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This article is about the Australian organisation. For other uses, see Vala.
VALA - Libraries, Technology and the Future Inc. (VALA)
Founded 1978
Focus Library science, Information technology, Digital library, Metadata, Electronic publishing, Institutional repository
Area served
Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums
Key people
President: Kim Tari, Swinburne University of Technology. Vice President: Hugh Rundle, City of Boroondara Library Service. VALA2016 Program Chairs: Ebe Kartus, Australian Catholic University & David Feighan, Mentone Girls' Grammar School. Executive Officer: Lesley Ryall.
Self-funded not for profit organisation
Slogan Libraries / Technology and the Future //.

VALA - Libraries, Technology and the Future Inc. (VALA) is an Australian not-for-profit professional organisation that promotes the use and understanding of information and communication technologies across the galleries, libraries, archives and museum sectors.


VALA was established as the Victorian Association for Library Automation in 1978[1] in response to the emergence of automated library catalogues and other technologies that were revolutionising the industry at the time. In 2006 VALA's name was changed to VALA - Libraries, Technology and the Future. This was in recognition of dramatic changes in the information landscape which include the rise of eBooks and eJournals, the social web, cloud computing and mobile devices. In recent years VALA has signed separate memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and the New Zealand Library Association LIANZA to foster cooperation and to better coordinate the respective organisation's activities.

Governance and membership[edit]

VALA is governed by a Committee elected annually from the VALA membership. Membership is open to anyone interested in the professional aims of the organisation.


Entrance to the VALA2008 Conference Trade Exhibition

The VALA biennial conference is one of the largest conferences of its type in the region. Commencing in 1981, VALA conferences have provided one of the major points of contact for Australian librarians with their overseas counterparts.[2]

Since 2010 VALA conferences have been held in the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Date Conference Theme
8–11 February 2016 18th VALA Biennial Conference and Exhibition TBC
3–6 February 2014 17th VALA Biennial Conference and Exhibition Streaming with possibilities
6–9 February 2012 16th VALA Biennial Conference and Exhibition eM-Powering eFutures
8–11 February 2010 15th VALA Biennial Conference and Exhibition Connections, Content, Conversations
5–11 February 2008 14th VALA Biennial Conference and Exhibition Libraries/Changing Spaces, Virtual Places
8–10 February 2006 13th VALA Biennial Conference and Exhibition Connecting with Users
3–5 February 2004 12th VALA Biennial Conference and Exhibition Breaking Boundaries: Integration & Interoperability
6–8 February 2002 11th VALA Biennial Conference and Exhibition e-volving information futures
6–18 February 2000 10th VALA Biennial Conference and Exhibition Books and bytes : technologies for the hybrid library

Professional development events[edit]

VALA holds a series of face-to-face and online professional development events throughout the year. The topics of the meetings support and promote an understanding of technology within the libraries and broader information sector. Where possible, free podcasts of these meetings are available on the VALA web site.


VALA aims to further support research in and around the library information science sector through the provision of a series of awards

VALA grants the following awards:

  • The Robert D. Williamson Award – Awarded biennially to an individual or organisation who, in the opinion of the judging panel, is currently making an outstanding contribution to the development of information technology usage in Australian libraries and is positively and significantly influencing development in information technology usage within libraries.
  • The VALA Award – made biennially, is presented to the Australian library or information centre judged to have made the most innovative use of information technology during the previous two years.
  • The VALA Travel Scholarship – every two years VALA offers up to two Travel Scholarships to enable suitable persons to travel overseas to examine aspects of library automation. Recipients receive up to A$13,000 towards travel, accommodation and living expenses. Successful candidates must complete their study in time to present their findings at the following VALA Biennial Conference.
  • The VALA Student Award - Each year, the VALA Student Award is presented to one student from RMIT University[3] and one from Monash University, in recognition of outstanding achievement in postgraduate library and information management courses.


  1. ^ Groenewegen, HW 2004, 'Four decades of library automation: recollections and reflections', The Australian Library Journal, vol. 53, no. 1, pp. 39-53.
  2. ^ Jilovsky, C 2003, 'Systems librarianship in Australia: a historical perspective', Library Hi Tech, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 297-308.
    See also Henninger, M 1992, 'OPAC and Beyond: A Report of the VALA 6th Biennial Conference, November 11-13', LASIE, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 86-90.
  3. ^ "Graduate Diploma in Information Management". RMIT. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 

External links[edit]