Ross Atkinson award given to Mary Case

For Immediate Release
Tue, 01/30/2018


Keri Cascio

Executive Director

Association for Library Collections & Technical Services

CHICAGO—The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) is pleased to name Mary Case, university librarian at the University of Illinois at Chicago, as the 2018 recipient of the Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award. The 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. The citation and monetary award, generously sponsored by EBSCO Information Services, will be presented at the ALCTS Awards Ceremony on June 23, 2018, during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans, La.

Mary Case’s exceptional career spans over 30 years beginning as a serials cataloger at Northwestern University and subsequent head of the department. She later became head of Serials and Acquisition Services at Northwestern and Director of Program Review and Special Projects. In 1996, she moved to the Association of Research Libraries as the Director of the Office of Scholarly Communication, a post she held until 2004. Mary has served as University Librarian at the University of Illinois at Chicago since 2004.  

As one of her nominators states, “As a long-time ALCTS member, I have had much opportunity for first-hand observation of her leadership in ALCTS, and of her role in developing an organization that prioritizes creation of new leaders and encouragement of broad participation in the issues we confront. As president, Mary emphasized improving our organizational structure to address member concerns and enhance opportunities to participate in multiple ways, while preserving aspects of the organization that gave members a professional ‘home.’ As a leader of ALCTS, she was and continues to be open, sensible, modest and smart, willing both to make immediate changes and to take a long view. Her concern for member experience and opportunity has been a constant element of her organizational work. We in ALCTS have been lucky to have her as a leader, and I consider myself lucky to have worked with her.”

Her extensive service to ALCTS includes elected and appointed positions including President-Elect, President and Past-President, director at large on the ALCTS Board of Directors, chair of the Serials Section (now Continuing Resources), chair of the ALCTS Nominating Committee, chair of the Publishing Review Task Group, and member of the Executive Director Search Committee. During her Presidency, ALCTS engaged in a self-examination, Re-Shaping ALCTS, which sought to re-define the association, expanded continuing education to online offerings, re-structured the Education Committee to become the Continuing Education Committee, and launched Preservation Week, the nationally recognized initiative to bring attention to the need to preserve personal cultural heritage.

Mary’s record of service to other organizations is without parallel. For ARL, she has served as President, chair of the Finance Committee, Membership Committee, Financial Strategies Task Force and Fair Use Working Group. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Chicago Collection, an organization of libraries, museums and archives that collaborate to preserve and share the history and culture of the Chicago region, serving as chair of the Board of Directors, Vice-President and Principal Investigator for an Andrew Mellon Foundation Grant. She is currently chair of the Greater Western Library Alliance, has served on its Board of Directors, is chair of CARLI, an Illinois consortium of academic libraries and is immediate past chair of the Council of Deans of the State University Libraries of Illinois.

She has published extensively, most notably in the area of scholarly communication in which she is widely considered an expert and continues to promote scholarly communication as a fundamental aspect of libraries. A much sought-after presenter and conference organizer, Mary most recently keynoted ELUNA and the President’s Program at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Mary has received numerous honors including an ALCTS Honors citation in 2015 for outstanding continuous service to ALCTS, the ALA David Clift Scholarship and a Beta Phi Mu Award for Outstanding Achievement. She is a member of Beta Phi Mu. She holds a B.A. degree in English, an M.A. in speech communication and an A.M.L.S. degree from the University of Michigan.

The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services 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.