Sharma named ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year

Contact: Megan Bielefeld
ACRL Program Coordinator

For Immediate Release
January 28, 2005

Sharma named ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year

CHICAGO - Dr. Ravindra Nath (R.N.) Sharma, director of the University Library at West Virginia State University in Institute, W.Va., is the 2005 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.

Sharma will receive a $3,000 award and a plaque on Monday, June 27, 2005, at 4:30 p.m., at a ceremony and reception during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Chicago.
YBP Library Services will sponsor the reception.

"The committee unanimously chose Dr. Sharma because of his unequaled contributions to the field of international librarianship," said award committee chair Edward A. Warro.
"He has sustained a distinguished record of writing books and journal articles as well as presentations which have made Americans and others more aware of global issues in librarianship.
He has served ALA, ACRL and the International Federation of Library Associations admirably by chairing and serving on many committees dealing with international issues."

The committee particularly admired Sharma's work with the United Negro College Fund and USAID to establish a partnership with the National University of Benin in West Africa. "He has produced an outstanding body of research and has also applied his research in meaningful, multicultural programs such as that in Benin.
Dr. Sharma has devoted his life to his work and his research and richly deserves this recognition," said Warro.

"I was nervous and speechless when President Frances Maloy called me," said Sharma.
"I am honored and pleased to win the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award. The bold and unanimous decision of the Award Committee has convinced me that hard work always results in recognition by your peers.
I am full of energy and will continue to contribute to the development of the profession and academic libraries for many more years."

Since 1982, Sharma has presented 25 papers at ACRL and ALA conferences and has served on more than 30 committees of ACRL and ALA.
He chaired the Asian, African and Middle Eastern Section (AAMES) of ACRL (2003-04) and was president of the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) (1993-94).
Sharma also has been involved in the ACRL International Relations Committee (1998-2002) and served as chair of the Near East and South Asia Committee, a sub-committee of the International Relations Committee (1996-98).
He was a member of the ACRL Research Committee (1989-93), and the Racial and Ethnic Diversity Committee (1997-98).
He is currently serving a term on the ACRL Standards & Accreditation Committee (2001-05).

At the 2004 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Sharma was instrumental in arranging for International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) President Kay Raseroka to speak at the ACRL Asian, African and Middle Eastern Section (AAMES) program.
This marked the first time that a standing IFLA president spoke at an ALA conference.
In 1992, Sharma played a key role in inviting and finding funding for six academic librarians from Australia, Brazil, England, India, Kenya and Russia to speak on "Research and Academic Librarians" at the 6th ACRL National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.
That same year, he chaired the American/South Asian Librarians Conference Committee for the Pre-IFLA Conference in New Delhi, India, which was attended by librarians and library educators from seven South Asian countries and a large delegation from the United States.

In 1997, Sharma received the Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award for his "significant achievements and contributions to International Librarianship."

Sharma received his B.A. with honors from the University of Delhi, Delhi, India, where he also earned his masters in history. He received his M.L.S. from North Texas State University and earned his Ph.D. in Information and Library Studies and Higher Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Previous award winners include Tom Kirk (2004); Ross Atkinson, (2003); Shelley Phipps, (2002); Larry Hardesty (2001); Sharon Hogan (2000); and Hannelore Rader (1999).

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, representing 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.