The State Library of NSW has paid tribute to Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO following her recent retirement by renaming its major reference library in her honour today [Monday 20 October].
The State Reference Library will now be known as the Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room.
“Dame Marie Bashir is one of the Library’s greatest advocates and we wanted to publicly recognise her much valued and continuing support and affection for this great Library and her passion for reading and libraries,” said NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive, Alex Byrne.
Dame Marie unveiled a plaque bearing her name at the very Library she first visited as a student, and went on to support in her official capacity as Governor of NSW for 13 years.
Deputy Premier of NSW Troy Grant said: “This public tribute offers appropriate recognition not only of Dame Marie Bashir’s high regard and active support for the State Library but also of her substantial and widely applauded commitment and extraordinary contributions to the State of New South Wales.
“Dame Marie’s strong interest in the welfare of Indigenous people, our multicultural population, children and students resonate closely with that of the Library’s areas of focus.”
Dame Marie said she felt greatly honoured to have her name applied to the Reading Room in the Macquarie Street wing of one of the world’s great libraries.
“The State Library of New South Wales has been for me a source of inspiration, as well as a treasury of enlightenment since my years of adolescence,” said Dame Marie.
The Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room provides access to an extensive collection of Australian and international research material, including materials in 42 languages and an increasing number of electronic reference resources. Every year more than 600,000 people - local and family historians, researchers, students and the general public – visit the recently refurbished Reading Room and use its resources.
See the full media release and timeline on the history of the State Library of NSW attached.