May 18, 2022

Interview: “Australia’s Top Librarian, Tells How the National Library Fosters a Culture of In-House Innovation. In Two Words: ‘Radical Incrementalism'”

From The Mandarin:

Marie-Louise Ayers

Marie-Louise Ayers, director-general of the National Library of Australia, is the nation’s top librarian. She talks to Stephen Easton about the culture of innovation that has allowed the NLA to remain an international leader in its field for decades, relying entirely on its own in-house expertise.

“Radical incrementalism” is the term Marie-Louise Ayers uses to  best describe the approach that delivered the new Australian Web Archive this year — charting a direction and taking small steps that lead to profound change over time, through learning and evaluation along the way. In theory this allows organisations to achieve goals that would have previously sounded too big, ambitious or risky.

“And that is, seeing a problem for which there are no obvious solutions, making a start anyway, setting a course and then sticking to it for the very long term.”

Read the Complete Interview (about 2100 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.