The Federal Library and Information Network (FEDLINK) has announced the winners of its national awards for federal librarianship, which recognize the many innovative ways that federal libraries, librarians and library technicians fulfill the information demands of the government, business and scholarly communities and the American public.
Federal libraries and staff throughout the United States and abroad competed for the awards. The award winners will be honored for their contributions to federal library and information service throughout the year. The fiscal year 2022 winners are as follows.
2022 Federal Libraries/Information Centers of the Year
Large library/information center (staff of 11 or more): Nimitz Library, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland
Nimitz Library at the United States Naval Academy is recognized for innovative library services, educational programming and library renovation efforts that serve 4,500 midshipmen, 600 faculty members and the broader Naval Academy community. During fiscal year 2022, the more than 18,000 monthly users at Nimitz Library saw the conclusion of a two-year, $2.5 million renovation of the library's main floor and the opening of the Nautilus Room, a multi-use space that hosts information literacy instruction, special events such as faculty research talks, study sessions and more. The library saw a 41% increase in research support and a 65% increase in library instruction by rededicating focus to user needs including supporting first-year midshipmen (plebes) through a personal librarian program and a new outreach and first-year experience position. Staff also conducted a multi-method space study to collect data to inform building, staffing and service decisions and updated technology with a self-checkout kiosk and standalone scanner. In addition to circulating nearly 16,000 physical books and more than 20,000 eBooks, and significantly increasing usage for its 252 databases, Nimitz Library added two special collections: The Adm. Richard Harrison Jackson (U.S. Naval Academy class of 1887) papers, which include diaries of his wife Catherine, the daughter of Adm. William T. Sampson (U.S. Naval Academy class of 1861); and a large collection of materials related to Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, the "father of the nuclear navy." The library also partnered with JSTOR to increase access to hundreds of digitized objects from the War of 1812, the Civil War, polar explorations, and the well-known American Revolutionary War naval commander, John Paul Jones.
Small library/information center (staff of 10 or fewer): Spangdahlem Air Base Library, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany
Spangdahlem Air Base Library is recognized for its exceptional service and mission support for Air Force libraries throughout Europe, in addition to its comprehensive outreach programs, in-house marketing and customer service. The library served 26,276 patrons onsite and 24,014 virtually while supporting 14 base offices. The library’s focus on building partnerships and reevaluating operations led to an expansion of services, extended hours and new programming that drove a 54% increase in patron visits and increased outreach by 75% over the previous year. A record-breaking summer reading program saw registrations increase 32% with 535 participants reading for more than 540,000 minutes. Library staff completed more than 360 hours of library-related training and transitioned the juvenile nonfiction collection from the Dewey Decimal System to a word-based classification system for easier access and greater browsing capabilities. Since transitioning, collection circulation has increased by 50%. The library also upgraded its technology by increasing internet speeds and offering access to new scanners, digital cameras and portable speaker systems. The library’s makerspace program, designed to give patrons free access to new technologies, continued to meet its goals of building critical thinking and design skills while providing patrons the opportunity to innovate.
2022 Federal Librarian of the Year
Amber L. Collins, library program manager/command librarian, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alexandria, Virginia
Amber L. Collins is recognized for her superlative initiative and skills, and unwavering support for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers libraries and staff. Her professionalism, knowledge and leadership created a cohesive library program for Corps libraries and staff throughout the United States. She spearheaded efforts to upgrade discovery tools, retool websites, establish enterprise library management systems, create training programs, increase marketing and raise the visibility of the role of the libraries throughout the agency. Through her work with numerous agency working groups, Collins kept the spotlight on the Corps library program and worked with librarians and the Librarian of the Army to update the Corps library program regulation for the first time in 27 years. Drawing upon her superior knowledge of library technologies, she integrated the electronic resources into a discovery service for 34,000 employees, who average a download each minute on a variety of topics ranging from the sciences to the fields of engineering, architecture, archeology and water resource management. Collins also managed the data migration of 14 datasets of more than 200,000 headquarters and district records in five different formats, into a single library management system.
2022 Federal Library Technician of the Year
Mirche Gjorevski, library technician, Garmisch Library, U.S. Army Garrison, Bavaria, Germany
Mirche Gjorevski is recognized for his unparalleled dedication to the library community and exemplary customer service efforts while the garrison library was in transition throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Joining the library as a first-time library technician, he self-trained and, for two months, single-handedly maintained library services for more than 800 patrons from the U.S. Armed Forces, NATO partners and local nationals. Programmatically, he increased participation in the summer reading program by 75% for preschool, school-age and teen members, and he organized six weeks of story time for preschoolers. He managed the acquisition and weeding of library media materials by analyzing checkout statistics, reading reviews and collecting patron queries. By leveraging vendor research and managing material donations, he maximized the library’s small materials budget. Gjorevski provided instruction on library standard operating procedures and online resources to new library staff and continued to mentor new library staff in display creation, programs and reference service. His dedication to phenomenal customer service and ability to adapt to any situation has patrons commenting that the library is their "home away from home."
The Federal Library and Information Network (FEDLINK) is an organization of federal agencies working together to achieve the optimum use of the resources and facilities of federal libraries and information centers by promoting common services, coordinating and sharing available resources, and providing continuing professional education for federal library and information staff. FEDLINK serves as a forum for the discussion of the policies, programs, procedures and technologies that affect federal libraries and the information services they provide to their agencies, Congress, the federal courts, and the American people.
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