NETSL Award for Excellence in Technical Services

The NETSL Award recognizes and honors significant New England-based contributions to the field of library technical services. Contributions may have been made in New England by librarians from throughout the United States, or nationally by librarians residing in New England, through publications, service, or innovations in practice. A certificate including an inscription recognizing the honoree’s special contribution to the field of technical services librarianship is presented at the Annual NETSL Spring Conference. Nominations for the NETSL Award are solicited in the Fall and the NETSL Executive Board members select a recipient at their February meeting based on nominations received. The Board reserves the right to suspend the Award for a year if no suitable candidate is nominated.

Eligibility for nomination is as follows:

  • Nominees may be NETSL/NELA members, but membership in the Association is not a requirement.
  • A nomination must be accompanied by a written statement that includes the rationale for nomination and, if a resume of the nominee is not appended, a narrative summary of the nominee’s career and achievements. Provision of a resume is strongly recommended.
  • Nominations may be made by NETSL members, or by non-members.
  • Current members of the NETSL Executive Board are not eligible for consideration.

Nominees shall have made contributions to library technical services in one or more of the following areas:

  1. Leadership in professional associations at local, state, regional or national level
  2. Contributions or innovations in technical services
  3. Significant contributions to professional literature
  4. Conduct of studies or research in technical services


2022 – Dominique Bourassa

For her significant and lasting contributions to the ongoing development of RDA and RDA Toolkit; for her active participation and leadership in national and international organizations, especially ALCTS’s Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access, the North American RDA Committee, and the RDA Steering Committee; for her focus on finding sustainable solutions to challenging metadata problems, locally and through standards development; for her daily contributions to the cataloging community through the creation of thorough catalog records in addition to her leadership through training, research, and standards; for constantly seeking opportunities to learn from colleagues and to apply their expertise in her work to ensure quality in individual records and a database that provides effective access to library collections.

2021 – Mary Moran

For serving as the local arrangements coordinator for the NETSL conference for many years, and a delight and a joy to work with.

2020 – Nancy Vigezzi

For being dedicated to technical services with a very practical approach, a library leader, and the person library directors throughout the consortium approach to help train new technical services librarians in our  software and the best practices of technical services and an expert in acquisitions, serials and cataloging.

2019 – Kate Gerrity

For her dedication to fostering new librarians, supporting and mentoring library student interns and residents, through the early stages of their careers; for her commitment to social justice through everyday actions and critical approaches to pedagogy outside the classroom; for her efforts to both keep up with and push forward best practices in cataloging and metadata creation for both general and special collections; for her collaboration across departments, across institutions and in national working groups; for her everyday work, innovation and supportive leadership.

2018 – Dodie Gaudet

For more than 50 years of creativity, knowledge, and generosity to the field of library technical services across New England; for educating library staff and graduate school students with good humor, imagination, and for making the field and art of cataloging accessible to her pupils; for service as NETSL president, Chair of MLA/TSS, president and member of the UMass Amherst Friends of the Library, and trustee chair of the Hatfield Public Library; for a long history of outstanding contributions to the profession as cataloger, trainer, and consultant in school, public, academic and special libraries.

2017 – Patricia S. Banach, Director of Library Services, Eastern Connecticut State University, Windham, CT

For 45 years of innovative service and leadership in acquisitions, cataloging, and library management in New England; for being a leader across the state of Connecticut, serving as Chair of the Council of Connecticut Academic Library Directors, as Co-Chair of the Executive Committee of the CSCU Council of Library Directors, and as a member of the Connecticut State Task Force to Study Best Practices with Regard to Open Educational Resources; for her expert assistance with the complex process of migrating to new ILS systems at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Eastern Connecticut State College, and the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities system; for her invaluable work with the Pioneer Valley Union List of Serials, which accommodated reciprocal borrowing, interlibrary loan, and collection development among the Five Colleges libraries and the Boston Library Consortium; for dedicated participation in local and national library organizations, especially ALA and the Boston Library Consortium; for her contributions to the professional development of librarians through numerous presentations and publications; for her public service ethic and unwavering belief that “The customer is always right”; for her energy, enthusiasm, big picture vision and can do attitude toward change; for her outstanding management and mentoring, making her highly respected by all who worked with her.

2015 – Glenn Grube, Director, Avon Free Public Library, Avon, CT

For his visionary and innovative contributions to the Avon Free Public Library; for fostering a culture of change from within and empowering others to lead; for his ability to recognize and cultivate talent; for the creation of  creative programs and activities under his leadership; for his unwavering support and commitment to numerous technical services committees and associations in both his current position as Director of the Avon Free Public Library and in his previous librarian positions, Glenn has shown outstanding leadership and dedication to the profession and to his colleagues.

2014 – Amira Aaron, Associate Dean, Scholarly Resources, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

In addition to dedicating her professional life to the cause of effective automation in the immediate service of technical services, Amira has most recently made a profound and formative contribution in the wider service of libraries and, most importantly, their users, by seeking to ensure that the content we go to such lengths to obtain on their behalf is fully searchable and discoverable as possible. Over the past several years, Amira has become an outspoken proponent for the “freeing” of content metadata from the competitiveness of the data providers who are also discovery platform providers. Amira’s belief that the metadata needed to effectively utilize discovery platforms to deliver ALL of the content we purchase on behalf of our users must be shared equally with all discovery platforms. This sharing is necessary for us to realize the full value of the content for which we pay so much money, enabling us to provide more comprehensive and efficient delivery of content to our users.

2014 – Diane Baden, Head, Monographic Services, O’Neill Library, Boston College, Boston, MA

Diane has been at Boston College since 2005, during which time she has managed dramatic changes in the organization, workflow, and processing of physical materials. One of her many significant achievements was her leadership during the formation of the Theology and Ministry Library, merging the bibliographic records from three separate libraries, as well as converting one of those collections from Lynn Peterson to LC Classification. Diane successfully oversaw this process, and also managed the vendors hired to assist. Hired at BC as Head of Cataloging, Diane fearlessly volunteered to assume responsibility for acquisitions and financial management of the materials budget during a major re-organizational effort in 2008, which resulted in her new title as Head of Monographic Services. In addition, Diane has worked as a key member of the Boston College Project Team, which worked as a Development Partner with Ex Libris to design and test the Alma system. She was a leading member of the internal Alma Implementation team, helping to troubleshoot and fine-tune the system as Boston College became the first organization worldwide to implement Alma in 2012.

2013 – Gayle Ball, Supervisor of Technical Services, Springfield Public Library, MA

Gayle Ball’s contributions to the field of librarianship, and since 1997 to the Springfield City Library, have been strong. In particular, her work in the past year at the Springfield City Library in the months leading up to and following her consortium’s migration to a new ILS showed her exceptional problem-solving skills and her dedication to her library. She identified areas of the acquisitions module that were not working with the new ILS. She completed multiple rounds of testing and troubleshooting of problems with the acquisitions module until it was working properly, and did so with a positive attitude.

Gayle distinguished herself quickly after her arrival at Springfield City Library as a knowledgeable and willing departmental resource. She learned the details of the library’s ILS and its departmental policies and procedures. She also planned and instituted significant streamlining of the cataloging workflow, along with centralizing all materials processing, some of which had been done at branch libraries. She oversaw the library’s migration to a new ILS in 1999 and exhibited strong skills in both identifying system problems and developing solutions to work around systemic difficulties.

Gayle is an active member of her area consortium, Central/Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing (C/WMARS). She is a member of their Bibliographic Task Force and the Technical Services Roundtables, where she continues to contribute her time and analytical skills to this day.

2012 – John DeSantis, Cataloging and Metadata Services Librarian, Dartmouth College Library

For over 25 years of innovative service in cataloging, metadata, collection services, professional ethics, and Slavic and GLBT librarianship; for his dedicated participation in local and national library organizations, especially ALA ALCTS, NETSL, Councilor-at-Large on the ALA Council, OCLC Global Council, and IFLA; for his contributions to the professional development of librarians through numerous presentations and publications and sharing his knowledge and insight with the library community; for his invaluable work with acquiring NACO status for Dartmouth, having chaired the Cataloging Round Table, staff training and preparing his department to make the transition from AACR2 to RDA; for his dedication to his profession; and for his intelligent and strong voice in service to the future of his profession.

2011 – Janet Belanger Morrow, Head, Resource Management, Northeastern University

For 28 years of innovative service in acquisitions and resource management in New England; for dedicated participation in local and national library organizations, especially ALA ALCTS, NISO, Faxon Library Services and the Boston Library Consortium; for her contributions to the professional development of librarians through numerous presentations and publications  and for her selfless and open sharing of her knowledge and insight with the library community; for her invaluable work with the ALCTS Library Materials Price Index Committee & Editorial Board and Bowker Price Listings; for her visionary work in e-resource licensing and promotion and implementation of the Shared Electronic Resources Understanding (SERU); and, for her consistent stand for new, innovative and streamlined professional practices.

2011 – Olga Verbeek, Associate Director, Collections and Research Services – McKillop Library, Salve Regina University

For 13 years of dedicated service in technical services, systems and research & instructional services at Salve Regina University; for her work in education and continuing development of professional librarians at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Library & Information Science; for her longstanding commitment to local library organizations, especially ACRL/NEC–ITIG and the HELIN Consortium, and numerous publications and presentations; for her infectious enthusiasm, big picture vision and can do attitude toward change; for being a bridge between library and IT services, making both stronger as a result; for her outstanding management and intuitive mentoring and coaching of her staff, making her a highly respected by all who work with her; and for her focus on user services through continual reinvention of the technical services workflow.

2010 – Margaret A. Lourie, Educational Services Librarian, LYRASIS

For her extensive and excellent work as a trainer and consultant to New England technical services librarians;  for her dedication to planning outstanding programs and contributing to the professional development of the library community;  for her creative leadership and participation in professional activities and local library associations;  for her strong encouragement of libraries to “work smarter” and more cost-effectively in service to their users; and for her generosity in sharing her knowledge and energy with technical services librarians throughout New England.

2009 – Martha Rice Sanders, Knowledge Management Librarian, The HELIN Consortium

For her ability to lead, innovate, and boldly face new challenges in technical services; for her encouragement and mentoring of new professionals; for unstinting willingness to help others with her time and knowledge; for service in educating technical services librarians in New England and beyond; for insightful presentations and publications; for active participation in numerous professional organizations; for expertise and wisdom in cataloging and authority work; for ground breaking work with digital repositories and electronic resource management in a consortium setting; for her undaunted enthusiasm, dedication and support for technical services.

2008 – David Miller, Associate Professor/Librarian, Levin Library, Curry College

For his ability to capture the gist of conference presentations in a lively yet informative style/way; his encyclopedic knowledge of the technical services community and the issues it faces; his level of commitment and energy; his publications and conference presentations; his ability to stay current with trends in technical services and write about those trends in a lively and informative style; his demonstrated passion for the work of technical services and his willingness to share his knowledge with his colleagues near and far; His 15 years of service to NETSL; his work in analysis of the indexing and display of subject headings in the OPAC; his international perspective on subject access and multi-lingual issues; his formidable intellect and sense of humor; his service as a mentor, model, and unsung hero in encouraging others to make important and noteworthy contributions to the profession; his engagement with and commitment to the technical services community as a librarian and as a professional; his uncanny ability to absorb and interpret complex technical information, capture his thoughts in writing, and render complex concepts meaningful to his colleagues; his insights contributed to countless discussions and debates; his generosity to the profession of his time and his exceptional skills as a writer and commentator; his high level of active participation, involvement, and contribution that embodies the spirit of excellence in library technical services, shaping our awareness of current issues and contributing in significant ways to the well being of our profession.

2007 – Catherine Willis, Technical Services Manager, Boston Public Library

For her active participation in professional associations; for her presentations both locally and nationally; for managing the technical services department of an ACRL research library; for being an advocate for “back of the house” operation while keeping public service in the forefront of her mind; for surviving blistering staffing cuts and yet finding a way to do more, and do it better; for making tremendous strides in solving more than 150 years of cataloging conundrums at the Boston Public Library; and for finalizing a retrospective conversion project of the Library’s research collection that will ultimately provide access to more than 6 million items for scholars and researchers world wide

2007 – Lisa Palmer, Technical Services Librarian, Lamar Souter Library, UMass Medical School

For her implementation of an institutional repository; for her redesign of the Lamar Soutter Library website; for her certification in NACO and participation in NACO’s Medical Funnel; for her presentations at professional meetings and publications in professional journals; for her leadership in professional associations at local, state, and national levels; for her many years of cataloging experience in both corporate and academic libraries; and for illustrating that librarians in smaller academic and health sciences libraries have a valuable role to play in the advancement of technical services best practices.

2006 – Matthew Beacom, Yale University

For his deep and lasting contributions to the development of international descriptive cataloging standards; for his active support of the professional development of his colleagues across the United States; for his active participation, as member and as chair, on the Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, and for his continued commitment to the development of Resource Description and Access by serving as Chair of the Joint Steering Committee’s Outreach Group; for ongoing commitment to providing continuing education throughout the profession; and for his tireless enthusiasm and dedication to the development and promotion of the future of Technical Services throughout the United States and overseas.

2005 – Robert L. Cunningham
2003 – Dr. Sheila Intner
2002 – Birdie MacLennan
2001 – Lynda S. Kresge

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5 thoughts on “NETSL Award for Excellence in Technical Services

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