2017 - LAUC-LA Librarian of the Year - Zoe Borovsky

2017 LAUC-LA Librarian of the Year – Zoe Borovsky

The UCLA Library is pleased to announce that the winner of this year’s LAUC-LA Librarian of the Year Award is Zoe Borovsky.Portrait of Zoe Borovsky

Zoe is being recognized for her service to UCLA students, faculty, and librarians in the digital humanities through her work launching the Digital Research Start-Up Partnerships Program (DResSUP), as well as her international impact through her foundation of the Libraries and Digital Humanities Special Interest Group for the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations.

Zoe has been a visionary partner and leader to UCLA students, faculty, and librarians working in the digital humanities. In 2015 she began the DResSUP in order to train graduate students to use digital research tools. DResSUP connects researchers from different disciplines, who work in a team environment to learn tools to build their digital research skills. One sociology graduate student wrote about her experience in DResSUP: "As a DResSUP participant, I proposed to learn and implement a cutting edge machine-learning tool to analyze text data (Word2Vec) and to collect, manage, and clean news article data using Python. I finished DResSUP with all that and more. I was also exposed to a variety of new digital tools, such as web scraping, data cleaning and visualization, and tools for collaborative research. I also came out with a newfound and deep appreciation of UCLA Library and librarians." DResSUP was such a success that Zoe was awarded a $30,000 block grant from the UCLA Office for Research to support further advanced research data skills training. The next phase of DResSUP will be DResSUP for Librarians, a summer program for librarians to facilitate their own digital research projects.

A common theme throughout Zoe's nomination materials was her ability to bring people together from various backgrounds, experiences, and research interests. As one nominator put it, she brings "scholarship out of the silo of individual departments and disciplines and into wider spaces for transdisciplinary research that facilitates what might be called 'public humanities.'" This is certainly evident in the DResSUP initiative and her work with the Digital Humanities minor and graduate certificate, but we also honor Zoe's international impact through her foundation of the Libraries and Digital Humanities Special Interest Group for the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations, and her work in organizing and sponsoring library-related programming in the wider community of international digital humanities scholars.

The Librarian of the Year Award, established in 1993, recognizes excellence in librarianship that furthers the teaching and research mission of UCLA and responds to the intellectual, informational, and cultural needs of the university community. Candidates should embody one or more of the following: creativity, innovation, courage, leadership, and scholarship, as exemplified in achievements within the prior 12 to 18 months.