For immediate release | March 3, 2016

LaGuardia named winner of RUSA’s highest honor for achievements in reference services

CHICAGO-- Cheryl LaGuardia, research librarian at the Widener Library of Harvard University, has been awarded the 2016 Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award, RUSA’s highest honor for her distinguished and multifaceted contributions to reference librarianship.

Sponsored by Credo Reference, the award consists of $5,000 and a citation which will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando.

The 1998 winner of the Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award, James Rettig, describes her as “a catalyst for connections within the profession in multiple ways.” “Supporters describe her as ‘engaged’ and ‘innovative’ while her contributions are ‘thoughtful,’ ‘entertaining,’ ‘imaginative,’ and ‘constructive’. Faculty and librarians laud her effective innovations in instruction practices, and her willingness to mentor other librarian in these techniques,” said award chair Denise Beaubien Bennett.

Her Not Dead Yet blog in Library Journal and a chain of reviews, articles, and books published throughout her career address issues of concern to all librarians, beginning with her early advocacy of CD-ROMs and online databases and reflecting the profession’s need to evolve with continuous change in the world of reference. She has kept Magazines for Libraries relevant since she took over its editorship in 2002, and she has mentored countless librarians by drawing them into the reviewing and writing process for the resource on which many libraries rely for purchasing and cancelation decisions. Her solid critical judgment is reflected throughout her contributions.

Cheryl received her B.S. in Literature from the State University of New York at Oneonta, and her M.L.S. from the State University of New York at Albany.

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


Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)