Sunday, September 05, 2010

Vale Michele Huston

Michele Huston, Director of Web Publishing at the National Library of Australia, passed away 2 September 2010 (as reported by Tony Barry and on the Australian Library and Information Association website). While perhaps best known as the wife of Australian Internet pioneer Geoff Huston, Michele Huston was one of the largely unacknowledged pioneers of the Internet to Australia. In the 1990s she worked at The Australian National University to connect schools in Canberra. As well as provide a service for education, this introduced many public servants, MPs and other decision makers in Canberra to the Internet through their children.
"The Australian Capital Territory Education Information Network (ACTEIN) program is a local university initiative to introduce the Internet to primary and secondary schools in the Australian Capital Territory. The physical connectivity is based on low cost accessible technologies, and most schools use IP dial-up as their access to the Internet. The program's main direction is not the provision of Internet access itself, but in attempting to address the issue of how the Internet can be put to work in the classroom, consequently the ACTEIN Program has a strong emphasis on technical and training support to accompany the Internet access."

From: "Introducing the Internet into Australian Schools, A Case Study: The ACTEIN Program", Michele Huston, Outreach Officer, Centre for Networked Information and Publishing, Australian National University, presented at Internet Society INET'95: Conference.
Michele was awarded a BSc (hons) in Physics and Maths from The Australian National University in 1979. She worked as a Project Officer at the ANU, on projects such as the ANU's Institutional repository. She was Web Manager at the Australian War Memorial (while continuing to teach Website Construction to the computer science students at ANU), before joining the National Library of Australia as Director of Web Publishing, a position she held until her death on 2 September 2010.

An slide show from Michele on her work at the NLA, with accompanying audio:
"Who are the people around me and what are they doing? This is not usually a question that you'd expect a library catalogue to be able to answer but users are coming to libraries with new skills and different expectations. Skills that they have learned on sites such as Flickr, eBay, Facebook, Wikipedia and Amazon where you can interact with other people who share your interests.

This presentation will explore a niche for libraries in a networked world by drawing on examples from successful websites."

From: "Enhancing catalogues with user input", Michele Huston, Director, Web Publishing, National Library of Australia, for "Web 2.0 and its potential for the library community", 27 November 2007, National Library of Australia (and audio).


antonybbarry said...

Thanks for this Tom.

Rogerio said...

Very sorry to hear of Michele's passing. My thoughts go out to my old friend Geoff as well as the three wonderful Huston children. Roger Benjamin, Sydney