Recognizing leaders in our library community


During this year of OCLC’s 50th anniversary, it has been fun to remember all the ways in which OCLC has come together and grown as a global library cooperative. The OCLC staff have been collecting and sharing many images from the archives over the past few months, giving us all the chance to join in this celebratory journey. The photos are truly fabulous, representing many artifacts that are near and dear to my heart, including the beehive terminal and the catalog cards. BUT, the photos that are the most meaningful, and the most telling of our story as a cooperative, are the many photos of member librarians over the years.

OCLC has more than 16,000 member libraries in more than 120 countries around the world. If you consider the number of library staff working collectively across those member institutions, you can imagine what a powerful network that is. And we all know that librarians can make things happen. When we harness that creativity, commitment and passion, achievements like those that OCLC has had over the years become too many to count.

That’s why, each year, OCLC supports several community awards to recognize librarians who excel in their profession. We had the opportunity to recognize these community leaders at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago this past June.

I hope you’ll join me in congratulating them and reflecting on all the other colleagues in your professional life who have made a difference in your library and our larger community.

OCLC is pleased to support these community programs that advance and recognize excellence in librarianship. It is my honor to spotlight these five community leaders and their noteworthy accomplishments:

Peter Bae

Virginia Boucher/OCLC Distinguished ILL Librarian Award

Peter Bae, Circulation Services Director at Princeton University’s Firestone Library, is this year’s recipient. This award recognizes outstanding professional achievement and leadership in interlibrary loan and document delivery. And, as most know, we at OCLC have a special place in our hearts for interlibrary loan and international cooperation and sharing. Peter’s ongoing research, presentations and publications as a member of IFLA’s Document Delivery and Resource Sharing Section and the STARS Section of RUSA have fostered communication and collaboration across the global resource sharing community.

Timothy Cole

Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology

Named after the founder and first president of OCLC, this award is particularly meaningful to us at OCLC because it represents Mr. Kilgour’s commitment to library innovation through outstanding research and development. Timothy Cole is this year’s recipient. Timothy is head of the Mathematics Library and Professor of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. His research in digital libraries, metadata and linked data frameworks has significantly enhanced discovery and access of scholarly content. Timothy is also recognized for his significant contributions to the World Wide Web Consortium, the Digital Library Federation and the Open Archives Initiative.

Amed Demirhan

John Ames Humphry/OCLC Forest Press Award

Amed Demirhan is the 2017 recipient of this award, which honors exceptional contributions to international librarianship. Amed is General Manager Director at the Barzani National Memorial in Erbil, Iraq, where he is building a library and museum to collect and share resources on Kurdistan and modern Kurdish history. His earlier endeavors include revitalizing the library at the American University of Nigeria into a 21st century facility and establishing the Hawler Library at the University of Kurdistan, Iraq’s first independent English-language university, in 2006. We at OCLC share his passion for international library cooperation.

Carla D. Hayden

Melvil Dewey Medal

Carla D. Hayden, the United States’ Librarian of Congress, is being honored with the Dewey Medal, which recognizes creative leadership in library management, training, cataloging and classification. Her two decades of exemplary leadership of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland, set an example of the role that librarians play in the community, opening the system’s libraries for refuge during a time of civic strife. She is also recognized for her inspiring leadership while President of the American Library Association in 2003–2004, and very significantly, her historic appointment in September 2016 as the first woman and first African-American to be named Librarian of Congress.

Hope Olson

Margaret Mann Citation

Hope Olson is being honored for outstanding professional achievement in cataloging. Hope is Professor Emerita at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, where she served as Professor, Associate Dean and Interim Dean before her retirement in 2013. She also taught in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta from 1990 to 2003. She is active in professional organizations and editorial boards, and published a book in 2002. The Margaret Mann Citation includes a scholarship donation to a library school chosen by the award recipient; Hope has chosen the University of Alberta.

Congratulations to the 2017 OCLC Award Winners! Click To Tweet

Congratulations to Peter, Timothy, Amed, Carla and Hope, and thank you for all that you have contributed to the community.

I’d also like to say congratulations and thank you to all staff at OCLC member libraries, for supporting the cooperative in meeting this significant 50-year milestone. Happy anniversary OCLC!