Notre Dame librarian wins top State award

Sophie Farrar received the 2016 F. A. Sharr Award
for her contribution to her profession as a librarian.

13 June 2017

Notre Dame Librarian, Sophie Farrar, has been recognised with one of Western Australia’s top awards for Librarians – the 2016 F. A. Sharr Award.

A former secondary school teacher and graduate of the Bachelor of Education (Secondary) degree at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Fremantle Campus, Sophie received the prestigious honour during the State Library of Western Australia’s annual Awards presentation on 25 May 2017.

The Award is named after Francis Aubie (Ali) Sharr who was the State Librarian in WA from 1953 to 1976. It is presented to a WA librarian or library technician within their first three years following graduation, who exhibits the most potential to make a significant contribution to the profession.

As part of the rigorous application process, Sophie’s presentation examined the current and future challenges of providing quality research support services to address the emerging needs of researchers.

It looked at the changing higher education environment and the changing nature of scholarly communications and how these has contributed to the emergence of a user group with a unique set of needs, such as understanding alternative research impact measures and open access research dissemination options, that librarians and libraries need to be able to support.

“The most significant challenge is a relatively urgent need for librarians to upskill and obtain knowledge and skills beyond their core set, in the area of data management for example, in order to adequately support the researcher at the various stages of their research journey,” Sophie said.

“I am part of a wonderful library team at Notre Dame. Providing an individualised service, we aim to make students feel welcome, provide excellent research support, and reduce their stress during busy times of the year.”

Congratulating Sophie on the award, Notre Dame University Librarian, Stephen McVey, said: “Sophie truly embodies the essence of the Award – that is, someone who will continue make a significant contribution to the profession and be a fine ambassador for librarianship in WA,” Mr McVey said.


Leigh Dawson: Tel (08) 9433 0569; Mob 0405 441 093;