For immediate release | April 8, 2013

RUSA award winners signify excellence in reference services

CHICAGO – The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) has selected the winners of its 2013 achievement awards, research and travel grants, which encompass the most outstanding librarians, libraries and projects in the field, and also highlight the promising leaders of tomorrow.

"RUSA's awards are a chance to honor the most outstanding people, projects and libraries in our field,” said RUSA President Mary Popp. “Many of our awards also provide valuable opportunities for rising stars and leaders to participate in the ALA Annual Conference and conduct research. We commend this year’s winners on their accomplishments and look forward to celebrating with them in person at the RUSA Awards Reception in June. We also extend our deep gratitude to the members who participated in the selection process as part of our award committees.”

The RUSA Achievement Awards Reception and Volunteer Appreciation Party will be held from 5 - 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 30 at one of the ALA Annual Conference hotels. All conference attendees are invited to participate in this celebration, which will include hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Additional event details will be available at the RUSA website in April.

Achievement Awards:

● Dr. Catherine Sheldrick Ross, professor emerita at the University of Western Ontario, has been chosen as this year’s winner of the Margaret E. Monroe Award for her extensive and prominent research on reading and readers’ advisory. Sheldrick pioneered a way to transform the reference interview into a successful transaction for both reader and the librarian, thus enforcing the critical role libraries have in promoting literacy. This citation is presented to a librarian who has made significant contributions to library adult services.

● Neal Wyatt, doctoral candidate of media, art and text at Virginia Commonwealth University, was selected as the 2013 winner of the prestigious Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award for her influential and extensive contributions to the field of reference librarianship through her writing, teaching, leadership and service to RUSA. The award consists of a citation and $5,000 supported by Gale Cengage Learning. The Mudge Award is the highest honor bestowed by RUSA to an individual who has played a major role in furthering the field of reference librarianship.

● Palo Alto College Library's (Texas) Library a la Carte is the 2013 winner of the Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Services. The Carte is staffed by librarians who provide individualized reference assistance and instruction in searching the library catalog and periodical databases. Carte staffers encourage students to participate in the Library's Information Research certificate program, which is a series of information literacy sessions that are available face-to-face or online. This award is sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning and presents $3,000 and a citation to a library or library system for developing an imaginative and unique resource to meet patrons' reference needs.

● "Libraries as the spaces between us: Recognizing and valuing the third space," authored by James Elmborg, associate professor at the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa, is the 2013 winner of the Reference Service Press Award. This award, which includes $2,500 and a citation generously sponsored by Reference Service Press, honors the most outstanding article published in Reference and User Services Quarterly, RUSA’s research journal.

● The Labor Archives of Washington at the University of Washington Libraries’ Special Collections will receive the 2013 John Sessions Memorial Award for its steady stream of exhibits, outreach efforts to the community and the impressive LibGuides site and digital collections portal site. This award is sponsored by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO and presents a citation to a library or library system that has brought recognition to the labor movement in the United States.

"Community and conflict: The impact of the Civil War in the Ozarks," a project headed by Brian Grubbs, local history and genealogy department manager in the Springfield-Greene County (Mo.) Library District, has won this year’s ABC-CLIO Online History Award. The project was selected for its innovative primary source digitization and access project that advances understanding of the Civil War in its understudied Trans-Mississippi theater. Sponsored by ABC-CLIO, the award consists of $2,500 and a citation that recognizes an outstanding free online historical reference resource.

● Collette G. Mak, head of resource access and delivery at the University of Notre Dame, is the winner of the 2013 Virginia Boucher-OCLC Distinguished ILL Librarian Award for outstanding professional achievement, leadership and contributions to interlibrary loan and document delivery. Mak was selected for her exceptional and sustained contributions to resource sharing, data analysis and her dedication to education and training for interlibrary loan practitioners. Sponsored by OCLC, Mak will receive $2,000 and a citation.

● Collections and Reference Services Librarian, Michael R. Oppenheim of the Rosenfeld Management Library at UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management has been selected as this year's winner of the Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship for his countless contributions to the field as an author and leader in professional organizations. The award, sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning, provides $3,000 and a citation to an individual who has made a significant contribution to business librarianship.

● Janice Schultz, manager of the Midwest genealogy center at the Mid-Continent Public Library (Mo.) has been selected as this year's winner of the Genealogical Publishing Company Award for her dedicated service to the field of genealogy librarianship.This award presents $1,500 and a citation to a librarian or library in recognition of their professional achievement in historical or genealogical reference, service or research and is made possible by the Genealogical Publishing Company.

● Nancy A. Cunningham, director of academic services at the University of South Florida, was selected for the 2013 MARS My Favorite Martian Award for her exemplary leadership, dedication, and enthusiasm to the MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section. The award, a citation, recognizes a member who has shown excellence in service to the section.

● Larayne Dallas, engineering librarian at the University of Texas at Austin, was named the 2013 winner of the RSS Service Achievement Award for her outstanding efforts in supporting the Reference Services Section (RSS) of RUSA. The award is a citation presented to an RSS member who has made exceptional contributions toward attaining the goals of the section.

Travel and Research Grant Winners:

● History and Germanic Language and Literature Librarian, Thea Lindquist of the University of Colorado at Boulder, has been selected as this year's winner of the Gale Cengage History Research and Innovation Award for her research proposal, "History on the Semantic Web: Using a Linked Data Approach to Enhance Access in Digital Primary Sources on World War I." This award is generously sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning and presents $2,500 and a citation to a librarian to facilitate and further research relating to history and history librarianship.

● Annette Buckley, research librarian for business at the University of California at Irvine, is the 2013 winner of the BRASS Business Expert Press Award for Academic Business Librarians. Buckley will receive $1,250 to attend the ALA Annual Conference; the award is sponsored by Business Expert Press.

● Kelly LaVoice, graduate student of Library and Information Science at Rutgers University, and current business librarian intern at the University of Pennsylvania's Lippincott Business Library, is being awarded the BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award. The award, sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning and the Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of RUSA, offers $1,000 and a one year membership to BRASS to an outstanding MLIS student to fund travel to the ALA Annual Conference.

● Salvatore DiVincenzo, business librarian at the Miller Center of the Middle Country Public Library (N.Y.), will receive the Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award for his efforts in providing information and networking opportunities for businesses, independent entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations. This award is made possible by the generous support of Morningstar, Inc., and offers $1,000 to a librarian who has performed outstanding business reference services and who requires financial assistance to attend the ALA Annual Conference.

● Daniel Chesney, interlibrary loan and acquisitions coordinator of Southern Nazarene University (Okla.), was chosen as the 2013 STARS/Atlas Systems Mentoring Award winner for his energy and enthusiasm in building a partnership between interlibrary loan and acquisitions in his job. This award is sponsored by Atlas Systems, Inc., and offers a $1,250 travel grant for the ALA Annual Conference to an individual new to the field of interlibrary loan.

The winners of several awards were announced as a part of the RUSA Book and Media Awards Reception at the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.

● Lavonda Kay Broadnax, digital project coordinator, Library of Congress, is the 2013 Zora Neale Hurston Award winner for her bibliography project Selected Literature Published by the Civil War Soul Sisters. This award, sponsored by Harper Perennial, recognizes an ALA member who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in promoting African American literature. The winner receives $1,250 and a plaque. Read the press release here.

● The team behind NextReads, an e-newsletter tool for libraries from EBSCO’s NoveList, will be honored with the 2013 Louis Shores Award for excellence in book reviewing and other media for libraries. NextReads offers readers a thoughtful mix of reviews of new and selected older materials to support libraries as they build a community of readers. Read the press release here.

● The Dictionary of American Regional English, published by Belknap Press, is this year's winner of the Dartmouth Medal—an annual award sponsored by Dartmouth College that honors the creation of an outstanding and significant reference work. The committee identified the dictionary as an invaluable reference resource that embodies extensive field work, attention to detail and a lot of hard work. Read the press release here.

● "The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible" by Matti Friedman (Algonquin) was named the winner of the 2013 Sophie Brody Award for its beautiful illuminations of Jewish themes such as the Diaspora, the State of Israel, the survival of original Jewish texts and the fate of the Jews in the Arab world. This annual award honors achievement in Jewish literature and is sponsored by Arthur Brody and the Brodart Foundation. Read the press release here.

The Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers' advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Not a member, but interested in being part of a member community and enjoying discounted registration rates on conference, preconferences and other events? Join, renew or add RUSA to your ALA membership at Learn more about the association at


Leighann Wood

Membership Assistant

Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)

1-800-545-2433 ext.5837