Adjunct Professor Hilary Hughes

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Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology), Master of Arts in Librarianship (University of Sheffield), BA(CombHons) (University of Birmingham)

Dr Hilary Hughes is a passionate-educator researcher with a commitment to informed, connected learning. Through her teaching and research, Hilary promotes innovative, participatory practice in learning space design that enhances learning and wellbeing in schools and libraries. She also seeks to support the transition and academic success of international students.

As Adjunct Associate Professor, Hilary currently conducts research consultancies and professional learning programs in learning space design for schools and libraries.
In 2019 she is teaching the Designing Spaces for Learning unit in the MEd program.

Hilary was a full-time academic in QUT’s Education Faculty from November 2004 until her retirement in December 2018. She mainly coordinated and taught units in the Master of Education and for several years year coordinated the MEd(Teacher-Librarianship) program.

In her academic work, Hilary draws on extensive previous experience as librarian/information professional and information literacy educator.

Hilary’s qualifications include:

  • PhD (QUT)
  • Master of Librarianship (University of Sheffield, UK)
  • BA Combined Honours in Spanish and Romance Linguistics (University of Birmingham, UK)
  • NAATI accredited translator (Spanish-English)
  • Cert IV Workplace training & Assessment (Northpoint Institute of TAFE, Brisbane).
  • AALIA (Associate of Australian Library and Information Association)


  • 2010: Fulbright Scholar in Residence at University of Colorado, Denver
  • 2014, 2012, 2009, 2008: QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Performance Fund Award
  • 2013, 2012: QUT Education Faculty teaching award (individual)
  • 2006: QUT Education Faculty teaching award (for an individual teacher who has shown personal development and outcomes through reflective practice in teaching)
  • 2006: QUT OLT innovative teaching award (nominated by students).

Research (ORCID:
Hilary’s interdisciplinary research interests include:

  • Learning space design
  • School libraries and teacher-librarianship
  • International student experience
  • Information literacy and informed learning
  • Information experience

Hilary has led and contributed as CI to several major projects supported by: ARC (2 Linkage),  ALTC, QCSSI and Queensland Department of Education.

Hilary’s doctoral study (2009) about international students using online information led to her Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence award at Colorado University Denver, USA in 2010. Building on this work, she advances the theory and practice of inclusive informed learning through her research and teaching. Recognising the influence of environment on information use and learning, her related research explores the design of learning spaces, especially in school and academic libraries.

Hilary has particular expertise in the following research methodologies:

  • Expanded critical incident technique (Hughes, 2012)
  • Qualitative case study
  • Qualitative interviewing
  • Thematic analysis

Professional experience

In her teaching and research Hilary draws upon professional experience as librarian and information literacy educator at:

  • Central Queensland University (Brisbane International Campus)
  • QUT
  • Education Queensland Corporate Library
  • Northpoint Institute of TAFE (Brisbane)
  • Glenden Town Library (Nebo Shire, Queensland)
  • Longlands College of Further Education (Middlesbrough, UK).