Libraries wins National Medal
The University of Minnesota Libraries became only the third academic library in history to win the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, when University Librarian Wendy Pradt Lougee accepted the National Medal on July 17 at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Lougee was joined by U of M professor Jennifer Gunn and Margaret Telfer of the Friends of the Libraries, which nominated the Libraries for this prestigious award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
For 23 years, the award has celebrated institutions that respond to societal needs in innovative ways, making a difference for individuals, families, and their communities. Each year only five libraries — out of 123,000 libraries in the United States — win the award. The University Libraries was recognized for being a trailblazing service provider and problem solver for a diverse and expansive number of communities.
In honor of winning the medal, Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed Monday, July 17, as University of Minnesota Libraries Day in Minnesota, and that same day a Star Tribune editorial affirmed the comprehensive and vital role the Libraries plays in providing the “fundamental infrastructure for our information-based economy.”
Lougee said that the award “affirms and recognizes the importance and impact of our work” with students, faculty, and staff — as well as Minnesota residents and a global community of scholars.
Tretter Collections wins national diversity award
The Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies is a 2017 recipient of the Diversity Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes outstanding contributions in advancing diversity within the archives profession, SAA, or the archival record.
Tretter was honored for its dedication to filling in the gaps of the GLBT archival record and for striving to include marginalized voices from within the GLBT community. The SAA, in particular, noted the Tretter Transgender Oral History Project (see page 8).
The SAA Awards Committee members noted that they were “especially impressed by how the Tretter Collection staff brings the collection’s diverse contents out of the archive and into the community through teaching, exhibits, and presentations, as well as by its strong relationships with the community. The Tretter Collection serves as an excellent model for other institutions interested in connecting with their local LGBTQ+ communities.”
Wilson Studio now open
The Wilson Research Collaboration Studio, which opened in July, is a destination for collaboration and consultation with librarians and other experts in digital scholarship, publishing, geospatial data, entrepreneurship, and learning innovation.
Wilson Studio is designed for scholars at all levels — undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty — and in all disciplines.
Users can devise seating and working configurations for small project teams, group seminars, and consultations with information specialists. Portions of the Studio may be booked in advance. While open and welcoming to users of all types and levels, the Studio is not designed for quiet, individual or general purpose study or computer use.
Umbra Search wins award for access
Umbra Search African American History has won the 2017 Award for Access from the Center for Research Libraries. Umbra Search, developed at the University of Minnesota Libraries, contains a widely diverse selection of special collections materials delivered simultaneously by numerous institutions, serving their own content within their own interfaces.
These research materials are from thousands of collections, including Yale University, the Smithsonian, and founding partner the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), which provides over half of the materials found in Umbra Search.
Principal Investigator Cecily Marcus said her goal for Umbra Search was to offer students, faculty, and local community members access to histories and experiences that are often silenced, marginalized, or otherwise left in the shadows of history. Marcus is also Curator of the Archie Givens, Sr., Collection of African American Literature at the University of Minnesota Libraries.
Wallin Center to open in early 2018
Students, scholars, and users from across the globe will benefit from enhanced technology, contemporary classroom space, and access to rare and special collections thanks to a $1.5 million gift from the Wallin Foundation, a leader in advancing education.
The gift honors Maxine Wallin, a librarian, a lover of books, a former Friends of the University Libraries Board member, an alumna of the U of M Library School, and a longstanding supporter of the Libraries.
A new public space for scholars, students, and the community will be created on the ground floor of Elmer L. Andersen Library and named the Maxine Houghton Wallin Special Collections Research Center. The Center will enhance traditional approaches to learning and research by providing a wide range of individual user stations and technology-enhanced seminar space, while boosting digitization capacities to increase online access to materials. It will provide a transformative research experience to diverse users — including scholars from around the world, authors, documentary film producers, high school students, and students and faculty from the University of Minnesota.
Wallin — a descendant of the Houghton family, whose philanthropy has created libraries and benefited education — earned degrees in international relations and library science and began her career at the University’s Walter Library. She advanced to a cataloging role with rare collections, which included work with many non-English language texts.
“Libraries record the history of mankind and I am delighted to support new technologies and methods so that more students and researchers can access the outstanding University collections and promote global understanding and education,” Wallin said.