ACRL honors the 2015 award winners, part 2: A recognition of professional development

Chase Ollis


Sheble receives CJCLS EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Leadership Award

Mary Ann Sheble, dean of learning resources at Oakland Community College Libraries, has been chosen to receive the Community and Junior College Libraries Section (CJCLS) EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Leadership Award.


Mary Ann Sheble

The $750 award and plaque, donated by EBSCO Information Services, will be presented to Sheble on June 26, 2015, during the CJCLS Awards Dinner at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

“Mary Ann Sheble, a former chair of CJCLS, has been involved in library leadership in local, state, regional, and national organizations,” said award cochairs Sarah North of the College of Western Idaho and David Wright of Surry Community College. “She has been involved in international library efforts, and has shown campus leadership in her appointments to two interim dean positions in addition to her library duties. Sheble is an excellent example for the CJCLS Leadership Award.”

In addition to her many contributions to CJCLS, Sheble also served as director-at-large on the ACRL Board of Directors from 2011 to 2014.

Anne Arundel Community College program wins CJCLS EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Award

The Andrew G. Truxal Library at Anne Arundel Community College has been chosen to receive the Community and Junior College Libraries Section (CJCLS) EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Award for its Virtual Writing Center program.

The $750 award and plaque, donated by EBSCO Information Services, will be presented to Jessica Rabin, professor of English and director of the Writing Center, and Janice Lathrop, reference librarian at Anne Arundel Community College, on June 26, 2015, during the CJCLS Awards Dinner at the ALA Annual Conference.

Launched as a pilot in spring 2013 by Rabin and Lathrop, the Virtual Writing Center is an innovative response to data that showed online students had lower persistence and success rates in gateway English courses than students in traditional sections of the same courses. The center initially served students enrolled in online sections of two English gateway courses; a year later, the program served all students enrolled in online classes. In fall 2014, the center opened to all students in all classes, regardless of class format, as another way to serve students at their point of need.

The goal of the center is to provide the same level of support to all students that the Writing Center and Truxal Library provide t o students who physically walk through the doors. Writing tutors help students understand basic concepts of writing, which leads students to improve research papers and other written assignments. Librarians teach students how to find, evaluate, and cite sources; they do not complete these tasks for students.


Jessica Rabin and Janice Lathrop, Anne Arundel Community College, along with Rabin’s assistance dog Willa.

“A targeted program to meet a documented need to support online students, this project supports strategic initiatives of the college and has already shown success,” said award cochairs Sarah North of the College of Western Idaho and David Wright of Surry Community College.

“The partnership between the library and the writing center was innovative, unique, and promoted a model that could be replicated in other colleges.”

Northern Iowa Comic Con Committee receives CLS Innovation in College Librarianship Award

Melinda Beland, Angie Cox, Melissa Gevaert, Anna Hollingsworth, and Linda McLaury—all members of the Comic Con Committee at the University of Northern Iowa’s Rod Library—have been named the recipients of the CLS Innovation in College Librarianship Award for their work on the RodCon 2015 program.

This annual award honors ALA members who have demonstrated a capacity for innovation in their work with undergraduates, instructors, and/or the library community.

Their award will be presented during the CLS program at the ALA Annual Conference.


Melinda Beland, Angie Cox, Melissa Gevaert, Anna Hollingsworth, and Linda McLaury, from Comic Con Committee at the University of Northern Iowa.

The Rod Library RodCon brought faculty, staff, and community members into the library for a day of programs and events, including lectures covering a variety of disciplines from gender studies to communication, inspired by the growing role of graphic novels in the curriculum. Students also presented, with a number of student groups involved in the costume contest and other events.

“We liked the draw of people to the library as a new way to engage students and faculty with one another and others in the community,” said award chair Amy E. Badertscher, director of library services at Kenyon College. “The event costs, including speakers and materials, came in under $2,000. Therefore, the committee thought the ideas would be easy to create on other campuses.”

The Rod Library offered RodCon again on March 28, 2015.

Drabinski receives IS Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year award

Emily Drabinski, coordinator of instruction at Long Island University-Brooklyn, has been chosen as the winner of the Instruction Section (IS) Ilene F. Rock-man Publication of the Year Award for her article “Toward a Kairos of Library Instruction,” published in 2014 by The Journal of Academic Librarianship. The award recognizes an outstanding publication related to library instruction published in the past two years.


Emily Drabinski

The award, donated by Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., consists of a plaque and a cash prize of $3,000. Drabinski will receive the award during the ALA Annual Conference.

“Given the recent discussion and examination of the ACRL IL standards within the profession, Drabinski’s article couldn’t be more timely,” said award committee chair Susanna Eng-Ziskin of California State University-Northridge. “She offers a new approach to information literacy, one that will withstand the test of time by constantly adapting to new realities. The use of Classical Greek theory is an interesting way to reconsider the way librarians interact with students and develop teaching strategies that engage students and promote critical thinking. This exceptionally written thought piece is a must read.”

Information literacy instruction in libraries has traditionally been organized by the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. These standards define a set of external, abstract learning objectives that have been productive of a teaching role for librarians. Simultaneously, the standards have generated a substantial critical literature that contests the objectives as a “Procrustean bed” that distracts from the particular teaching and learning contexts. Drabinski’s paper offers an alternative organizing heuristic for instruction in libraries.

Kairos is an ancient Greek theory of time married to measure. Used by both Plato and the Sophists to understand the emergence of truth from context, kairos has been deployed by composition studies to gain a critical perspective on teaching student writing. Used to understand the context that generated both the first set of standards and the newly approved Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, kairos can usefully direct the energy of teaching librarians toward their particular students and classrooms.

Chandler named WESS-SEES De Gruyter Grant Winner

Katharine C. Chandler, reference librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia, has been selected to receive the Western European Studies Section (WESS)/Slavic and East European Section (SEES) De Gruyter European Librarianship Study Grant for her project, “Whimsical Penwork: The Carthusian Graduals of the Chartreuse de Champmol.”


Katharine C. Chandler

Sponsored by the Walter de Gruyter Foundation for Scholarship and Research, the grant provides €2,500 to support a trip to Europe. The primary criterion for awarding the grant is the significance and utility of the proposed project as a contribution to the study of the acquisition, organization, or use of library resources from or relating to Europe.

Chandler will receive the award check during the ALA Annual Conference.

Chandler’s project will investigate 15th-century manuscripts in Paris and Dijon, France, in order to contribute to knowledge of monastic scribal activity in the later Middle Ages in Europe, and to a better understanding of monastic choir functions in the later Middle Age. This research will result in a paper.

“Ms. Chandler’s research at the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris and the Bibliothèque municipale in Dijon promises to reveal trends in monastic book production in the 15th century as reflected in graduals and other documents related to monastic choirs during that period,” said award chair Timothy Shipe of the University of Iowa. “Besides shedding light on the background of the Carthusian graduals of the Chartreuse de Champmol and their unique style, her study should help to bring about a greater balance in later medieval book historical research, which has focused on secular book production.”

Phelps wins WGSS Career Achievement Award

Connie Phelps, librarian, services department, chair at the University of New Orleans, has been selected as the winner of the Women and Gender Studies Section (WGSS) Career Achievement Award. The award honors significant long-standing contributions to women’s studies in the field of librarianship over the course of a career.

A plaque will be presented to Phelps at the WGSS program on June 29, 2015, during the ALA Annual Conference.


Connie Phelps

“Connie Phelps’s service within WGSS and to librarianship has been wide-ranging, consistent, and productive,” said award chair Heather Tompkins, reference and instruction librarian for the Humanities at Carleton College. “In addition to being Past Chair of the section (2001–2002), she has served on or chaired most of the section committees, and in the process mentored and encouraged numerous librarians to grow within the profession. Her openness in sharing knowledge, collaborative nature, and service ethic are central to what makes WGSS not just a career-enhancing section for librarians, but a professional home for those committed to feminism, women’s rights, and all aspects of gender studies librarianship.”

“Connie has also carried the banner of Women’s Studies Librarianship to many places: in her active work in other sections, through meetings with the Feminist Task Force, and through her participation in NOW,” continued Tompkins. “In each of these venues she serves as an ambassador not only for our section but for our profession. Connie’s commitment to the section and dedication to women’s studies librarianship is unwavering, inspiring, and deserving of the Career Achievement Award.”

Goebel wins WGSS Significant Achievement Award

Nancy Goebel, head librarian at the University of Alberta, is the winner of the Women and Gender Studies Section (WGSS) Award for Significant Achievement in Women and Gender Studies Librarianship. The WGSS award honors a significant or one-time contribution to women and gender studies librarianship.

A plaque will be presented to Goebel at the WGSS program on June 29, 2015, during the ALA Annual Conference.


Nancy Goebel

In 2009, Goebel adapted the idea of a living library from a human rights NGO program in Denmark for an academic context. Conducted twice a year, the augustana human library is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and community members to learn about the experiences of another person in a structured and safe space for both the Reader and the Human Book. The goals of the augustana human library are to create opportunities for individuals to learn and share experiences, develop tools for mutual respect and respect for human dignity, and to provide occasion for readers to reflect on their own experiences and prejudices. Students are encouraged to think about and explore the connections between what they learn from the human library conversations and traditional scholarly materials and research, providing rich opportunities to see first-hand how qualitative work can inform and deepen our knowledge of the world.

“The committee was so impressed by the impact this unique and innovative program is having on the Augustana community,” said award chair Heather Tompkins, reference and instruction librarian for the humanities at Carleton College. “Many of the narratives in the human library in 2014 focus on experiences deeply relevant to women and gender studies: students, and community members, including balancing motherhood and school, challenging transphobia, and healing from sexual abuse. Nominators spoke at length about the ways this project fosters connections, promotes understanding, and provides deep learning experiences.”

“The words engagement, compassion, and life-changing came up frequently when faculty who have been involved with the human library, either as Human Books, Readers, or professors using this resource in their courses,” noted Tompkins.

“One recommender said, ‘The notion of human libraries being a place to promote understanding and compassion through exploring prejudice and stereotyping by the narratives of those volunteering to be read is powerful. The augustana human library helps our fundamental humanity emerge through bringing people together for inquiry and dialogue.’ Nancy’s leadership and role in positioning the library as a leader and facilitator in this kind of inquiry and dialogue make it an exemplary program to serve women and gender studies students and faculty, and to encourage thoughtful engagement with gender on campus and in the community.”

Goebel was also the recipient of the IS Innovation Award in 2010 (along with Dylan Anderson), and has been recognized by the University of Alberta with the Augustana Campus 2013 Murray Lauber Award for Distinguished Service.

Copyright © 2015 Chase Ollis

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