ACRL honors the 2019 award winners, part 1

A recognition of professional development

Chase Ollis is ACRL program officer, email: collis@ala.org

John Price Wilkin wins Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial award

John Price Wilkin, Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson dean of libraries and university librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been named the winner of the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award. Wilkin will receive a cash award and citation during an ALCTS event at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

John Price Wilkin

John Price Wilkin

Named in honor of one of the pioneers of library automation, the Atkinson Award recognizes an academic librarian who has made significant contributions in the area of library automation or management and has made notable improvements in library services or research.

“John Price Wilkin exemplifies the spirit of the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award through leadership, risk taking, and innovation,” said Bruce Johnson, Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award Committee chair and former senior library information systems specialist at the Library of Congress. “John was an early adopter of structured markup languages such as SGML and XML in his work at the University of Michigan as head of the Humanities Text Initiative and head of digital library production service, providing access to digital texts as well as a means for searchability and textual analysis. This work later inspired online publishing efforts at other institutions, including the California Digital Library.

“John led the Mellon-funded Making of America project, an early groundbreaking effort to digitize 19th-century books, and then built upon this experience to help launch JSTOR,” continued Johnson. “He managed the partnership with Google to digitize the University of Michigan’s collection, eventually leading to the foundation of the HathiTrust. As executive director of the HathiTrust, John established a model for shared governance and large-scale collaboration that secured sharing provisions for member libraries.

“In his current role as university librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, John continues to lead innovation efforts, particularly in the area of research data curation,” noted Johnson. “All of these achievements have had far-reaching impact in the library profession and beyond, providing a foundation for transformation in publishing, research, and unprecedented access to digital content.”

The Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award is jointly sponsored by four ALA divisions: ACRL, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, the Library Leadership and Management Association, and the Library and Information Technology Association. The award is funded from an endowment established to honor Atkinson.

Luiz wins CJCLS/EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Program Award

Laura Luiz, reference librarian at Bakersfield College, has been chosen to receive the Community and Junior College Libraries Section EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Program Award for her Get Out the BC Vote program.

Laura Luiz

Laura Luiz

The $750 award and plaque, donated by EBSCO Information Services, will be presented to Luiz at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference.

Held at the Bakersfield College main and Delano campuses in October (ahead of the 2018 midterm election), the Get Out the BC Vote program was a multi-pronged program addressing voter registration, providing a breakdown of the ballot, and aiding students in becoming more informed voters. To achieve this, the program took three approaches: a detailed LibGuide breaking down the ballot with information and resources, three workshops to register students to vote featuring guest speakers discussing state ballot measures, and four fake news workshops teaching students about news literacy. Get Out the BC Vote will continue and be expanded upon for the 2020 election.

“Laura Luiz’s efforts with Get Out the BC Vote allowed the library to connect with the Student Government Association to help students become informed voters and promote news literacy,” said Award Chair Laura Mondt of Northern Essex Community College. “This comprehensive program educated students about voter registration and ballot measures through a series of guest speakers and fake news workshops, all of which provided students with timely and relevant information they could use for the 2018 Midterm elections.”

Garczynski named EBSS Distinguished Librarian

Joyce Garczynski, assistant university librarian for development and communications at Towson University, is the recipient of the Education and Behavioral Sciences Section (EBSS) Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian Award.

Joyce Garczynski

Joyce Garczynski

This award honors a distinguished academic librarian who has made an outstanding contribution as an education and/or behavioral sciences librarian through accomplishments and service to the profession.

A plaque will be presented to Garczynski during an EBSS event at the ALA Annual Conference.

“With her impressive record of service to EBSS, her exceptional contribution to academic librarianship in education and behavioral sciences, her robust portfolio of publications and presentations, and her highly successful exemplary library programs, the committee is delighted to name Joyce Garczynski as the recipient of the EBSS Distinguished Librarian Award for 2019,” said Award Cochairs Yu-Hui Chen, subject librarian for education and East Asian studies at the University of Albany-SUNY, and Stephanie Davis-Kahl, scholarly communications librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University.

Chen and Davis-Kahl continued, “As Dr. Deborah A. Nolan, dean of university libraries at Towson University, stated in her support letter, ‘Her accomplishments within EBSS are significant and indeed transformative. She advocated for, and participated in, developing discipline-specific information literacy standards to fit the new Framework. Joyce’s involvement and leadership in EBSS reflect her commitment to the profession, to the development and collaboration of librarians, and ultimately to the learning, scholarship, and achievements of our students and faculty.’ With great appreciation, we congratulate Joyce on her substantial contributions to the profession and her decade-long achievements.”

Garczynski’s numerous service accomplishments in ACRL/EBSS include serving as chair of EBSS and as a member and chair of numerous EBSS committees.

Nelson receives ESS De Gruyter Grant

Jennifer K. Nelson, reference librarian at the Robbins Collection, University of California-Berkeley School of Law, has been selected to receive the European Studies Section De Gruyter European Librarianship Study Grant for her project “Iucundum mihi est reperiri typographum: A Case Study of an Early Modern Publishing Success Story.”

Jennifer K. Nelson

Jennifer K. Nelson

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.

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

Nelson’s project will focus on archival research of letters by the humanist Gian Vittorio Rossi (1577–1647) to Roman publishers and booksellers, which reveals the publishing landscape in the 17th-century Europe encompassing authors, publishers, sellers, and readers. This research also aims to shed light on the publication history of Rossi’s works, his pseudonyms, and his late-in-life, partly posthumous, publishing success as a satirist.

“The committee thought Nelson’s proposal stood out both for its depth and interdisciplinary scope,” said Award Cochairs Lana Soglasnova of the University of Toronto and Kristen Totleben of the University of Rochester. “She links the little-known unpublished primary sources in the Italian and Latin languages to current topics in history of books, literary taste, ideas, and culture. Nelson will examine Rossi’s correspondence held at the Vatican Library and at the Archivio della Congregazione dell’Oratorio di San Filippo Neri in Rome, Italy.”

Excellence in Academic Libraries Award winners

The recipients of the Excellence in Academic Libraries Award are Swarthmore College Libraries, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; the College of Western Idaho Library, Nampa, Idaho; and Case Western Reserve University Kelvin Smith Library, Cleveland, Ohio. Sponsored by ACRL and GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO, the award recognizes the staff of a college, community college, and university library for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution.

“I am delighted that ACRL can highlight the many amazing accomplishments of academic libraries through this award,” said ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis. “This year’s winners demonstrate a clear commitment to student success, a creative and inventive mindset that results in innovative programs, and engagement with the local and campus communities. Receiving an Excellence in Academic Libraries Award is a tribute to each library and its staff for outstanding services, programs, and leadership.”

Swarthmore College Libraries, winner in the college category, impressed the award committee with its integration of social justice into library services.

Swarthmore College Libraries staff.

“The social justice theme that infused all of the work presented in Swarthmore College’s materials made them a standout, exemplifying their team approach and thoughtful integration of values,” said Irene M.H. Herold, chair of the 2019 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee and librarian of the college at the College of Wooster. “Their work with the National Security Archive creating research internships which included filing Freedom of Information Act requests, workshops bringing book artists in conversation with local Syrian and Iraqi individuals resettled to the area, and commitment to sustainability and an open approach to education for impact as demonstrated by actions to make texts affordable and featuring faculty who published in open access publications are just a few of the many highlighted activities that demonstrated how Swarthmore College Libraries did not just meet, but exceeded the award criteria.”

One of the library’s major programs, Swarthmore Projects for Educational Exploration and Development (SPEED), is an intensive student summer practicum in collaboration with the college’s Information Technology Services department that pairs students experienced in computer science with projects proposed by faculty and staff. Students receive real-world development experience, faculty and staff benefit from dedicated development time, and as part of the 2018 program, students had the opportunity to present their work in lightning talks at campus-sponsored events. SPEED offers Swarthmore students a sense of ownership and proficiency in their projects, as well as a reflective experience and an opportunity to engage with the community.

“We are thrilled to receive this recognition of the fantastic work of the Swarthmore College Libraries staff,” said Peggy Seiden, college librarian at Swarthmore College. “Together we continue to realize our dreams for what this library can be for our community—inclusive, risk-taking, innovative. This is a snapshot of a beautiful moment.”

The College of Western Idaho (CWI) Library, winner of this year’s award in the community college category, was chosen for its creative innovation.

College of Western Idaho Library staff.

“The College of Western Idaho is a college and library that did not exist ten years ago. Now, this library provides a model of best practice for what can be accomplished with creativity, will power, and goodwill,” noted Herold. “In a decentralized campus, the library was innovative in looking at how to function and provide communal space to support student and campus needs as a library, maker hub, and mobile classroom. Of their many noteworthy activities, the inclusion of student employees in implicit bias training, the development of a chatbot named ‘Patronus,’ and micro-credentialing initiative stood out. They provide service with respect and dignity. As noted by a student response from the library’s 2018 annual survey, ‘The library to be honest is freaking amazing.’”

The CWI Library has made micro-credentialing a major initiative since launching its Information Literacy Badging Program in Blackboard in January 2017. The badges, online modules with multimodal instructional content, simple webpages, and librarian-produced videos are available to all faculty and credit students. Upon completion of the program, participants receive a Research Basics Meta-Badge. The badging program has extended the library’s reach across campus, and inspired other departments and institutions, including neighboring Boise State University, to develop similar initiatives.

“We are humbled and thrilled by this recognition from our academic library colleagues,” said Kim Reed, director of library services at CWI. “This award shows it’s not things, such as a big endowment or a state-of-the-art facility, but rather people who make a library great. As a young community college library, our most valuable asset is our talented, collaborative, innovative team of staff who consistently rise above everyday demands to guide our students towards greater academic and career success. The College of Western Idaho Library’s greatness derives directly from our amazing staff.”

Case Western Reserve University’s Kelvin Smith Library, winner in the university category, was selected for its collaborative approach to problem solving.

Case Western Reserve University’s Kelvin Smith Library staff.

“The Kelvin Smith Library partners to solve community problems and applies what they do to solve problems within their own community,” said Herold. “As quoted in their nomination, ‘Research can be used for the advocacy of communities experiencing disruption and inequality,’ and the library is a shining model of this.

“Noteworthy among numerous reported activities were the Freedman Fellowship for Digital Scholarship program, using space assessment data to make changes in support of student success, and its National Personal Librarian Conference,” Herold continued. “The library not only embodies their strategic plan goals of ‘research,’ ‘learn,’ and ‘experience’ in everything they do, but also is user feedback driven to ‘continuously redesign the library to ensure that new generations of students continue to respond positively so that they see the library as being their library.’”

The Freedman Student Fellowship for Digital Scholarship program supports full-time faculty with integrating new digital tools and technology into their research. Since its inception in 2010, the program has awarded more than $90,000 to more than 50 faculty members for a wide range of projects, including a sexual assault kit initiative using ArcGIS visual mapping software to plot assault data, undergraduate student research on race and education in Cleveland Heights, and 3-D imaging of artifacts from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to increase their accessibility through a virtual reality experience.”

“We are elated to receive this important recognition of the collaborative achievements of our highly motivated and creative staff, who work tirelessly to ensure student success, advance research, and provide a conducive environment to stimulate a love of learning,” said Arnold Hirshon, associate provost and university librarian at Case Western Reserve University. “Our culture is one of unceasing reinvention, with a commitment to continuous exploration, experimentation, systematic program development, and rigorous assessment. Being the recipients of the ACRL award inspires us to persevere in our never-ending pursuit to provide pioneering, vibrant, and highly user-centric programs, services, and facilities for our university community.”

Each winning library will receive $3,000 and a plaque, to be presented at an award ceremony held on each recipient’s campus.

Bluemle receives IS Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year Award

Stefanie R. Bluemle, research and instruction librarian and instruction coordinator at Augustana College, has been chosen as the winner of the Instruction Section’s Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year Award for her article “Post-Facts: Information Literacy and Authority after the 2016 Election,” published in 2018 by portal: Libraries & the Academy. The award recognizes an outstanding publication related to library instruction published in the past two years.

Stefanie R. Bluemle

Stefanie R. Bluemle

The award, donated by Carrick Enterprises, consists of a plaque and a cash prize of $1,000.

Post-truth politics poses a great challenge to teaching authority in information literacy, and teaching source evaluation is not a catch-all antidote to fake news or media illiteracy. Bluemle addresses the implications of post-fact politics for the concept of authority as defined by the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education and illustrates which elements of authority librarians must rethink in light of recent events.

“Bluemle’s article explores the timely issue of ‘post-facts’ in today’s world and the implications for those engaged in information literacy work,” said Award Committee Chair Jo Angela Oehrli of the University of Michigan. “More than just talking about ‘fake news,’ Bluemle traces the development of the issues that have contributed to the current climate of post-facts. The article pushes academic librarians to question their own notions of what authority is in light of these larger cultural trends.”

Kellam named Marta Lange/SAGE-CQ Press Award winner

Lynda Kellam, social sciences data librarian at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, has been awarded the Politics, Policy, and International Relations Section Marta Lange/SAGE-CQ Press Award. The award, established in 1996 by LPSS, honors an academic or law librarian who has made distinguished contributions to bibliography and information service in law or political science.

Lynda Kellam

Lynda Kellam

SAGE-CQ Press, sponsor of the award, will present the $1,000 award and plaque to Kellam during the ALA Annual Conference.

“Lynda Kellam has provided distinguished service in political science librarianship,” said Award Chair Erin Ackerman, social sciences librarian at the College of New Jersey. “The tools and programs she has created have an enormous impact on the profession as a whole and individual librarians.

“Lynda created and continues to coordinate the webinar series ‘Help! I’m an Accidental Government Information Librarian,’” Ackerman continued. “These webinars cover a wide range of topics from Brexit to Census data to the U.S. Geological Survey. With this series—now in its ninth year—as well as in her work on academic databrarianship, Lynda creates opportunities for librarians to connect and share the information that helps us do our jobs better.”

Copyright Chase Ollis

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