“Who’d leave television to go to a library?” Asked Kate Torney’s 12-year-old daughter in 2015, when her mum floated the idea of leaving her coveted post as the Director of News at the ABC. Torney headed up a staff of 1,400, including 11 international bureaus. She’d clocked 22 years at the national broadcaster and spent the last decade ushering it through its digital transformation. So upon hearing about the CEO role at the State Library of Victoria, her first thought was, “What is the role of libraries in the digital era?”
“I remember someone at the state library saying to me, rather cynically, ‘Well, if you’re worried about the future of libraries, come down and spend an afternoon here and then make up your mind,'” recalls Torney.
Positions Of Power is a series highlighting the women leading companies and initiatives shaping our world. This series covers how she got there, why she does it, and what she’s learned along the way.