Library Recognizes Outstanding Staff in 2020

Dec 18, 2020

Library staff recognized for work on Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archives Project.

The Library Staff Award is given out twice annually and is based on “exceptional leadership on the job, customer focus, and/or quality of service within the past year. Nominations are put forth by fellow library staff. The award consists of a certificate of appreciation and is accompanied by a $250 cash award. Aimee Brown and Shana Aue were both selected to receive this award for their work on the Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archives Project. Library Director, Matt Rosendahl shared accolades from the nominations that spoke to the impact of this historic project.

“The COVID-19 Community Archives Project, a visible and impactful initiative that has received hundreds of contributions from community members and been covered by local and statewide news outlets, including the Star Tribune. Shana and Aimee partnered with UMD’s College of Liberal Arts (CLA) on a $175,745 NEH CARES grant, which employs humanities professionals who have lost income due to COVID-19 to produce 100 oral history interviews, along with creative works based on the interviews. The grant project will be added to the Community Archive. The Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archives Project is the Archives' first community archive project and first major digital collecting effort.”

The COVID-19 Community Archive Project is creating a sense of community among folks in the Northeastern Minnesota area while we cannot gather in-person and is creating a collection that will be able to be used by researchers now and far into the future. The thought and care that went into the project means it’s easy for anyone to contribute to it.

Throughout the COVID-19 project so far, contributed materials are regularly shared with the community. It’s helped create a sense of connection to others during this challenging time. And it has encouraged reflection about the historic times that we’re living in.”

Nominators recognized individual contributions by Aimee Brown, the library’s Archivist:

“Aimee’s kindness and genuine care for others are a big part of what makes her an exceptional leader in our library. While facing significant personal and professional challenges this year, Aimee always demonstrated concern for others by offering her help and support whenever possible and making decisions that protected the health and safety of staff and Archives users. Aimee is also a leader in making our library a welcoming place to work - since the move to remote work, she has offered virtual library tours to new employees, and is always a friendly and supportive colleague.”

Also recognized were individual contributions by Shana Aue, the library’s Archives Assistant. 

“Shana always does excellent work including having great attention to important details and being thoughtful and considerate of both researchers and library staff. In addition, Shana looks for, and supports opportunities to make progress on the library and archives' goals of becoming more inclusive.” 

Learn more about Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archives Project. Submissions are still being accepted, and a portion of the collection is already available.