Vicki McDonald is a recognised leader in the library and information sector. Spanning four decades, her career has included leadership roles in public, academic and state libraries.
Her professional interests include a client-centred approach to designing services and spaces, digital inclusion, services to First Nations people, and a commitment to delivering lifelong learning opportunities for the community and profession.
In 2016, her national and international experience led to her appointment as State Librarian and Chief Executive Officer of State Library of Queensland. She understands the need for a strong, relevant and innovative library service and this is reflected in State Library’s achievements under her leadership.
In her current role, Vicki provides strategic leadership for a significant program to transform State Library’s services, collections and spaces through State Library’s Digital Strategy: Digital by Design. State Library is recognised for its services to First Nations communities, and for documenting and making accessible content related to Queensland’s First Nations peoples. To ensure that State Library retains its world-class status, she is championing the development of a strategy to renew spaces within the nationally recognised building.
Her reappointment at State Library of Queensland in 2016 renewed a long association that started in 2001. As an Executive Director at State Library, she was involved in policy, client services and collections before taking on the role of Associate Director Library Services (Client Services and Learning Support) at Queensland University of Technology from 2009 to 2013.
As Executive Director Library and Information Services and Dixson Librarian at the State Library of New South Wales from 2013 to 2016, Vicki was responsible managing the library’s collections valued at AUD$3B and for leading a significant organisational change program.
Vicki is currently serving a two year term (2022-2023) as the Chair of National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) – the peak body representing the national, state and territory libraries of Australia.
“Vicki is known for her warm, empathetic leadership style as well as for her ability to drive and implement change. She genuinely loves libraries and she selflessly gives of her time to contribute to her profession and also to mentor younger librarians who see her as ethical, generous and kind.”
Throughout her career, Vicki has been very active in professional associations. She has held leadership positions with the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) since 2000, and served as its President from 2017 to 2018. Vicki is currently chair of the ALIA International Relations Advisory Committee, which advises the ALIA Board of Directors on the development and delivery of ALIA’s strategic action program for international engagement. She has a strong commitment to professional development and chaired ALIA’s National Biennial Conference and Information Online Conference committees for a number of years. Under her leadership these conferences have been very successful and this has made a vital contribution to the economic sustainability of ALIA.
Vicki is very active in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). As the Chair of the Professional Committee (2019–2021) she was an ex-officio member of the IFLA Governing Board and Chair of the Congress Advisory Committee. During 2017-2019, Vicki was elected Chair Division I (Library types) and was a member of the Governing Board. She also deputised for Professional Committee Chair. Vicki has also been a member of IFLA’s Asia Oceania Section Standing Committee and is currently a member of the IFLA Academic and Research Libraries Standing Committee. This strong commitment to IFLA builds on her previous officer roles in Metropolitan Libraries, and on Academic and Research Libraries Standing Committees.
In January 2020 Vicki was awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia “for significant service to librarianship, and to professional associations”. In March 2019 Vicki was awarded an ALIA Fellowship in recognition of her exceptionally high standard of proficiency in library and information science.