Maureen Sullivan named ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year

Contact: Megan Griffin
ACRL Program Coordinator
(312) 280-2514 

For Immediate Release
January 26, 2010

CHICAGO — Maureen Sullivan, owner of Maureen Sullivan Associates and Professor of Practice in the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science Ph.D. Program in Managerial Leadership, is the 2010 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.

Sullivan will receive a $5,000 award at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 26, at the joint ACRL/LLAMA Awards Presentation at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

"Maureen's career has been deeply influential across the spectrum,” said Barbara Jenkins, chair of the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award Committee and Director for Instruction and Campus Partnerships at the University of Oregon. “Her work in organizational development and strategic planning has had a unique and lasting impact on many individuals and organizations. Almost single handedly, she ushered academic libraries into the world of effective strategic planning - strategic planning that has had a significant impact on how we engage our students, faculty and others who use our libraries. She has been a model for others in how to reach out, mentor and engage new professionals and experienced colleagues."

“I am honored to receive this award,” said Sullivan. “It is especially meaningful because of all of the opportunities that ACRL and its members have given me throughout my career. I am very fortunate to have received support and guidance from so many colleagues in ACRL and in the profession.”

Over the course of her career, Sullivan has made an impact on the profession by providing personnel management, staff development and organizational development services to a long list of libraries across the country. She has also facilitated leadership development programs for individual libraries and library associations such as the Texas Library Association and Michigan Library Association. Sullivan was instrumental in the establishment of the ACRL/ Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians, teaching in the institute program for several years and serving as chair from 1999-2004.

Sullivan’s distinguished record of service to the profession includes serving as ACRL president from 1998-99 and as member of the association’s Board of Directors from 1997-2000. She served as an ex-officio member of the Harvard Leadership Institute Committee and was a member of both the ACRL 2003 and 2005 National Conference Planning Committees. Sullivan’s service to ALA includes co-chairing the Emerging Leaders Initiative from 2006-08 and acting as chair of the Minority Fellowship Program Advisory Board (1989-95).

In addition to her well-respected work as an organizational consultant, Sullivan is the author of several articles on management and organizational development including “Organization Development in Libraries,” published in Library Administration and Management (2004); “The Promise of Appreciative Inquiry in Library Organizations,” in Library Trends (2004) and “Total Quality Management in Higher Education,” in the Journal of Library Administration (1993).

Prior to founding her consulting practice in 1991, Sullivan served as Human Resources Administrator at the Yale University Library from 1983-91 and Management Training Program Specialist for the Association of Research Libraries from 1980-83. She worked at the University of Maryland-College Park as Assistant Personnel Librarian and Assistant Director of Libraries for Personnel from 1977-80. She began her appointment in the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science in 2006.

Sullivan received her B.A in History from the University of Maryland in 1974 and earned her M.L.S. from the University of Maryland in 1976.

The award dates back to 1978, and recent award winners include Gloriana St. Clair (2009); Peter Hernon (2008); Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson (2007); Ray English (2006); Ravindra Nath (R. N.) Sharma (2005); Tom Kirk (2004); Ross Atkinson, (2003); Shelley Phipps, (2002) and Larry Hardesty (2001).
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 nearly 13,000 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.