2016 RUSA and Section Achievement Award Winners Announced

RUSA has selected the winners of the 2016 achievement awards, which provide research and travel grants in recognition of  the nation’s most exceptional librarians, libraries and projects involving reference services today.

RUSA’s Achievement Awards are a chance to give praise to the most notable librarians, libraries and library research in reference services. These awards are of the highest honor and recognize invaluable contributions to the field.

The following recipients were selected:


Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award
Cheryl LaGuardia, research librarian at the Widener Library of Harvard University, has been named the 2016 winner of RUSA’s highest honor for her distinguished and multifaceted contributions to reference librarianship. Sponsored by Credo Reference. Credo-May2013

Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Services
The San José Public Library is the 2016 winner of the Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Services, which honors a library or library system for developing and imaginative and unique resource to patrons’ reference needs. Sponsored by ReferenceUSAReferenceUSA_Logo

John Sessions Memorial Award
The Center for Labor Education and Research, University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu was selected as this year’s winner. “The mission of the labor archive at the Center for Labor Education and Research (CLEAR) is to preserve labor history materials for future generations, protect the artifacts and make them accessible for public use, and defend the importance of working class history.” Sponsored by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO.

NoveList’s Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award
Dr. Mary K. Chelton, retired professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, Queen’s College, CUNY, was selected as this year’s winner. The award honors a librarian who has made significant contributions to library adult services. Sponsored by NoveListNovLogo_BW_Transparent

Reference Service Press Award
Denice Adkins, associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Information Science and Learning Technologies and C. Sean Burns, assistant professor, University of Kentucky School of Information Science, authored the winning  article, “Arizona Public Libraries Serving the Spanish-Speaking Context for Changes.” The article was first published in Fall of 2013, (Vol. 53, No. 1) of Reference and User Services Quarterly. This award is sponsored by Reference Service Press.


Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS)

BRASS Mergent Excellence in Business Librarianship Award
winner is Jared Hoppenfeld, business librarian at Texas A&M University, for his lasting service on many BRASS committees, his outstanding published works on topics relevant to academic and public business librarians, including “Information-Seeking Behaviors of Business Faculty,” the most-downloaded article of 2014 in the Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, and his continued support of business students, entrepreneurs and veterans. This award is sponsored by Mergent, Inc. MERGENT logo_color_eps copy

Global Financial Data Academic Business Librarianship Travel Award
winner is Ruth D. Terry, business and government information librarian, assistant professor at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, for her promising work in the area of academic business librarianship. This award is sponsored by Global Financial DataGlobalFinancialData_logo

BRASS Emerald Research Grant Award
winner is Lisa O’Connor, associate professor, School of Library and Information Science, University of Kentucky, for her study, “Why Aren’t Millennials Taking Stock?:  Assessing the Role of Information Literacy in Market Avoidance.” This award is sponsored by Emerald Group Publishingemerald_bar_logo

BRASS SimplyMap Student Travel Award
winner is Katherine Glasoe, student at the School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College for her potential to be very influential in the field of business librarianship and her impressive work and academic experience. Sponsored by SimplyMapSimplyMap Logo_wR

BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award
winner is Susan Wolf Neilson, librarian, Wake County Public Libraries (N.C.). Neilson was selected for her support of the business community through public library programming, librarian training and working with community business organizations to make her library a great resource for business owners and entrepreneurs. This award is sponsored by MorningstarMorningstar_logo

Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES)

Louis Shores Award
Multimedia & Technology Reviews, a publication of the Art Libraries Society of North America, was named the 2016 winner for its incisive, objectively written, critical reviews for a variety of free multimedia resources.

Zora Neale Hurston Award
Dr. Florita Bell Griffin, creative director of ARC Communications, LLC, a Texas-based Visual Art Communications and Publishing Company, was announced as the 2016 winner for her outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in promoting literacy and African American literature through the creation of the Little Flower literacy project. The Little Flower® project works to improve youth literacy, self-esteem, and imagination through the use of art, artistic media, and African American literature (storytelling). Sponsored by HarperCollins. Harper

Emerging Technologies Section (ETS)

ETS Achievement Recognition Award
Beth Boatright, information services and instruction librarian, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, was selected as the winner for her dedication and enthusiasm to ETS.

HISTORY Section (HS)

Gale Cengage History Research and Innovation Award
winner is Thomas G. Padilla, digital scholarship librarian, Michigan State University Libraries was selected as this year’s winner. Through oral histories, Padilla will create a better understanding of the past, present and future roles of librarians in the Digital Humanities. Sponsored by Gale CengageGaleCengageLearning_Logo

Genealogy / History Achievement Award
Michele C. McNabb, library manager, Genealogy Center, Museum of Danish America was selected for her exemplary service, support, leadership and contributions to the field of genealogical and local history librarianship. Sponsored by ProQuestProQuest

Reference Services Section (RSS)

RSS Service Achievement Award
Sarah J. Hammill, business and online learning librarian at Florida International University, was selected as the 2016 winner of the RSS Service Achievement Award. The award recognizes a member that has made exceptional contributions to RUSA’s Reference Services Section.

Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section (STARS)

Virginia Boucher-OCLC Distinguished ILL Librarian Award
Tina Baich, associate librarian and head of resource sharing and delivery services, bibliographic and metadata services, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis. Baich is honored for her outstanding and sustained contributions to the resource sharing community both nationally and internationally. Sponsored by OCLCOCLC_Logo_H_Color_NoTag

STARS-Atlas Systems Mentoring Award
Kimberly Steiner, interlibrary loan technician at Messiah College (Pa.).  Steiner was chosen because as the sole person in interlibrary loan at her library, attendance at the ALA Annual Conference would allow her to learn skills necessary to support users from Messiah College, an institution that is continually expanding their graduate programs; better understand the profession; and also network and learn from colleagues. Sponsored by Atlas Systems, Inc. Atlas Systems_logo

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.

Year’s most Outstanding Business Reference Sources announced by RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS)

BOSTON—The annual list of the most Outstanding Business Reference Sources was announced by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) Book and Media Awards Ceremony at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting.

Each year, the Business Reference Sources Committee of BRASS selects the outstanding business reference sources published since May of the previous year. This year, the committee reviewed 20 entries; of these, two were designated as “Outstanding,” seven were selected as “Notable,” and one was designated as a “Significant New Edition.”

To qualify for the award, the title must meet the conventional definition of reference: a work compiled specifically to supply information on a certain subject or group of subjects in a form that will facilitate its ease of use. With print reference materials being used less heavily in most cases, these works stood out based on their content, quality, and utility. The works are examined for the following: authority and reputation of the publisher, author, or editor; accuracy; appropriate bibliography; organization; comprehensiveness; value of the content; currency; unique addition; ease of use for the intended purpose; quality and accuracy of index; and quality and usefulness of graphics and illustrations. Each year, more electronic reference titles are published. Additional criteria for electronic reference titles are accuracy of links, search features, stability of content and graphic design. Works selected must be suitable for medium to large-size academic and public libraries.

The list includes:


Handbook of Digital Currency: Bitcoin, Innovation, Financial Instruments, and Big Data. Edited by David Lee Kuo Cheun. London: Academic Press, 2015.


Dictionary of Corporate Social Responsibility : CSR, Sustainability, Ethics and Governance. Samuel O. Idowu, editor-in-chief ; Nicholas Capaldi, Matthias S. Fifka, Liangrong Zu, René Schmidpeter, co-editors. Springer International Publishing, 2015.


The Oxford Handbook of Gender in Organizations. Edited by Savita Kumra, Ruth Simpson, and Ronald J. Burke. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014.

The Encyclopedia of the Industrial Revolution in World History. Edited by Kenneth E. Hendrickson III. Rowan & Littlefield.

Disaster Recovery, Crisis Response, and Business Continuity: A Management Desk Reference. By Jamie Watters. Apress, 2013.

Guide to Reference in Business and Economics.  Edited by Steven W. Sowards and Elisabeth Leonard. Chicago: American Library Association, 2014.

Handbook of Emerging Multinational Corporations.  Edited by Mehmet Demirbag and Attila Yaprak.  Cheltanham, UK and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015.

The Oxford Handbook of Management Theorists. Edited by Morgen Witzel and Malcolm Warner.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

The Investment Assets Handbook: A Definitive Practical Guide to Asset Classes. By Yoram Lustig. Harriman House Ltd., 2014.

Significant New Edition

Gower handbook of project management, 5th ed. Edited by Rodney Turner. Gower Publishing, Inc.

The Outstanding Business Reference Sources is produced by the BRASS Reference Resources Committee. Contributing members include Jordan Nielsen, selections editor; Ed Hahn, chair; Naomi Lederer nominations coordinator; Erin Wachowicz; Anthony Raymond; Glenn McGuigan; Valerie Freeman; and Suzanne Freeman.

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 www.ala.org/rusa.

BRASS 2016 Preconference: We want to hear from you!

The Chair of the BRASS Education Committee and the Preconference Planning Team invite you to take a short, 2-minute survey regarding what content YOU would like to see in the BRASS 2016 Preconference: “Business Data for Librarians.” The purpose of the survey is to help tailor the program to your interests. Participation is voluntary and open to all.

Survey Link: https://tamu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_benFP4s1Q0dLaGF

Questions, comments, or concerns may be directed to Ashley E. Faulkner (aefaulkner@library.tamu.edu), Chair, BRASS Education Committee.

Thank you in advance for your input!


RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section selects achievement award and grant winners

The Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of RUSA has selected the winners of the 2015 achievement awards, research and travel grants that recognize the profession’s most exceptional librarians, libraries and projects involving business reference services today.

The Academic Business Librarianship Travel Award, which consists of a citation and $1,250, is awarded to an individual new to the field of academic business librarianship in order to support attendance to the ALA Annual Conference. Grace Liu, business reference librarian at the University of Maine, was selected as this year’s recipient.

The Emerald Research Grant Award, sponsored by Emerald Group Publishing, consists of one $5,000 grant awarded to an individual or team seeking funding support to conduct research in business librarianship. Jason Dewland, assistant librarian and Cindy Elliott, engineering and innovation librarian, University of Arizona were selected for their study, “Review of Research Methods Employed by Start-Ups,” which will identify networks of new businesses that can be targeted for data collection and to identify the research practices and information needs of new start-up businesses.

The Gale Cengage Learning Excellence in Business Librarianship Award, sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning, offers $3,000 to a librarian providing outstanding business reference services. Peter Z. McKay, business librarian, University of Florida is this year’s winner for his innovative development of online business collection development, instructional resources, service to BRASS and his invaluable contributions to the profession.

The Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award, sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning, offers $1,250 in travel funds to the ALA Annual Conference and a one year BRASS membership to a student in an accredited MLIS program. Sara F. Hess, MLIS candidate, University of Michigan School of Information, was named as this year’s recipient.

The Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award, sponsored by Morningstar, offers $1,250 to a public librarian providing business reference services so they may attend the ALA Annual Conference. Barbara Alvarez, business liaison librarian, Barrington Area Library (Illinois) was selected for her extensive range of activities in support of the local business community, including one-on-one appointments to assist business professionals and entrepreneurs, podcasts, as well as maintaining a business blog and a SlideShare account with business database tutorials.

“Congratulations to this year’s BRASS award winners. We look forward to celebrating with them in June at the RUSA Awards Reception. I would like to sincerely thank the members of our award committees for their hard work in selecting the winners and to all of our generous sponsors for their support,” said BRASS Chair Todd Hines. “We know that vendors have many options for spending their outreach money and we are extremely appreciative to the BRASS award sponsors: Gale Cengage Learning, Emerald Group Publishing and Morningstar.”