LAUC-LA 2005 Librarian of the Year Award
Librarian of the Year Award Presentation
UCLA Faculty Center
May 26, 2005
Remarks by Rhonda K. Lawrence
The LAUC-LA Librarian of the Year Award was established in 1993/1994 to recognize excellence in librarianship, particularly as it enhances library service and furthers the teaching and research mission of UCLA. The recipient of this award must have played a significant role in helping the UCLA Library meet the intellectual, cultural and information needs of the UCLA community. The recipient must also embody one or more of the following qualities: creativity, innovation, intellectual or moral courage, leadership, and scholarship.
Six excellent candidates were nominated this year, all of whom demonstrated remarkable talents and achievements. The Committee faced a very difficult decision. But one particular librarian’s accomplishments stood out even among this group of high achievers. In letters of nomination, this librarian has been described as one who thinks outside the box, and by example, encourages others to do the same. This librarian’s successful and creative leadership, sense of humor, and skillful powers of persuasion inspired many others to work toward the success of this project.
We are delighted to announce that the 2005 Librarian of the Year award goes to Eleanor Mitchell , in recognition for her efforts over the past four years to establish and develop the UCLA Library Information Literacy Initiative and Program.
Quoting extensively from the letters of nomination throughout my presentation, one person wrote:
“As Director of the UCLA Information Literacy Initiative, Eleanor Mitchell worked unstintingly to establish and lead the project from initiative to program, from episodic to programmatic, ubiquitous to the teaching and research mission of UCLA. Ingenuity, resourcefulness and above all, creative leadership have been hallmarks of Eleanor ’s approach.”
Eleanor has been heavily involved in the Initiative since its inception. In 2001 the UCLA Library’s Information Literacy Initiative was launched in response to a report--which she helped author--that a ssessed the level of information literacy among UCLA students as low. Eleanor developed three simple, yet ambitious goals for the initiative:
To increase awareness of information literacy concepts among members of the UCLA community, within the context of the changing information needs and environments;
To assess information literacy skills, knowledge and abilities at UCLA; and
To improve information literacy skills, knowledge and abilities at UCLA.
Her absolute commitment to the Information Literacy Initiative mission informed her extensive efforts to get as much faculty and administration buy-in as possible. She leveraged any and all opportunities she encountered to share information about the Information Literacy Initiative and engender more support for its goals. In the span of three years, despite the bureaucratic nature of the campus, and librarians’ lack of faculty status, she produced major accomplishments across all three of these multi-faceted goals. She did not just lead the Initiative from a good idea to a dynamic program; she participated in the work, honed her grassroots view of what was needed and important, and became its most passionate advocate. Her efforts have noticeably raised awareness of information literacy among librarians across campus, the library administration, and faculty. Further, Eleanor’s influence has extended beyond the UCLA realm. She has made local and national presentations on information literacy, and her stellar accomplishments have resulted in heightened recognition of the UCLA Library in the wider academic community. The Initiative has become a model, in particular, for other large research institutions.
Eleanor ’s charismatic leadership, her vision, and her dedicated focused efforts were the right combination at the right time. It is not an overstatement to say that without Eleanor Mitchell the Library would not have the infrastructure that now exists for the ongoing development, expansion and improvement of our information literacy program.
The Committee could think of no better way to recognize Eleanor ’s exceptional achievement than by naming her the LAUC-LA 2005 Librarian of the Year. Eleanor represents the best of librarianship
Eleanor , before you come forward to the podium, Sarah Barbara Watstein , Associate University Librarian for Research & Instructional Services, also has a few remarks.
[ Sarah Watstein ’s remarks]
And now, Eleanor , please come forward to accept your award.
The Certificate reads:
The Librarians Association of the University of California, Los Angeles is pleased to present the 2005 Librarian of the Year Award to Eleanor Mitchell , i n recognition of her exceptional ingenuity, creative leadership and vision in developing and successfully implementing the UCLA Library’s Information Literacy Initiative.
[Presentation of certificate, plaque, flowers]
At the request of the LAUC membership, Eleanor will also receive an extra $250 in professional development funds for the next fiscal year.
2004-2005 Committee on the LAUC-LA Distinguished Librarian Award
Rhonda K. Lawrence , Law, Head of Cataloging & Bindery, Chair
Catherine Lee , YRL, Librarian for East and South Asian Studies
Mike Randall , Biomed & YRL, Digital Serials
Elaine Shiner , Clark Library, Head of Cataloging
Rogers Brubaker, Sociology, Faculty Advisor