University of Houston Libraries honored outstanding librarians and staff at an awards ceremony this month, held at the MD Anderson Library Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion. Dean of Libraries Lisa German commended not only this year’s award recipients but all Libraries staff for their exemplary service and collaboration, contributing to the success of the Libraries.
The Dean’s Library Advocate Award was presented to Ruth Shapiro from the UH System Office of the General Counsel. This award recognizes an employee who has worked closely with the Libraries during the past year, and who has made a significant contribution to the success of the Libraries. Shapiro assisted the Libraries with several gift agreements and memoranda of understanding.
The Outstanding Group Award recognizes a group that has made a high-impact contribution to the Libraries. The Bridge2Hyku Grant Project Team, comprising Annie Wu, Santi Thompson, Andy Weidner, Todd Crocken, Sean Watkins, Leroy Vallejo, and Anne Washington, has developed tools and workflow solutions that will be shared with libraries nationwide that seek to move digital assets out of commercial management systems and into open software repositories.
Jamie Duke and Christina Gola received the Trailblazer Award for Leading Organization Change. They have worked together to revamp and streamline the processes of travel and reimbursement for the Libraries.
The John P. McGovern Librarian Rookie of the Year Award winner is Rachel Helbing, whose outstanding overall performance demonstrates rapid development toward becoming a valuable asset to our organization. She has been a “powerhouse” for health sciences, having been instrumental in opening the new Health Sciences Library, hiring a health sciences librarian, preparing for and supporting the medical school initiative, and providing library services to a number of departments.
Jerrell Jones is the McGovern Staff Rookie of the Year. Jones “hit the ground running” in his role in Metadata and Digitization Services (MDS). He established new workflows, hired students, and managed the Digitization Lab with knowledge, excitement, and innovation.
The Student Achievement Award recipients are Jennifer Castro (Research Materials Procurement) and Manuel Gutierrez (Special Collections). Castro’s supervisor describes her as a highly dependable, well-organized, and efficient team member who works exceptionally well with others. Gutierrez’s supervisor writes that he is a reliable and dedicated employee who demonstrates a positive, “get the job done” attitude.
The McGovern Outstanding Student Award went to Elizabeth Irvin-Stravoski. She has been central to the productivity and sustainability of the Digital Research Commons (DRC) and has been a foundational and stabilizing presence in the DRC since its inception. She was instrumental in developing and launching the inaugural Digital Scholarship Institute, and regularly teaches customized workshops for the UH research community.
Diana Dulek was honored with the Staff Achievement Award for her contributions to MDS. She excels in the Libraries’ highly collaborative environment and brings ideas and enthusiasm to any project. She has organized staff participation in the Out of the Darkness walk at UH, and is a co-captain for the UH Libraries March of Dimes team.
Manny Gill received the Staff Achievement Award for being a team-oriented coworker with a wonderful, positive attitude and a strong desire to learn. She goes above and beyond, serving on the Alma Migration Resource Management team and in Special Collections cataloging. Gill also frequently volunteers for University events.
The Librarian Achievement Award recipients are Bethany Scott and Santi Thompson. Scott has been instrumental in the migration of Special Collections finding aids from Archon to ArchivesSpace. She arranged the Archivematica Camp at UH Libraries, served on the technical team for the 2018 Harvey Memories Project, and co-chaired the Houston + Feminism Wiki edit-a-thon microgrant. She advised the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum on the disposition and processing of their archives, is an active member of the Archivists of the Houston Area group, and has served at the annual Houston Pride history tent, raising awareness of the LGBT History Research Collection. Scott also serves as a mentor for the ARL Fellowship for Digital and Inclusive Excellence Internship.
Thompson serves as a co-PI on the IMLS National Leadership Grant for the Bridge2Hyku project and is the PI on another IMLS award for the Digital Library Federation Assessment Interest Group. He has served on the Research and Scholarship Committee of Faculty Senate, the UH Open Access Implementation task force, and the Provost’s Travel Fund Committee. He has published in a number of well-respected journals. He regularly presents at national and international conferences. Thompson is a Futures Fellow for the Digital Library Federation and was the recipient of the Texas Digital Libraries Service Award.
Tim McGittigan is the recipient of the McGovern Outstanding Staff Award. He has mastered an impressive workload which includes overseeing circulation services, reference services, course reserves, interlibrary loan, collection management, staff hiring and supervision, and exhibits. He is recognized for his excellent relationships with students and patrons, having recently been honored at a performance of the UH choral program. McGittigan has been extraordinarily effective in managing the Music Library operations in the absence of a music coordinator for much of the past year.
Anne Washington received the McGovern Outstanding Librarian Award. Washington has demonstrated leadership in organizations on both the regional and national levels. She has served as programming co-chair for the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services Metadata Interest Group and as co-chair for the ALCTS/LITA Linked Library Data Interest Group. She was a committee member and organizer for the Linked Open Data in Libraries Archives and Museums Summit and a member of the Digital Library Federation Forum Programming Committee. She has also served on the National Information Standards Organization working group to address issues in vocabulary management. She currently serves as co-chair for the South Central States Fedora Users Group, which has made it possible for a community of practice around Fedora to emerge into the Texas Digital Libraries space. She has presented at high profile venues such as the American Library Association Annual Conference, the Digital Library Federation Forum, and the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative Annual Meeting. She has offered nineteen conference presentations over the last three years and has three articles due for publication this year.
The 2019 Staff Awards committee members are Erica Lopez, Emily Deal, Jamie Duke, J Fisher, Xiping Liu, Shawn Vaillancourt, Christin Zepeda, and ex officio members Christina Gola and Mark Cooper.