Library Recognizes Outstanding Staff in 2023

Twice a year the Kathryn A. Martin Library selects staff to receive the Staff Award for outstanding leadership, and this year’s recipients were honored for public-facing and behind-the-scenes work.   

Kayleen Jones

Kayleen Jones, Education & Human Service Professions Librarian, nomination extensively reflected her work with the Antiracist Literary Advisory Board (A-LAB), a collaboration between the library and Education students and faculty:

Kayleen's work with the Antiracist Literary Advisory Board is a great example of leadership on the job. Kayleen works in partnership with Education faculty to facilitate A-LAB's overall work, collaborates really effectively with ACST [Access and Collection Services Team] to implement A-LAB's collections decisions and processes, and is thoughtful and intentional about sharing updates with folks across the library.

Staff also expressed their appreciation for Kayleen’s leadership style.

She is generous in sharing her approaches to teaching, collections, and liaison work with colleagues (both formally in meetings, and informally in conversations), and liaisons often find elements from her work to adapt in their own. She models what reflective practice looks like by sharing successes and challenges and being open about how she works through both, in order to continually improve her work and find more balance in her workload.

Many aspects of library work can be unseen by the majority of its users, but nominators noted the impact of Kayleen’s work on students:   

As noted above, Kayleen's A-LAB work has a very positive impact on students, including not just A-LAB students, but all students who use the Children's Literature Collection. Kayleen is also highly engaged in her liaison work, and has many one-on-one consults with students, as well as classroom interactions that help students develop their information literacy skills and work through the research process.

Cassandra Prange

Cassandra Prange was also selected to receive the Staff Award.  Prange is the Acquisitions librarian.  

In addition to her acquisitions work, Cassandra took on co-chairing the Access and Collection Services Team (ACST) Manager search & screen committee, as well as serving on the library’s strategic planning committee. 

Cassandra was a fantastic part of the strategic planning committee. Her input was always thoughtful and considered and she balanced her work as part of the committee with her role as co-chair of the ACST manager hiring committee. 

Nominators also commended Prange’s leadership as a co-chair: 

Cassandra is a very effective leader. In her role as the co-chair of the ACST Manager Search Committee Cassandra consistently worked to the highest requirements that the leadership of the committee required. She had invaluable insight in tricky situations involving candidates, in developing evaluation processes, and in planning the necessary steps to move through the search smoothly. Throughout the search process Cassandra maintained her patience, calm demeanor, and focus on what was most important. She took on many responsibilities and chose to work on the aspects of the search that most suited her skills. This allowed her to be very productive in a very demanding situation. Cassandra also showed an outstanding ability to lead in a cooperative and collaborative way.

Both Jones and Prange said they are humbled and honored to have been selected for this year’s Staff Awards.

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