For immediate release | February 25, 2014

Robert Wolven receives the Melvil Dewey Medal

CHICAGO — Robert Wolven, associate university librarian for bibliographic services and collection development at Columbia University Libraries, has been awarded the 2014 Melvil Dewey Medal. This annual award is sponsored by OCLC in recognition of achievement for “creative leadership of high order, particularly in those fields in which Melvil Dewey was actively interested: library management, library training, cataloging and classification, and the tools and techniques of librarianship.”

“The jury is pleased to honor Robert Wolven for his many accomplishments during a long and distinguished career,” said Winston Tabb, chair of the Dewey Medal jury. “His achievements, accurately described as ‘remarkable, influential and innovative’ by one nominator, demonstrate in an exemplary way the qualities the Dewey Medal was established to honor.”

Among the achievements specifically noted by the Dewey jury and the colleagues who wrote in support of this award were Wolven’s leadership as co-chair of the American Library Association (ALA) Digital Content and Libraries Working Group, which is seeking to make e-books more accessible to public library users; his leadership in advancing technical services as chair of ALCTS’ Head of Technical Services in Large Research Libraries Discussion Group and as a member of the Library of Congress’ Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control and of the OCLC Record Use Policy Council; his role as a program steering committee chair of HathiTrust in developing the programs and policies that will enable HathiTrust to achieve its ambitious goal of making millions of digitized books freely accessible; and his innovative approaches to the collection and archiving of Web resources and to deep collaboration, as exemplified in Columbia and Cornell University’s 2CUL partnership.

Wolven is a frequent speaker and writer on issues related to digital content, metadata and technical services in libraries and has served on planning and advisory groups for the Library of Congress, Digital Library Federation, the HathiTrust and OCLC. He is co-chair of the American Library Association’s Working Group on Digital Content and Libraries and a member of the HathiTrust Board of Governors.

The Melvil Dewey Award will be presented at the ALA Award Ceremony and Reception on Sunday, June 29 at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

In addition to Chair Winston Tabb, Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums at Johns Hopkins University, the members of the 2014 Melvil Dewey Medal jury are: Emily Bergman, University of Southern California; Janice Flug, The American University; Nancy Dickinson, Hillsboro (Tenn.) Elementary School; and Rebecca Nous, SUNY Albany.

The deadline for submission of applications for the 2015 Melvil Dewey Award is Dec. 1, 2014.

More information about the Melvil Dewey Medal including how to submit a nomination is available on the ALA website.


Cheryl Malden

Program Officer