LAUC-LA Librarian of the Year: Vicki Steiner
2014 Librarian of the Year
Librarian of the Year Award Presentation
UCLA Young Research Library Conference Center
April 7, 2014
Remarks by Michael Oppenheim
Good afternoon. I’m Michael Oppenheim, of the Rosenfeld Management Library. I am here on behalf of the 2014 LAUC-LA Librarian of the Year Award Committee, also known as “LOTY” [“lottie”]. First I must recognize and thank the other sterling members of this year’s committee—Cheryl Kelly Fischer of the Law Library, Iman Dagher of the Cataloging and Metadata Center, and Dr. Linda Sarna, Professor, Lulu Wolf-Hassenplug Endowed Chair in Nursing, and immediate Past Chair of the UCLA Academic Senate. Prof. Sarna regrets very deeply that she cannot be here this afternoon, due to a prior teaching and speaking commitment in China.
In addition to thanking the Committee, I also wish to reiterate publicly my profound appreciation for three additional invaluable colleagues—LAUC-LA Chair, David Cappoli, LAUC-LA Parliamentarian, Ken Wade, and Angela Riggio, who is surely the hardest-working “Immediate Past LOTY Chair” ever. As always-insightful and sympathetic sounding boards and peerless sources of good humor and unflagging moral support, they have earned my boundless gratitude.
The charge of the Librarian of the Year Award Committee is to solicit, receive, and review nominations for the LAUC-LA Librarian of the Year Award. This year, 2014, marks the 20th anniversary of this award, which was originally established to recognize excellence in librarianship at UCLA, particularly as that excellence enhances library service and furthers the teaching and research mission of the University. The recipient of this Award thus must embody one or more of the following traits—creativity, innovation, intellectual or moral courage, leadership, or scholarship—as exemplified in their achievements within a period of the past 12 to 18 months.
Although this is my first year of service on the LOTY Committee, I can scarcely imagine that past committees could have faced the overwhelming embarrassment of riches that comprised the 2014 nominees. Beyond question, UCLA librarians accomplish an astonishing range of tasks, and boast luminous achievements across a similarly wide range. However, the committee is charged with selecting a single award winner—one whose signal achievements within the last 12 to 18 months rise to heights even higher than those achieved by other brilliant nominees. Thus, we selected a librarian for the award whose achievement—genuinely “game-changing,” in the eloquent estimation of Prof. Sarna, for the community she serves, for UCLA, for the University of California, for scholarship in general—a librarian who truly embodies every one of those traits I mentioned a few minutes ago: creativity, innovation, leadership, scholarship, intellectual and moral courage. I am privileged and delighted to announce that the 2014 LAUC-LA Librarian of the Year, from the UCLA Law Library, is Vicki Steiner.
I can say that I believe the statement on Vicki’s citation best encapsulates the achievement for which we are recognize her, because another member of the Committee wrote the citation: We are pleased to present this award to Vicki Steiner “in recognition of her exceptional leadership, dedication, and creativity in galvanizing an Open Access publishing initiative in the UCLA School of Law, giving it the credibility necessary to convince the Law School community of the value of the initiative, increasing the visibility and scholarly impact of legal scholarship, restoring the Law School’s print journals to a more stable financial state, and lending credibility to the University of California’s eScholarship platform.”
As Professor Sarna observed in the course of our deliberations, her year as Chair of the UCLA Academic Senate, 2013/14, was THE year for Open Access: the UC Academic Senate passed an Open Access policy in July, 2013, and in the following November, faculty at UCLA began to deposit articles in eScholarship. Although many UCLA librarians and UCLA library staff members have worked diligently, for years, to promote Open Access, I believe Vicki’s tireless, selfless, paradigm-shifting work within the Law School may be said to rise head and shoulders above all other similar achievements. And of course Vicki characteristically deflects all the credit to those with whom she has worked, within the Law Library, the Law School—encompassing Law School administrators as well as the student law review staffs—and the UCLA Graduate Students Association Publications Office.
Because each of the 12 student-edited law journals operates independently, Vicki needed to convince each one to move to eScholarship—a new and unproven model. If I may borrow the way one of her nominators stated it, Vicki achieved phenomenal success, “as all but one of our journals are now committed to open access publication, with six either having already published via eScholarship or having built an eScholarship site http://wwww.escholarship.org/uc/uclalaw"Vicki’s work has not only rescued from financial ruin the Law School’s journals but has also vastly increased their visibility and scholarly impact by extending their reach to other disciplines and countries.” [This is why Prof. Sarna acclaimed Vicki’s achievement as truly “game-changing” for potentially all scholarship, worldwide.] “Moreover, the movement of the Law School’s journals to an electronic publishing model is lending credibility to the eScholarship platform and spurring other campus journals to move to open access publication.”
I could easily go on and on, but you can read all the details in the chapter Vicki co-authored on “Open Access to Legal Scholarship” in the 2014 book Law Librarianship in the Digital Age (http://catalog.library.ucla.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=7333012) —copies of which are currently checked out from both the Law Library and the Young Research Library.
On behalf of LAUC-LA, I am profoundly honored and privileged to present Vicki with an Award certificate enumerating her accomplishments. LAUC-LA is also pleased to present Vicki with this engraved clock, a non-engraved but sustainable plant, and an additional $500 in professional development funds.
Chair, 2014 LAUC-LA Librarian of the Year Award Committee