Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award to Merrill-Oldham

For Immediate Release
Mon, 02/14/2011

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CHICAGO – The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services is honored to announce that Jan Merrill-Oldham, formerly the Malloy-Rabinowitz preservation librarian at Harvard University Library, is the recipient of the 2011 Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award.  The Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award honors the memory of Ross Atkinson, a distinguished library leader, author and scholar whose extraordinary service to ALCTS and the library community-at-large serves as a model for those in the field.

This award is sponsored by EBSCO Information Services and honors the recipient with a $3,000 monetary award and a citation.  The award will be presented at the ALCTS Awards Ceremony on Sunday, June 26 during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Jan Merrill-Oldham has actively worked in the area of preservation since 1975, achieving a national and  international reputation.  Until September 2010, Ms. Merrill-Oldham served as the Malloy-Rabinowitz preservation librarian at Harvard University Library, directing the Weismann Preservation Center at Harvard University and the Preservation and Imaging Services Department at Harvard College.   In her 15 years at Harvard, she “took a fledgling preservation program and created dynamic programs, hired and developed amazing staff, raised money and built facilities worthy of the depth of Harvard’s library resources and research and teaching programs.”

Since 1980, she has served ALCTS and the Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) with distinction in many capacities ranging from the Legislation Committee, Nominating Committee and Membership Committee to the ALCTS Board of Directors and the Preservation Microfilming Committee.  Within PARS, she developed a well-earned reputation as one of the preservation community’s foremost leaders, having served as chair of the section and chair of various committees, including the Nominating Committee, the Task Force on Preservation Digitizing, Task Force to Initiate Further Action on Alkaline Paper Legislation, as well as co-chair of the Photographic and Recording Media Committee and as a member of numerous others.   

She is a past winner of two ALCTS awards:  the Esther J. Piercy Award and the Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award.

Colleagues addressed her commitment to developing preservation professionals.  Through her efforts as a mentor, “she has helped many to become skilled and effective practitioners” and helped to create “a new generation of mentors who recognize the importance – and the satisfaction – of sharing their knowledge generously.”

Merrill-Oldham is a prolific writer with extensive and substantive contributions to the literature of preservation, including four books, “Preservation Program Models: A Study Project and Report,” “Guide to the ANSI/NISO/LIB Library Binding Standard,” “Guide to the Library Binding Institute Standard for Library Binding,” “Conservation and Preservation of Library Materials,” chapters in numerous other books on preservation, conference proceedings and articles in domestic and international journals.  Her presentations on preservation at conferences, meetings and workshops read like a travelogue, ranging from Boston, Chicago and San Francisco to Quebec, Ontario, The Hague, Stockholm and Uppsula.

The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) is the national association for information providers who work in collections and technical services, such as acquisitions, cataloging, collection development, preservation and continuing resources in digital and print formats. 

ALCTS is a division of the American Library Association.