LAUC-LA Librarian of the Year: Genie Guerard
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LAUC-LA 2004 Librarian of the Year Award
UCLA Faculty Center
May 6, 2004
The LAUC-LA Librarian of the Year award was established in 1993/94 to honor excellence in librarianship and extraordinary contributions to the teaching and research missions of UCLA. Four excellent candidates were nominated this year, all of whom showed remarkable talents and achievements. We are delighted to announce that this year's award goes to Genie Guerard.
The California Cultures is a collaborative project to create a large digital collection about ethnic groups in California and the West. Sponsored by the Online Archive of California (OAC), the project draws upon the extraordinarily rich resources of the University of California's special collections. Beginning in June, the digital collection will consist of 25,000 images and 50,000 pages of text, providing an online resource that can serve as the basis for historical studies, analysis, interpretation, and application to current events.
As Overall Project Manager for the system wide California Cultures Project and as the UCLA Library's local manager for the same project, Genie Guerard's remarkable work needs to be recognized. Through this project, Genie has tremendously enhanced the teaching and research mission not only of UCLA, but the entire University of California. She has also made pioneering contributions to library service that has important implications locally, nationally, and potentially, internationally.
In July of 2000, Genie was hired to manage the team of three charged with the retrospective conversion of the unit's 1700 finding aids, a huge and complex task. It was in the next year, 2001, that she was tapped to serve as Overall Project Manager of the nine-campus California Cultures project and to serve as the UCLA Library's local manager for the same project. In 2002, the longtime head of the Manuscripts Division retired. The retirement coincided with the worsening fiscal climate, and it was decided by library administration that Genie would add this additional demanding full-time position to what, in effect, was already two jobs. For a year and a half, then, Genie has been juggling three jobs.
One of Genie's most outstanding contributions to the project has been her online California Cultures Project Manual, which made it possible for other UC libraries to access and use. Genie's manual is remarkable for several reasons. First, Genie had no concrete sources on which to base the content of her manual. WebGenDB was under constant development during the course of her creation of the manual, and she, in fact, provided critical feedback to the programmers at Berkeley who were working on the software development. Second, Genie was simultaneously working as part of an OAC Working Group subcommittee to articulate a robust, forward-looking, operational content standard for digital object descriptions, something that simply did not exist at the time of her work on the California Cultures manual.
Genie Guerard's California Cultures Project work and the resulting contributions to the development of consortial digital library tools within the University of California are a gift to every UC library. Genie's contributions to the Online Archive of California's efforts to develop digital object standards and broadly available, easy-to-use tools to support digital object creation, and to the California Cultures Project's demonstration of the practical viability of those standards and tools, have been exceptional. That she has done all this with the support of only a small team of students while handling two other full-time jobs is simply remarkable. It should be clear that Genie embodies creativity, innovation, courage, and leadership.
In recognition of all of her attributes and invaluable contributions to the UCLA Library, we are very pleased to name Genie Guerard the 2004 LAUC-LA Librarian of the Year.
Presentation of the clock, flowers, and certificate.
At the request of the LAUC membership, Genie will also receive an extra $250 in professional development funds for the next fiscal year.