For immediate release | March 3, 2016

Padilla, McNabb named award winners for historical and genealogical research and achievements

CHICAGO—The History section of RUSA has selected the winners of its two achievement awards honoring librarians and their contributions to the fields of genealogical and historical research and services.

The Gale Cengage History Research and Innovation Award winner is Thomas G. Padilla, digital scholarship librarian, Michigan State University Libraries. Digital Humanities research is often based on the effort of multiple people coming from a range of professional and disciplinary contexts. Padilla writes, “Individual libraries have histories of their own involvement in the digital humanities, but no effort has been made to capture these histories across the community, unite them into a common context, and begin to tell the story of how, why, and for how long librarians have been contributing to the Digital Humanities.” Through oral histories, Padilla will create a better understanding of the past, present and future roles of librarians in the Digital Humanities. Sponsored by Gale Cengage, the award offers a citation and $2,500 to facilitate and further research relating to history and history librarianship.

The Genealogy / History Achievement Award winner is Michele C. McNabb, library manager, Genealogy Center, Museum of Danish America for her exemplary service, support, leadership and contributions to the field of genealogical and local history librarianship. Initiatives she’s undertaken include the establishment of the Digital Library of Danish American Newspapers and Journals which includes four newspapers and a collection of scrapbooks which total over 15,500 pages, which were digitized using Res Carta and are easily searched for free from the center’s website. Sponsored by ProQuest, this award presents a citation and $1,500 to a librarian to recognize professional achievement in genealogical and historical reference and research.

The RUSA Achievement Awards Ceremony and Reception will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 26 at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando. All conference attendees are invited to the event. Additional event details will be available on the conference website in April.

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), 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. Learn more about the association at


Leighann Wood

Membership and Awards Program Specialist

American Library Association

Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)