22:3 (2007:09) 22nd Conference (2007): Report from Award Winners

August 29, 2007 at 7:07 pm | Posted in Awards & Recognition, Conference | 1 Comment

Sarah Sutton, Awards & Recognition Committee

For 2007 NASIG awards, grants, and scholarships, the Awards & Recognition Committee received numerous applications from worthy candidates.   We received seven applications for the Fritz Schwartz Scholarship, four applications for the Horizon Award, eleven applications for the Serials Specialist Award, and nine applications for the Student Grant Award.  We did not receive any applications for the Marcia Tuttle International Award. 

The review process was again blind for all awards. The identities of the winners were not revealed to the committee members until the scores were tallied and the winners were selected according to established criteria. For 2007, the committee awarded one Fritz Schwartz Serials Education Scholarship, six Student Grants, one Mexico Student Grant, one Horizon Award, and one Serials Specialist Award. The awards covered the cost of travel; room, board, and registration fees for the 22nd NASIG Conference held in Louisville, Kentucky; and a one-year NASIG membership. In addition, the Fritz Schwartz Scholarship winner received $3,000 to help defray the costs of library school tuition. The 2007 award winners are as follows:

Barbara Shipman, Wayne State University
Erin Sharwell, University of Washington
Jessica Ireland, University of South Florida
Joann Palermo, Louisiana State University
Sanjeet Singh-Mann, UCLA
Toni Fortini, Southern Connecticut State University

Jorge Alberto Mendoza-Torres
Escuela Nacional de Biblioteconomia y Archivonomia, ENBA

Angela Slaughter, Indiana University

Chandra Jackson, University of Georgia Libraries

Rita Johnson, Wright State University Libraries

As in past years, the Awards & Recognition Committee asked all of our award recipients to provide feedback about their conference experience. Below are their responses to the committee’s questionnaire.

Why do you feel it is worthwhile for students and newcomers to attend a NASIG conference?

The NASIG conference is great for newcomers because of both its size (not too big) and the variety of serials topics represented. It provides a good overview of all of the different types of work that serialists are doing in their institutions.

NASIG bridges the unnecessary divide between libraries, publishers, and vendors; it would be worthwhile for students to experience this productive partnership as they enter the serials field.

It’s worthwhile for students to attend a NASIG conference because it introduces them to a field that isn’t taught in library school.  Also, the NASIG conference is also a networking environment where students can create friendship with serial specialists located all over North America.

As a paraprofessional and new to the area of serials, the conference served to strengthen my desire to continue to learn and grow in the field.  The sessions I attended were both interesting and applicable to the position I hold.

How did attending the conference benefit you personally?

I was introduced to many people working on the same kinds of issues that I am, so I’m beginning to create a network of colleagues that can be called upon for advice (or commiseration!)

I made a lot of connections with colleagues across North America and learned about ideas and initiatives in the world of serials. I felt reassured by learning that my library is not alone in the problems and issues we face with the switch to primarily electronic resources.

Attending the NASIG conference benefited me personally in many ways.  I’ve gained the experience of attending my first professional conference. I’ve also met a lot of people and developed new friendships from the award winners as well as fellow NASIG members.

NASIG was truly an enriching experience.  It was very beneficial in providing basic information as well as new and thought provoking ideas. The conference gave me new contacts, new friends, useful knowledge and fun educational experiences.  I look forward to attendance at NASIG conferences in the future.

Did attending the conference influence your career plans? If so, how?

Not directly, but it was interesting to see the variety in serialists positions.

Yes. I am more interested in participating in professional organizations and conferences, and I am more seriously considering working in the corporate world (e.g. for a vendor) at some point in my library career.

Attending the NASIG conference influenced my career plans greatly. The many sessions that I’ve attended opened my eyes to different tasks, responsibilities and challenges that face serials librarians presently.    I also got a glimpse at what the future holds for serials librarians. I’ll have a better understanding of what serials librarians do and this will help me tremendously when I interview for a job as a serials librarian.

Since I was new to the position I am in, attendance at NASIG served to focus my interest in increasing my skills in order to better perform in my current position.

What can NASIG and/or the Awards & Recognition Committee do to improve their award programs?

I thought the committee and NASIG as a whole did a fantastic job with the Horizon Award program. The application process was very simple, and after receiving the award, the committee made sure to communicate often with me about everything.

I was very pleased with my experience, and I can only suggest that an official wrap-up meeting at the end of the conference (scheduled to accommodate departures) to better connect with other award recipients. I feel I made more connections with NASIG members than with my fellow grant recipients, and it would have been nice to meet up with the group to talk about our experiences.

The most important thing that NASIG and the Awards & Recognition Committee do to improve the grant and scholarship program is to market the programs throughout North America.  I think that a lot of students would be interested in attending such a wonderful conference. Also, I think that there should be an informal luncheon the day before the conference where all the grant and scholarship winners can get together to talk and learn more about one another.

The program is excellent.  How can you improve on what is already a wonderful program?

What could NASIG and/or the Awards & Recognition Committee do to improve your conference experience?

Everything they did was great, in particular the mentor/mentee get-together.

My conference experience was great.  Everything went smoothly for me thanks to the wonderful job done by everyone on the committee.  I can’t image what else could be done to make it better.

I had a wonderful experience at NASIG.  The one thing that I would improve on is to have some type of social activity for the award and grant winners, just to break the ice.

Do you have any other suggestions or comments? Please tell us about them here.

Everyone involved was fantastic (almost as good as winning the award itself!). Keep up the good work!

The speakers were very informative and the sessions I attended were interesting and encouraged discussion.  Louisville was a wonderful location.  What fun and interesting things there were to see.

I would just like to say that I had such a wonderful experience at the conference.  Students can benefit so much by attending the annual NASIG conference.

How/where did you learn about NASIG’s awards?

My supervisor at work is a NASIG member.

NASIG website and suggestion by my department head.

A co-worker told me about NASIG and encouraged me to think about attending the conference.  I leaned about the awards while visiting the website.

I learned about NASIG’s award from a librarian that I work with.

Where should NASIG be promoting awards?

In the graduate schools: there are a lot of listservs that could be used to announce the awards competition. Contacting administrative assistants at each graduate program’s department office would be a great place to start. Some programs may not have serials faculty contacts, so it’s best to spread the word to the whole graduate program.

I think it would be great to use the listserve to remind those who do the nominating to consider their staff for nominations. The website is a good place for actual application info.

Members should be encouraged to promote the organization and the awards in the serials world.

NASIG should be promoting awards to student organizations, or on the student listserv.

The Awards & Recognition Committee would like to thank all of the NASIG members who helped to make the 2007 award recipients’ experience at the 2007 conference such a success.


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  1. What does it say that it took me a minute to pick out my comments from the other award recipients’? That we had the experience you intended for us to have: we connected, we learned, and we have become enthusiastic members of NASIG.

    Thanks again to the conference planning committee, the awards & recognition committee, and all the NASIG members who attended the 2007 conference.

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