LAUC-LA Librarian of the Year 2010: Toshie Marra
UCLA Faculty Center
Remarks by Ruby Gutierrez
Hello Everyone. My name is Ruby Gutierrez and I am speaking to you on behalf of the 2010 LAUC-LA Librarian of the Year Award Committee or LOTY, consisting of Kris Kasianovitz from YRL CRIS, Sharon Benamou from the Cataloging and Metadata Center, and our faculty representative, the Past-Chair of the UCLA Academic Senate, Professor Michael S. Goldstein.
The LOTY Committee solicits, receives, and reviews nominations for the LAUC-LA Librarian of the Year Award. The Award was established in 1993 to recognize excellence in librarianship at UCLA, particularly as it enhances library service and furthers the teaching and research mission of the University. Award recipients must also embody one or more of the following, as exemplified in achievements with the prior 12 to 18 months: creativity, innovation, intellectual or moral courage, leadership, and scholarship.
It is a difficult task for the Committee to pick and choose among so many nominees, with quite a diverse range of achievements in many areas. There are so many good librarians at UCLA, doing excellent work during the course of their duties. Yet it is the task of the Committee to select a librarian whose accomplishments stands out among his/her peers. In the end we selected a librarian for the Award whose outstanding accomplishments illustrate the many ways that librarians can have a lasting impact on the Library, on students, on faculty, on the University, on scholarly communities nationally and internationally, and on the general community. I am delighted to announce that the librarian who exemplified these qualities is Toshie Marra from the Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library. I have the honor of telling you about her accomplishments, drawn largely from the letters of nomination and support, as well as supporting documentation.
Toshie was nominated primarily for her outstanding leadership, courage, and perseverance in her efforts on the behalf of the UCLA Library in the purchase of the microform edition of the Gordon W. Prange Collection on the United States occupation of Japan. The collection contains magazine and newspapers covering the dates 1945 to 1949, and is held by the University of Maryland and is part of the Prange Archive. As noted by the nominators, the collection contains many items that are no longer extant in Japan. As stated by one of the nominators “It is a truly unique resource of an important period of history that will help establish UCLA as one of the center for research on postwar Japanese history.” Another nominator pointed out that “This puts UCLA on the map, along with such other central library collections as those at Harvard and Berkeley and Michigan, as a “research destination” for Japanese Studies...the collection will also be invaluable to diplomatic historians and international relations scholars interested in that period of American foreign policy.”
The nominators recognized that it took the concerted effort by the Library administration in the actual purchase of the microform collection, but it was Toshie’s role on the library’s behalf that demonstrated her leadership, courage, and perseverance. The quality of leadership was demonstrated by her initial work to organize a consortium of UC libraries to share the purchase of the microform edition from Proquest. Despite budgetary constraints that caused the other libraries to drop out, Toshie was not deterred from her mission. Her courage and perseverance was noted in her efforts in pushing the idea of a UCLA-only purchase of the full collection, at a price that the library could afford. She organized a presentation of the collection to faculty and students by Proquest as well as brought the faculty and the Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies into the process. By building on her relationship with the Center and faculty, Toshie was also able to obtain additional support by the Center for the purchase of special storage cabinets and for a new microform reader. The Center also agreed to provide a visiting researcher fellowship to pay for outside scholars to visit UCLA to use the Prange Collection.
Toshie’s accomplishments, however, was not limited to her work with the Prange Collection. She is also being recognized for her efforts in the establishment of reciprocal library privileges between UCLA and Japanese universities. As pointed out by one of the nominators, “it is an absolutely vital element in carrying out fieldwork. We rely on access to archives in Japan for our research...Ms. Marra has established a program that allows for UCLA faculty to have reading and borrowing privileges at the library on par with local faculty.”
We thank Toshie for her exceptional accomplishments and hope you will join us in congratulating her on an Award well deserved.
LAUC-LA is delighted to present an Award certificate outlining these accomplishments to Toshie Marra. LAUC-LA is also pleased to present Toshie an engraved clock, an additional $250 in professional development funds, and a sustainable gift, a plant.
Congratulations to Toshie Marra.
Chair, 2010 LAUC-LA Librarian of the Year Award Committee