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 government, business, scholarly communities and the American public.
Federal libraries and staff throughout the United States and abroad competed for the awards.
And the winners are…
2016 Federal Library/Information Centers of the Year
Large Library/Information Center (with a staff of 11 or more federal and/or contract employees): Goddard Information and Collaboration Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, is recognized for its efforts to transform its physical space and expand its services to meet the evolving needs of its cutting-edge research community. During fiscal year 2016, the Goddard Library completed a nine-month renovation project to become the Goddard Information and Collaboration Center, a high-tech multi-use facility. The center features a video wall for presentations, modular seating with whiteboards, technology pods with large-screen monitors that enable wireless screen-sharing, a computer bar, and stations for laptop use. So far, more than 90 groups have hosted events at the facility. In further support of the center’s mission to provide access to its digital, print and archival collections, the Goddard Archives electronically catalogued or indexed nearly 5,000 technical reports. After the center reopened in March of last year, foot traffic to the facility increased by more than 300 percent compared to a similar period before the renovations, and information and research requests increased by more than 50 percent.
Small Library/Information Center (with a staff of 10 or fewer federal and/or contract employees): Federal Communications Commission Library, Washington, D.C., is recognized for serving the research needs of staff based at the facility’s headquarters, as well as those located at FCC field offices around the country. Charged with promoting the expansion of competitive telecommunications networks within the United States, the Federal Communications Commission Library maintains a vast collection of telecommunications-related material. This includes more than 8,000 print volumes, more than 75,000 eBooks, and print and digital copies of more than 30,000 government documents. In an effort to expand the availability of these resources, library staff redesigned the organization’s website. This redesign added multiple points of access for different materials and a new discovery layer within the library’s management system, which enabled users to access all requests via a single catalog search. Following the implementation of these changes, the library noticed an increase in foot traffic of nearly 80 percent, as well as a 20 percent increase in unique visits to the website.
2016 Federal Library Technician of the Year
Michael Steinmacher, director of the Barr Memorial Library, Fort Knox, Kentucky, is recognized for his innovation and promotion of meaningful and creative library services, programs and events. With a focus on improving the quality of life for members of the Fort Knox military community, Steinmacher hosted 15 authors at special programs in fiscal year 2016. He also created the “Living History at Your Library” series, which featured professional-quality historical re-enactors and attracted nearly 300 participants. A highlight of Steinmacher’s commitment to the community involved organizing a last-minute event with the 501st Legion, the Star Wars costuming organization, the day after “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opened in theaters. More than 300 people attended the event, which led to the creation of an annual “Star Wars Reads” program at the library. To increase both the visibility of and access to library events, Steinmacher made a conscious shift from evening to daytime activities. Additionally, he worked with his command to transform a former coffee shop within the library into a Makerspace, a high-tech, hands-on learning center designed to support and augment science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) curricula and provide opportunities for lifelong learning. His dedication, creativity and innovation have led him to become a well-respected, highly visible member of the Fort Knox community as well as a subject-matter expert for other Army library and public librarians.
2016 Federal Library Technician of the Year
Jennea Augsbury, lead library technician for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dallas, Texas, is recognized for her extraordinary dedication to serving the needs of the medical center staff and veterans during a 13-month period when her library went without a service chief or professional medical librarian. To maintain the library’s services, Augsbury went well above and beyond her regular job duties. She coached and mentored other library technicians on various library-service-related functions, such as how to process large article files through the Online Computer Library Center. In addition to developing informational materials for distribution at new employee orientation, Augsbury analyzed statistical data in medical journals and recommended the removal of several titles from the library’s annual order, saving thousands of dollars for VANTHCS, the Veterans Administration North Texas Health Care System.