in 1996 where she retrained in library services.

Mary has a passion for libraries and the provision of access to quality information and educational services that enable lifelong learning. Mary represents Mona in the GLAM Peak group, whose focus is on enabling the development of digital collections in the Australian Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums sector.

Mr Alistair Scott

Alistair Scott is a former journalist, ministerial adviser and senior public servant. He was General Manager of Natural and Cultural Heritage with the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment until 2015, and previously Director of Local Government.

Alistair is based in Launceston and is working and studying at the University of Tasmania. He is completing a thesis on the life courses of male juvenile convicts, held at the Point Puer Boys Establishment near Port Arthur, in the early nineteenth century.

Mr Daryl Connelly

Daryl Connelly is the Chief Executive Officer of the Cradle Coast Authority (CCA), which is jointly owned by the region’s nine councils. Prior to commencing at CCA last year in a Regional Economic Development Manager role, he was the Executive Officer and a co-founder at Switch Tasmania, a not for profit organisation that supports entrepreneurship in the Cradle Coast region.

Daryl is a graduate of the Tasmanian Leaders Program and was previously awarded Tasmanian Not For Profit Manager Of The Year by the Australian Institute of Management. He holds a Master of Business, is a chef by trade and lives at Forth with his wife and two daughters.

Ms Jan Butler

Jan has been a TLAB member since 2016, representing the interests of state-wide library users.

Jan taught mathematics and computing for over 20 years at secondary and tertiary level in various parts of Australia. Most recently, Jan was Executive Officer of the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia, responsible for managing all aspects of the organisation including finance, compliance, conference organising and publicity.

Jan is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a senior member of the Australian Computer Society. Previous board positions include Musica Viva Tasmania and St Mary’s College, Hobart.

Jan has an Honours degree in Mathematics and Statistics and postgraduate qualifications in education, educational computing and French. As an IT expert, Jan is interested in the development of digital technologies, the future of books, and how libraries are adapting to the changes brought to the Internet.

Cr Dick Adams, OAM

Cr Adams has been a TLAB member since 2016, representing the Local Government of Tasmania as the north of Tasmania nominee.

Dick has a lifelong interest in adult literacy. He is the Patron, and a Life Member of the Tasmanian Council for Adult Literacy. He is well known for his advocacy for adult learners in Tasmania. Dick was a National Ambassador of the National Year of Reading for 2012 and is a member of the Tasmanian Book Council.

Dick has sat in both State and Federal Parliaments, the latter for 20 years finishing in 2013. He has been involved in many committees included chairing the Parliamentary Library Joint Committee and was the Federal Parliament representative on the National Library Board. On leaving Federal Parliament in 2013, Dick was elected to the Northern Midlands Council.

Ms Jackie Merchant

Jackie has worked as an artist, graphic designer, brand developer, art director and copy writer. She spent her early years in New South Wales, before moving to Tasmania in 2004. She had her own design business for ten years before moving into community development at Central Coast Council in 2014.

Currently based in Harford in the North West of Tasmania, Jackie is a published author of novels for young readers and is a strong believer in the gift of reading, writing and storytelling in all its forms, to connect, grow and inspire us.

Jackie graduated from the University of New South Wales with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Yolanda Sam

Ms Yolanda Sam

Yolanda is a key driver to leading digital transformation and business improvement, and currently works at the City of Hobart. She strives to stay ahead of the digital curve by seeking constant learning opportunities and holds degrees in Engineering, Finance and Data Analytics.

Passionate about giving back to the community, she is an avid volunteer and mentor. Her recent contributions include those to Women in Engineering, the Australian Computer Society and co-founding the Artificial Intelligence Collaborative Network.

Yolanda is interested in ensuring public access to information and knowledge, and seeks to create a positive impact as an advocate of digital literacy as a core tenet of modern society.

Mr Simon Fraser

Simon is an experienced educator who has worked in both the corporate, vocational and tertiary education sectors. For the past 5 years he has worked as an associate lecturer at the University of Tasmania delivering pathways education to students seeking entry into an undergraduate degree.

Simon was elected to the Glenorchy City Council in early 2018, and is also Chair of Glenorchy LEARN, a committee dedicated to improving learning outcomes for residents within the Glenorchy municipality.

Simon is a life long reader and book lover who spent a large portion of his formative years in libraries. He now visits the Glenorchy Library regularly as a literacy tutor in the 26TEN program.

Ms Eizabeth Jack

TLAB member (Secretary's nominee) and Executive Director Libraries Tasmania since December 2016

Liz has over 20 years' experience working within the Tasmanian Government in leadership roles across a range of sectors, including small business, community development and sport and recreation. She is a current Leadership Champion with Tasmanian Leaders Inc and a former Chair and Director of the Fahan School Board. Her previous board positions include Service Tasmania, Tasmanian Leaders Inc and the Australian Innovation Research Centre.

Liz graduated with an Honours degree in Modern Languages from McGill University in Montreal and has a keen interest in genealogical research.

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