For immediate release | January 11, 2011

Janice Welburn named ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year

CHICAGO — Janice Welburn, dean of university libraries at Marquette University, is the 2011 Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Academic/Research Librarian of the Year. The award, sponsored by YBP Library Services, recognizes an outstanding member of the library profession who has made a significant national or international contribution to academic/research librarianship and library development.

Welburn will receive a $5,000 award at 4 p.m. on Wed., March 30, 2011, at the ACRL 2011 opening keynote session in Philadelphia.

"Janice is a tireless worker,” noted Kenley Neufeld, chair of the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award Committee and library director at Santa Barbara City College. “She naturally possesses the people skills that most of us work hard to obtain - integrity, trust, kindness and a passion for the profession. Janice has made a major impact on academic and research librarianship, not only for her contribution to the literature concerning diversity not only in academic libraries but also in libraries in general."
“Feeling an incredible sense of humility, I am honored to be named the ACRL Academic/ Research Librarian of the Year,” said Welburn. “It is an honor to be in the company of such a distinguished list of colleagues who have been selected for this award. To be recognized by one's peers is the greatest recognition that I could ever hope to achieve. My deepest thanks to my colleagues who felt that I should be considered. I share this award with them and with all of those people who have mentored and inspired me throughout my career.”
Over the course of her career, Welburn has devoted countless time and energy mentoring new librarians. She has supported, assisted and inspired a generation to become active and dedicated members of the profession. Welburn’s committment to mentoring and diversity makes her a tireless advocate for the profession and serves as a model for early career librarians. Her example encourages others to actively mentor new professionals and serve the profession through ACRL and ALA. Welburn’s commitment to diversity has actively contributed to increasing the numbers of successful academic librarians from underrepresented communities.
In addition to her active mentorship role, Welburn has contributed to academic and research librarianship through service and publishing. Her distinguished record of service includes serving as chair of the ACRL Budget & Finance Committee and member of the association’s Board of Directors (2009-2011), chair of ACRL’s appointments committee (2004-2005) and a member of the ACRL 14th National Conference contributed papers subcommittee (2005-2007). She served ALA as co-chair of the Specturm Scholarship Fundraising Initiate Outreach to Libraries Coordinating Committee (2010) and a member of the Taskforce on the Status of Librarianship (2000-2002), along with holding leadership positions in LAMA and RUSA.
Welburn is also a prolific contributor to the library and information science literature, serving as co-editor of "Advocacy, Outreach and the Nation’s Academic Libraries: A Call for Action" (2010), and "Human Resources Management in Today’s Academic Library: Meeting Challenges and Creating Opportunities" (2004). She is the co-author of numerous articles and book chapters, including “The Promise of Diversity in the Library Community” in The Library and Book Trade Almanac (2009), “Leadership Lessons in a Climate of Social Transformation” in Portal: Libraries and the Academy (2006), "Cultivating Partnerships/Realizing Diversity” in the Journal of Library Administration (2001) and “Using Culture As a Construct for Achieving Diversity in Human Resources Management” in Library Administration and Management (1999). In addition, she served as a member of the Portal editorial board since 2004.
Prior to joining Marquette in 2006, Welburn served as associate dean of the University of Arizona Libraries from 2003-2006. She also served the University of Iowa Libraries as director of central public service and facilities, director of human resources and central processing services, and head of the information and instructional services department. Welburn previously held professional positions at New York University, Indiana University, Princeton University and Bishop College.
Welburn received her B.A. in History from Bishop College, her M.A. in American History from Atlanta University in 1977 and earned her M.S.L.S. from Atlanta University in 1978.
The award dates back to 1978, and recent award winners include Maureen Sullivan (2010); Gloriana St. Clair (2009); Peter Hernon (2008); Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson (2007); Ray English (2006); Ravindra Nath (R. N.) Sharma (2005); Tom Kirk (2004); Ross Atkinson (2003); Shelley Phipps (2002) and Larry Hardesty (2001).
For more information regarding the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year award, or a complete list of past recipients, please visit
ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 12,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.


David Free