For immediate release | May 15, 2023

Stephen Hearn Awarded 2023 Margaret Mann Citation

Stephen Hearn has been selected as the recipient of the 2023 Margaret Mann Citation, sponsored by OCLC and Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures. He is retired from the position of Metadata Strategist in the Technical Services Department, University Libraries at the University of Minnesota.

The Margaret Mann Citation recognizes outstanding professional achievement in cataloging or classification for notable publications; outstanding contributions to professional cataloging associations; outstanding contribution to the technical improvement of cataloging and classification; and outstanding contributions in the area of teaching cataloging and classification. It includes a $2,000 scholarship donated in the recipient’s honor by OCLC, Inc. to the library school of the winner’s choice. Hearn has chosen the Library and Information Science program at St. Catherine’s University to be the recipient of this year’s scholarship award.

After carefully considering this year’s accomplished pool of nominees, the selection committee chose Hearn as the 2023 Citation recipient due to his impact on cataloging practice and standards at both the local, national, and international levels. The committee agreed unanimously that Hearn’s work at the University of Minnesota Libraries and on national programs, such as PCC and NARDAC, has had tremendous impact on the field of cataloging and classification. The Mann Citation Committee Chair, Karen Snow, said, “Members of the committee expressed appreciation for the immense impact Hearn made in various service roles, cataloging documentation, and mentoring catalogers.”

When notified of his selection, Hearn said, “Library metadata work is grounded in community efforts and collegial relationships. I'm honored to receive the Margaret Mann Citation, and profoundly aware of how much my work has depended on the work and the wisdom of many others. Thank you for this award and for the countless moments of fascination, enlightenment, and joy my career in metadata work has afforded me."

Hearn’s nomination letter emphasized his outstanding service to the cataloging profession, including chairing North American RDA Committee (NARDAC), the body responsible for representing the North American community in the development of the Resource Description and Access (RDA) content standard, and serving on numerous Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) task groups and committees.

His colleagues note that Hearn’s intellectual imprint can be seen everywhere in the work of the groups he has served on. For example, in the final report of the PCC Task Group for Coding Non-RDA Entities in NARs, he contributed an important section on the difficult issues surrounding pseudonyms and attribution. His explanation of the issues there is characteristically probing and subtle. Much of his contribution to what we may call the intellectual life of the cataloging profession has taken place not only in committee reports, or in publications, but also in his frequent participation in online forums such as PCCLIST. There cannot be many PCC catalogers who have not benefited at one time or another from his thoughtful advice. In forums where discussions can often become fractious, Hearn has always been a model of collegiality and open-mindedness, always seeking not to win an argument but to advance the discussion.

Michelle Durocher, a member of the NACO Identity Management Task Group, and PCC Liaison to the International Standard Name Identifier--International Agency, has seen Hearn’s influence on group discussions at close hand and describes it in these terms:

"I appreciated how Stephen could express agreement and disagreement with the same individuals in a given discussion, thereby positioning himself clearly outside of factions. This impressed upon me the sincerity of his opinions and ideas, which I could then engage with without defensiveness. Stephen contributed positively toward making even difficult conversations collegial and respectful."

His colleagues also state that Hearn has been a valued contributor to numerous OCLC community endeavors, including two of its most prominent linked data platform explorations, Project Passage and the Shared Entity Management Infrastructure (SEMI) project, as well as being a long-time participant in the RLP Metadata Managers Focus Group, in which he served as a member of the Planning Group. OCLC’s Mercy Procaccini wrote, on the occasion of Hearn’s retirement, “Your enthusiasm for engaging in and facilitating a wide range of topics related to metadata greatly enriched the group’s discussions over the years. Your willingness to ask thoughtful, big picture questions about metadata has helped move the field forward, spurring peers and colleagues to zoom out and consider larger questions about the work we do and support.”

Hearn’s record of professional service reflects the demand for his expertise in the cataloging community. He was often consulted on questions of RDA implementation, authority workflow, and related system functionality, as is evidenced by his invited participation in numerous regional events. Although Hearn did not pursue a career as an educator, he has given notable service as a cataloging trainer, above all in the advanced areas of NACO and RDA. In his role as Authority Coordinator at the University of Minnesota Libraries, he has trained and mentored numerous catalogers to become full-fledged NACO contributors. His colleagues noted that his clear and thorough explanation of authority principles, and exhaustive but considerate review of records has helped many toward deeper understanding and confidence in creating authority records. He has expanded this reach to train catalogers at non-PCC libraries in the Minnesota region, and has generously offered to continue NACO review for those who did not complete the process prior to his retirement.

Members of the 2023 Margaret Mann Citation Committee are: Karen Snow (chair), Lori Cisney, Jill Crane, and Catherine Sassen.

About Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures

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OCLC is a nonprofit global library cooperative providing shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC's WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world's collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff and partners make breakthroughs possible.


Amber Robbin

Membership and Marketing Manager

American Library Association

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