Australian Church Library Association

"Promoting the Christian Faith through Church Libraries"

Margaret Stiller MBE - Founder of ACLA

photo of Margaret Stiller

In 1990, Margaret Stiller had the vision of starting a church library at Maughan Uniting Church in Adelaide. The Rev. Dr Phil Carr, who was the minister of the church, also shared this vision, and thus the Australian Church Library Association (ACLA) began. Margaret devoted her time to the establishment of church libraries, personally supporting church librarians and developing the administrative framework of ACLA and its Chapters.

She was author, publisher and distributor for Help, Lord! No-one Is Borrowing Any Books; Creative Church Librarianship, Nothing Is Wasted, Barossa Women, Alice Springs Assignment and Centralian Challenge. In Barossa Women and the Centralian novels, she wove true local stories into the fiction. Her publications also include The Story of Lutherans in Australia (co-author) and The Joy of Children’s Books, and Hard to Put Down.

In her various ACLA roles as Editor of Off The Shelf, Vice President, Secretary and Executive Officer, she supported all aspects of the Association. She initiated and self-funded promotional tours to all Australian states and territories, New Zealand, and two church library conferences in the United States. In 1998, she was awarded Life Membership of the Australian Church Library Association.

After Margaret’s death in February 2000, voluntary donations were received to establish a memorial in her honour. The National Board decided that the memorial take the form of Margaret Stiller Awards to be presented at National General Meetings to members who demonstrate attributes that Margaret brought to ACLA – Ministry, Innovation and Service, with each award being of equal merit.

The Margaret Stiller Awards

The Margaret Stiller Church Library Ministry Award
is awarded to a church librarian who has fostered outstanding church library ministry in his/her community.
The Margaret Stiller Innovation Award
is awarded to a church librarian who has demonstrated outstanding initiative in developing new strategies for church libraries
The Margaret Stiller Service Award
is awarded to an ACLA member who has given outstanding service to the Association.

The above are awarded by the National Board from nominations received.