Abbott named 2010 Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Conference Sponsorship Award winner

Contact: Megan Griffin

ACRL Program Coordinator



For Immediate Release,

February 2, 2010

CHICAGO – Thomas E. Abbott, dean of libraries and distance learning at the University of Maine at Augusta, has been named the 2010 recipient of the Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Conference Sponsorship Award. This annual award, sponsored by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group and administrated by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Distance Learning Section (DLS), honors an ACRL member working in the field of, or contributing to the success of, distance learning librarianship or related library service in higher education.

Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group will present the $1,200 award and plaque at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington D.C.

“Thomas Abbott has been a leader in the field of distance learning for well over 20 years,” said Jerilyn Marshall, chair of the DLS award committee and head of the Reference and Instructional Services Department at the University of Northern Iowa’s Rod Library. “The award committee was impressed with his record of achievement in administrative leadership, distance learning program development and mentoring. For many years he has been an active participant and leader in DLS, including service as chair and as a member of many section committees.

Prior to becoming dean of libraries and distance learning at the University of Maine at Augusta in 2005, Abbott was dean of libraries and instructional support at the same institution from 1998-2005. He was chair of the University of Maine System Library Directors’ Council from 2003-2008 and served as director of library/learning resources at the University of Maine at Augusta from 1986-1998. Since 1990, Abbott has served on numerous DLS committees and was chair of the section in 1996-97.

Abbott’s many professional accomplishments include serving as the project administrator and primary author of a new Associate Degree Program in Library and Information Services, the University of Maine at Augusta’s first degree program designed specifically for Web-based delivery worldwide for library support staff. He simultaneously coordinated statewide satellite delivery of a master’s degree in Library and Information Science program from the University of South Carolina. The program is now in its fourth cohort.

Abbott additionally developed the concept and program for the statewide Off-Campus Library Services for students and faculty in the Educational Network of Maine/University College Services, which is now administered by his university for the University of Maine System.

Since 2004, Abbott has served as an editorial board member for the Journal of Library and Information Services in Distance Learnin
g. He was an editorial/advisory board member for Educational Pathways, a monthly electronic newsletter about the latest developments in higher education distance learning and teaching from 2003 - 2005. His publications include “Filling the Void: An Academic Library’s Experience Developing an Associate Degree in Library and Information Technology for Distance Education Students,” in College and Research Libraries News (November 1997) and author of the book chapter "Distance Education and Off-Campus Library Services: Challenges for the Accreditation Process and Librarians" in “Challenge and Practice of Academic Accreditation, A Handbook for Information Professionals” published in1994 by Greenwood Publishing Group.

Abbott received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Maine, Orono, in 1972, and his Master of Education in Counseling and Administration from the University of Southern Maine in 1976. He earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education Management, with a minor in Organizational Studies, from Boston College in 1989.


ACRL is a division of the American Library Association, representing more than 12,500 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.