Gloriana St. Clair receives award

Dean of University Libraries Gloriana St. Clair received the 2009 ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year award today at the opening keynote session of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) 14th National Conference in Seattle.

The ACRL Librarian of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding member of the library profession who has made a significant national or international contribution to academic/research librarianship and library development. St. Clair is the 32nd person to have earned this prestigious award, the highest honor in librarianship.

In an unusual twist – and a delightful moment for Carnegie Mellon – Associate Dean of Libraries and this year’s president of ACRL Erika Linke introduced the award presentation.

Linke’s remarks noted: “Gloriana St. Clair has a distinguished record of service to the profession. Prior to being named dean of University Libraries at Carnegie Mellon, St. Clair served as associate dean for information access services at Penn State University’s Pattee Library from 1990-98, assistant director for technical, automation and administrative services at the Kerr Library at Oregon State University from 1987-90 and head of the Acquisition Division at Texas A & M University, among other positions in her career.

She has contributed to the body of scholarship and scholarly communication by serving as editor of three prestigious journals—College & Research Libraries, Journal of Academic Librarianship, and portal: Libraries & the Academy. During her tenures as editor, she was responsible for publishing many groundbreaking contributions to the body of scholarly literature in academic and research librarianship.

In addition to her work as an author, editor and scholar, St. Clair has served as director of the Universal Library Project since 1999. A broad coalition of libraries and computer scientists in the United States, India and China, the project aims to digitize 1 million scholarly volumes and make them freely available online. To date, 1.6 million volumes have been digitized. St. Clair’s contributions to the project include co-authoring more than $3.5 million in funding grants.

She has contributed to the future of the profession by serving as an adjunct professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, teaching academic library management. Her experience as an educator also includes teaching in the Carnegie Mellon University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Department of Management at the University of Texas at San Antonio and serving as an assistant professor in the English Department at the College of Charleston.”

St. Clair’s response focused on thanking her colleagues in ACRL and in the various libraries and universities she has served: “I want to begin by thanking the Association for this stunning award. ACRL actually made me the person who won the award by believing in me in 1990 when they selected me to be the first and only woman to edit College & Research Libraries. Most of my other accomplishments were based on my having held that very prestigious gate-keeping position. Later, at portal, we sought to alter our gate-keeping results by giving assistance to potential authors.

Also I want to thank both my librarian and university colleagues at Texas A & M University, Oregon State University, Penn State University, and Carnegie Mellon University. Librarianship relies on teamwork. Having quality colleagues to work with has been an essential to my success.

One of my Carnegie Mellon campus colleagues told the folks in my beauty shop that I had won the Nobel Prize of Librarianship. I suspect that the Nobel often requires less teamwork than the Librarian of the Year award does.

Finally, I want to thank the National Science Foundation for funding the million book project … it isn’t often that they invest in libraries. And the Qatar Foundation for funding my current digitization project for the Heritage Library in Qatar. The digital future of libraries is giving more people more access to more resources worldwide. And that’s a wonderful thing. Thank you all.”

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