The Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) 2023 award winners
James Bennett Child Award
The recipient of the 2023 James Bennett Child Award is Stephen M. Hayes, retired Entrepreneurial Spirit Endowed Business Librarian and Director, Thomas Mahaffey, Jr. Business Library at University of Notre Dame. The Childs Award is a tribute to an individual who has made a lifetime and significant contribution to the field of documents librarianship, and is based on stature, service, and publications.
During his tenure of over four decades at the University of Notre Dame, Steve, who transitioned from a Government Documents/Reference Librarian to Business Services Librarian, always maintained a strong commitment to the promotion and use of open access government information. He served on and chaired numerous GODORT committees, including Chair, 1987-1988. Steve’s work with ALA’s Committee on Legislation Subcommittee on Government Information and the ALA Ad Hoc Task Force on Restrictions on Access to Government Information was particularly noteworthy because his service occurred during a period when access to government information was threatened by political and economic restrictions with the government. Steve also chaired the GODORT Reorganization Committee. Steve’s dedication and advocacy of government information is also evidenced by having served two terms 1994-1996 and 2010-2013 on the Depository Library Council to the Public Printer. One of Steve’s nominators said, “Steve always made his point in such a manner that you knew where he stood yet always appreciate his passionate arguments without anger or bitterness.” Another nominator remarked “in short, the modernization of GODORT and the Depository Program owes much to Steve Hayes.”
ProQuest/GODORT/ALA “Documents to the People" Award
Stephani (Nia) Rodgers, Public Affairs Research Librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University is the 2023 recipient of the ProQuest/GODORT/ALA “Documents to the People" Award which honors an individual, library, institution, or other non-commercial group that has most effectively encouraged the use of government documents in support of library service. Nia’s nomination letters focused on her podcast entitled Civil Discourse and her Constitution Day series. Her Civil Discourse podcast was one of the first of its kind on the Virginia Commonwealth University campus and an early entry in the library podcast lineup. The podcast has more than 150 episodes which have been downloaded over 13,300 times covering a multitude of topics-federal budgets, national parks, the post office, elections, COVID-19 vaccinations, and even NORAD’s Santa tracker. The content is presented as a conversation in accessible language, and as one listener commented, it’s “informative, interesting, and just fun to listen to.” Nia has coordinated a thriving Constitution Day series that has built an audience that averages 60 attendees a year, with the same or more for recorded sessions. Partnering with local experts, Nia facilitates engaging discussions on the Constitution. Nia’s enthusiasm for government information has been described by more than one nominator as “contagious.” One nominator remarked, “People come away from interactions with Nia and the programming she creates with a deep appreciation for library services and government information, and for her.”
NewsBank/Readex/GODORT/ALA Catharine J. Reynolds Research Grant
The recipient of the 2023 NewsBank/Readex/GODORT/ ALA Catharine J. Reynolds Award is Marie Concannon, Head of Government Information & Data Archives at the University of Missouri, Columbia for her website, Prices and Wages by Decade. This award provides funding for research in the field of documents librarianship, or in a related area that would benefit the individual’s performance as a documents librarian or make a contribution to the field. Prices and Wages by Decade is a LibGuide hosted by the University of Missouri Library. The guide provides over 19,000 links leading to retail prices and wages found mostly in government publications that may not be easily discoverable without the guide. As one nominator commented, “The transformative nature of this project is in its use of freely-available, full-text digitized government publications.” In 2021, Prices and Wages by Decade received over 850,000 page views from visitors in 185 countries. Concannon plans to use the stipend to employ a student assistant to add more links and streamline the site for enhanced usability. She would also like to add more earnings data by race and more 19th century wage data for states having large minority populations.
Bernadine Abbott Hoduski Founders Award
The Bernadine Abbott Hoduski Founders Award recognizes documents librarians who may not be known at the national level but who have made significant contributions to the field of state, international, local, or federal documents. This award recognizes those whose contributions have benefited not only the individual’s institution but also the profession. This year the Awards Committee selected three recipients.
Mary Sine Clark is being recognized for her contribution to state documents although her accomplishments over the past three decades cover a range of activities that have impacted access to government information and the Federal Depository Library Program. Mary successfully shifted the Virginia Depository Program from print-based to an all-electronic, print-on-demand distribution system that has had a tremendous and positive impact within the Virginia documents community. She served as a technical advisor to the Virginia General Assembly Joint Subcommittee Studying the Public Records Act from 2004-2006 which led to an updated definition of a “publication” in the Code of Virginia to include digital materials which ultimately expanded the State Publications Depository Program. The Library of Virginia now stores all Virginia government publications in the VLa DigiTool repository for State Publications. Under Mary’s guidance, the Library of Virginia catalogs all state publications (print and digital) and provides this cataloging to the Virginia State Depository Libraries-saving the libraries money and providing access to this valuable information.
Ben Amata, Librarian, California State University Sacramento is being recognized for his contribution to federal documents. Ben has worked with state and federal documents since 1980. Ben has long been a champion of freedom of information as demonstrated by his efforts to identify and publicize federal government documents related to current events. His frequent posts to Govdoc-l to inform colleagues about newly released public documents are a great service to the profession. His diligence in identifying unreported government publications (formerly known as “fugitive documents”) and asking GPO to include theme in the Catalog of Government Publications (CGP) has been extremely valuable. In addition to his beneficial and ongoing work of Govdoc-L, Ben has published over a dozen articles on federal and international government information over the years.
James Church, Librarian for Economic, Global Studies, Political Economy, and International Government Information at University of California, Berkeley is being recognized for his contributions to international documents. He has demonstrated his leadership and expertise in teaching, learning, researching, writing, and advocacy work with international government organizations (IGO’s) and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) for over twenty years. One nominator commented, “His articles and response posts to questions on GOVDOC-L and INTLDOC-L shed a light onto the problems around access to IGO information as well as provide useful instruction on how to approach answering a question. They are edifying in such a way that any new or even an “accidental government information librarian” could use his writings as a primer for international documents librarianship.”
Margaret T. Lane/Virginia F. Saunders Memorial Research Award
The 2023 Margaret T. Lane/Virginia F. Saunders Memorial Research Award is awarded to the editors of the article, The Government Information Landscape and Libraries published via the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Repository. The authors are Dr. Kay Cassell, James Church, Kathryn Tallman, Nerisa Kamar, Dr. Clive Tsuma, Susan Paterson, Dr. Mohammad Zuheir Bakleh, Lize Denner, Anna Mastora, Maria Koloniari, Maria Monopoli, Jungwon Yang, Anastasia A. Drozdova, Hannah Chandler, Jennie Grimshaw, Fiona Laing, Kian Flynn, Cass Hartnett, Maya Swanes and Robert Lopresti. This award is given annually to an author(s) of an outstanding published research in which government information form a substantial part of the documented research. The report illustrates the challenges and complexities posed by government publishing systems and the need to maintain professional government information expertise in libraries to help users discover and interpret it. Megan Price, Professional Support Officer of IFLA, summarizes: “In addition to its value to professionals working within the field, the publication also provides a valuable support for advocacy and engagement in wider open government discussions. It has already received a warm reception from UNESCO, and has formed the basis for engagement at the African Union’s African Regional Peer Review Mechanism. Through this, we are able not only to show the knowledge and insight of libraries in questions of open government, but also advocate for our institutions to be given a stronger role in delivering it, and the resources to match.”