An Awarding End to 2023

Achievements
Our People
Staff Award
December 07, 2023

Congratulations to this year's award recipients!

cards read Thank EWE
Another Fantastic Year at Dartmouth Libraries

Each December, the Libraries host our Library Staff Appreciation and Awards luncheon and ceremony. This gathering welcomes library staff - current and retired - to celebrate each other and recognize our outstanding achievements and milestones.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the nomination process.

Here, we revisit the winners and share their nominations below.

Values in Action Awards

Trust | Service | Respect | Curiosity | Community

 

TRUST

Awardee: Rachel Starr 

Nomination:

“She exemplifies Trust by knowing her limits, so that when she commits to something you can trust she will follow through and be transparent about expectations. She has so quickly become a trusted partner not just to Research & Learning but to many departments across the library. She sees the possibilities for collaboration and communication and builds authentic relationships that are built on a foundation of integrity and trust.”

Susanne Mehrer and Rachel Starr

SERVICE

Awardee: Karla Bushway 

Nominations:

"She has gone far above and beyond, volunteering to take on a significant addition to her workload, to share her skills and expertise from 20 years in Acquisition Services in a cross-departmental collaboration with Collection Management that spanned most of this calendar year, as she facilitated the massive storage library transition. From the minutiae of barcoding microfilm to helping wrangle thousands of deaccessions, her precise attention to detail and her determination to see through even the most daunting project contributed immeasurably to the crucial work at the DLD, while never flagging in her part of the Continuing Resources team in Acquisitions. Her long-term commitment to this collaborative partnership, her constant flexibility to make it work, all without ever deviating from the high standards she sets for herself in all her work, makes her the ideal representative of Dartmouth Library's commitment to service.”

“She had the opportunity to work on a cross-departmental project with Collection Management and Preservation. She helped get materials barcoded and readied for the move from the old Library Depository to the new Library Collections & Services Facility. One of the major projects she worked on, using her familiarity and expertise in barcoding serials, she helped barcode and create items for 1,033 trays containing 27 - 30 microfilm reels: nearly 30,000 reels. Other projects she worked on included preparing portfolios for the move and a discarding project for materials being withdrawn for our collection.” 

RESPECT

Awardee: Shaun Akhtar 

Nomination:

“He is one of the most patient and knowledgeable people I have ever worked with. He is always willing to help resolve issues, even if they are not directly related to his work. He not only accomplishes this without making the person asking the question feel inadequate he also makes time to educate them by explaining what he did to get the needed results. 

Example: There is no way to give Access Services "viewing" permissions to orders and "Interested Users" via Alma. Acquisitions and Access Services has been trying to solve the problem since Alma was implemented in 2019. I mentioned this in passing one day, and less than an hour later, he contacted me to say that he had created a baseline-Alma analytic for Acquisitions to modify with the specifics that we wanted Access Services to see. Acquisitions then turned his analytic into a Widget so that Access Services staff could access "Interested Users" when needed. This problem had nothing to do with his work, but I can only assume that he respects the work and workloads of others in the library so much, that he was willing to make the time to design an analytic that would make life easier for Access Services staff.” 

Shaun Ahktar and Susanne Mehrer

CURIOSITY

Awardee: Jenny Mullins 

Nomination:

“I would like to recognize her for her exemplary leadership in organizing a learning community to explore the Airtable tool. She thoughtfully curated learning content that helped us to fully explore, test, and discuss the functionality. I'm excited about the usefulness of Airtable and certainly wouldn't have learned as much about it without the learning community. Her leadership fostered a sense of curiosity and shared learning!”

Jenny Mullins and Susanne Mehrer

COMMUNITY

Awardee: Val Werner 

Nominations:

"His efforts to make our community more inclusive have improved the quality of life both in and out of the library. He has taken on obstacles that others have found daunting, and shown a path towards productive change."

"In his various roles at Dartmouth Libraries over the past several years, he has demonstrated consistent commitment to exemplifying the value of Community through participation in various initiatives, projects, and committees. As the Lathem Special Collections Fellow in 2021-22, he curated a pop-up exhibit and reception for Queer History Month that focused on LGBTQIA+ communities at Dartmouth. The event has been so popular that it is now in its third year. 

As the current Coordinator of the Historical Accountability Student Research Program, he has mentored numerous student researchers who work in the archives to bring light to untold stories of the college's past related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

He has also been a tireless advocate on campus for transgender rights in his capacity as both a staff member and an alumnus of the college; the example that comes to mind most readily is his concerted effort to have more all-gender restrooms installed not just within the library system but all over campus. He is a conscientious and respectful colleague who is always willing to offer his opinion about potentially contentious issues or situations in a way that elevates the conversation and educates the participants."

Susanne Mehrer and Val Werner

VALUES IN ACTION GROUP AWARD

Awardee: The Preservation Department 

Nomination:

“Following the flooding across Vermont in early July, the Preservation Department recognized that they had the skills needed to help save a collection of various historic materials that had been submerged in floodwaters in the basement of Justin Morrill Homestead in Strafford, Vermont. 

Jamie suggested that they volunteer for the salvage recovery efforts. Deborah reached out to Rachel Onuf, the Director of the Vermont Historical Records Program, to see if they needed help saving these materials. The team was encouraged by the Library administration to take two days to help save these materials. Their incredible work led to preserving history that would have been lost due to historic flooding. Their actions exemplified our values- curiosity, community, trust, service, and respect.” 

Jamie Dalton, Susanne Mehrer and Deborah Howe

PURPOSE IN ACTION

Awardee: Jon Whitney 

Nomination:

"He excels in both answering and asking questions of our patrons at our Access Services Desk to get to what would best help them. He is sensitive and kind and goes out of his way to help everyone, including colleagues, faculty, and staff. He puts our patrons immediately at ease, setting the stage for them to see the library as a place where it is accepted and encouraged to ask questions, no matter how small. You never know where a seemingly simple question will lead in the discovery and learning process.

He is skilled in helping students use our catalog to find resources and increases their confidence and capabilities, which leads to further sparks of discovery for them. This year, he has worked with a colleague on our new book display, coming up with a design and ways of displaying them that generated new-found interest in new books the library acquired, sparking further discovery and questions. As a member of our front-line staff, he is an essential starting point for students in their research process as well as an ongoing ally in their learning throughout their library careers.”

Jon Whitney and Susanne Mehrer

VISION IN ACTION

Awardee: Jill Baron 

Nomination:

“Her engagement with the academic departments serves as a tangible manifestation of this vision statement. She approaches all of her interactions--whether individual research consults, conversations with faculty, or instruction sessions--with curiosity and open-mindedness, and she welcomes all into the scholarly conversation. Through her work on building awareness of reparative cataloging and her ongoing efforts to amplify lesser-known voices, she demonstrates a clear commitment to social justice. The open lines of communication she maintains with her colleagues inside the library and on the teaching faculty allow her to work collaboratively across departments and teams, and the library as a whole is better for it.”

Jill Baron and Susanne Mehrer

THE JEFFERY HORRELL AWARD

Awardee: Julie McIntyre 

Nomination:

"She is, and has been, a dedicated, conscientious, and committed staff member of the Dartmouth Libraries Acquisitions Department since 1980. She was hired as a Processing Assistant in 1980, promoted to a Serials Specialist in 1989, and promoted to Acquisitions Supervisor in 2005.

She takes her work very seriously and works diligently through things, giving 100% until the work is completed. She has an enormous amount of institutional knowledge and a wealth of information that she generously shares as she collaborates across departments for the most effective outcome to any task. She is the go-to person with any questions a staff member may have. She is always willing to take the time to help. She is always, without fail, kind and courteous to everyone she has contact with.

She has been the Library Staff Welfare chairperson for the past 25+ years. In this volunteer role, Julie acknowledges every time a staff member has a significant life event, such as the birth of a child, illness, marriage or civil union, staff graduation, staff hospitalization, or death of a family member. She also welcomes all new staff members to the Library."

Susanne Mehrer and Julie McIntyre

THE SARAH JO BUCKINGHAM AWARD

Awardee: Jennifer Natale 

Nomination:

"Whenever I see her, she is always smiling. She appears to acknowledge every staff member that she physically crosses paths with, regardless of their position in the library. She asks for input and collaborates with everyone involved in any project. The bottom line is that she makes you feel included and recognizes the value that all staff bring to the library."

Susanne Mehrer and Jennifer Natale

THE DEAN’S COUNCIL FOR EQUITY AND INCLUSION AWARD

Awardee: Caro Langenbucher 

Nominations:

"They are an actively engaged member of the DCEI and has been instrumental in many DCEI-initiated projects. However, they are also extremely thoughtful about their contributions in non-DCEI meetings and always bring a much-needed social justice perspective to the conversation. They show kindness and compassion to their colleagues and embody inclusivity in all that they do."

"As a new professional working in Rauner Library, they developed the idea for and took on the primary leadership of the Rauner Special Collections Contextualization and Repair Working Group. This group consists of ten staff members from Special Collections and around the library. Their charge was to consider the thorny and difficult issues of examining past descriptive practices that include out-of-date, offensive, or even harmful terminology and suggest ways to approach the repair of these descriptions. The group was also charged with finding ways to maintain the old descriptions so as not to whitewash the fact that they once existed. The charge also included addressing the equally complex issue of how and when to provide content warnings for specific types of potentially harmful items or collections held by Rauner.

Throughout this process, they have exhibited deep care for the work of contextualizing and repairing past archival descriptions while respecting the emotional well-being of the staff engaged in the work. They have striven to create a supportive and open environment for difficult and sometimes fraught discussions and have provided steady leadership to move these conversations and work forward.

Perhaps most importantly, when recently faced with research that indicated that content warnings might be causing more harm than good, they showed remarkable maturity and flexibility in taking this new information into account. In response to this new development, they led the entire group in a discussion about how best to incorporate this research into the group's work while continuing to move forward.

As a result of their leadership, Special Collections is now well positioned to address harmful content within its collections by creating more nuanced and culturally sensitive descriptions of our materials, which in turn will assist researchers to better understand the content of the collections they will be accessing."

Caro Langenbucher and Susanne Mehrer

10 YEARS OF SERVICE AWARD

 

from left Sarah Smith, David Sturges & Susanne Mehrer

Sarah Smith, David Sturges & Susanne Mehrer (not pictured Tracey Dugdale & Eric Ticehurst)

15 YEARS OF SERVICE AWARD

 

Laura Barrett & Susanne Mehrer

Laura Barrett & Susanne Mehrer (not pictured Joshua Lascell)

20 YEARS OF SERVICE AWARD

 

Susanne Mehrer, Pamela Bagley, Laura Braunstein and Laura Graveline

Susanne Mehrer, Pamela Bagley, Laura Braunstein & Laura Graveline (not pictured Philip Garran)

35 YEARS OF SERVICE AWARD

 

Susanne Mehrer, Barbara Sterling, Suzette Fegan & Eric Bivona

Susanne Mehrer, Barbara Sterling, Suzette Fegan & Eric Bivona

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