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The Jim Crawford Award

The Jim Crawford Award for Innovation in Libraries was created to ensure that Mr Crawford's legacy in creating and developing South Australia's public libraries system is remembered. The Award is available to individuals or groups working in, or associated with, public libraries eligible for funding by the Libraries Board of South Australia.

Crawford

The Jim Crawford Award for Innovation in Libraries was created to ensure that Mr Crawford's legacy in creating and developing South Australia's public libraries system is remembered.

Mr Jim Crawford

Mr Crawford was Chairman of the Libraries Board of South Australia from 1977 until 1987 and, prior to that, was a member of the Libraries Board from 1972 to 1976.

As Chairman of the Libraries Board, Mr Crawford guided the development of two reports entitled Library Development in South Australia (1978) and South Australian Libraries - Moving Towards 2000 (1986).

The first report became the blueprint for the establishment of all public libraries in South Australia, while the second supported the continued growth and development of these libraries.

Mr Crawford also spent more than 20 years as an elected local government member. He was a Councillor of Brighton City Council from 1973 until 1977, Mayor of Brighton from 1977 to 1980, and a Councillor at the City of Adelaide from 1985 until 1997.

Mr Crawford was a successful businessman who, through generous financial donations, sought to use his position as Chairman of Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) to benefit the wider community, including many charity groups.

CMV encompasses a range of motor vehicle franchises and agricultural operations in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

Jim Crawford

Jim Crawford

A steadfast vision

Mr Crawford was well respected for his vision, sense of justice, personal and business ethics and genuine awareness of community needs.

In line with these character traits, he worked to establish a library network that would allow all South Australians to access books, information technology and other beneficial learning tools from a local library, regardless of where they lived.

"South Australia is significantly indebted to Jim Crawford for his creation and development of the South Australian public libraries network," Vice-President of Public Libraries South Australia (PLSA), Mr Geoff Strempel, said.

"Jim's towering personality, intellectual rigour, boundless energy and good humour were brought to bear on Governments and communities to ensure that public libraries were embraced as part of the fabric of South Australian life."

According to Mr Crawford's family, Jim Crawford was "not prepared to oversee the status quo, but had a vision of all people throughout South Australia having access to a free, quality public library network".

"Where the bureaucrats couldn't find a solution, Jim Crawford would burst through with his raw enthusiasm and passion and achieve what needed to be achieved," son, Mr Paul Crawford, said.

In keeping with his ability to broker partnerships in all walks of life, Mr Crawford convinced both State and Local Governments to implement an equal funding partnership for the public library network.

This partnership remains strong today. 

The Award

The Jim Crawford Award for Innovation in Libraries is available to individuals or groups working in, or associated with, public libraries eligible for funding by the Libraries Board of South Australia.

The intention of the award is to reward those people making a significant contribution to South Australia's public libraries and to encourage and drive further innovation.

In line with this, the award will be granted to recognise proven outstanding contribution to public libraries as judged against the following criteria:

  • the fostering and/or implementation of innovations in library services which have direct benefits to the public
  • the implementation of improvements which directly advance library services for disadvantaged communities
  • demonstrated individual excellence in providing inspirational leadership in the field of public libraries
  • the implementation of an outstanding proposal which keeps with the spirit of the award

Award funds may be used to:

  • provide professional development for staff
  • drive further innovation in service delivery through research and development
  • build on existing innovation
  • purchase significant equipment or library materials

Note that before a winning Public Library or School/Community Library can receive any funds under the Awards, it must be registered as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) with the Australian Tax Office. This process is a simple one and information and an application form can be found at the following webpage:

http://www.ato.gov.au

To download the nomination form please click here

For a list of past winners of the award, please click here.

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