Employee Awards 2023

I am pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Employee Awards. I would like to thank everyone who nominated a colleague and the Employee Award Committee for their dedication to making the 2023 award process successful. 

Please join me in congratulating our employee winners.

Leo Lo

Dean, College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences

Exemplary Employee Award Winners

Excerpts from each nomination form have been included.

Isabella Pilar

Library Information Specialist 3 (Cataloger) • Technical Services

photo of Isabella pilarIsabella is the definition of an exemplary employee. She is an important member of the Cataloging team and an excellent colleague. She takes pride in her work, always going above and beyond to ask questions of her colleagues, seeks out additional information, and completes all assignments quickly. Isabella takes great care with every task she is given. She also seeks out additional training and coursework, even when she is not required to do so. She wants to improve her skills, takes pride in producing a quality product for our patrons, and she cares about being a valuable member of the Technical Services Department. Isabella has helped the unit to complete multiple projects that have taken months to finish including: cleanup of the bibliographic records from the RMOA to ArchiveSpace migration; troubleshooting and triaging monographs for SCR; cataloging the backlog for the CSWR and assisting with labeling and problem items. These are just a few examples to illustrate her commitment to the College.  

She also voluntarily took on the processing of one of our largest donations – The Rubenstein Musical Scores Collection. Though the cataloging required her to participate in additional trainings and review, she gladly stepped up to learn more about scores cataloging and take on this monster of a collection.

Additionally, Isabella has shown a high level of dedication to the College by increasing her service and participation, volunteering for multiple committees to advocate on behalf of her fellow staff members. She was elected to the Dean's Staff Council last year, a role that she takes seriously and she frequently seeks out advice so that she can best serve her peers and the organization. Isabella approaches everything thrown at her with a great attitude; she treats everyone she works with kindness and respect. She is a pleasure to work with.

Mel Ribas

Senior Operations Manager (Zimmerman Library) • Access Services

photo of Mel RibasMel is extremely dedicated. We could not do everything we do without Mel—and when they were out for a month or so, we deeply felt Mel's absence. Mel often takes on committee work, and helped to make the Hulsman Undergraduate Library Research Award a successful event, stewarding it from start to finish to elevate scholarship, value our student researchers, and connect to long-time friends of the library, the Hulsmans. Mel consistently contributes to team building, connecting with and supporting LIS team members, FADL team members, and Access Services Leadership. They've also advocated strongly while coordinating with the rest of the AS Leadership group to develop policies, standards, exceptions, etc. and to implement the turnstiles in general. Finally, Mel is encouraging and supportive of the student workers overall, and makes themselves available and friendly for students to come to when they have work problems.





Bright Idea Award Winner

Wanda Day

Library Information Specialist 3 • Technical Services

Technical Services processes such as cataloging or serials maintenance are invisible, behind the scenes operations, which only become visible when there are mistakes. Wanda has designed a system to ensure accuracy and quality in one of the areas most prone to errors in technical services: Serials Management.

Despite large serials cancellations, the library still has a current periodical subscription list of about 1,000 periodicals. In addition, there are many standing order serials, including state and federal documents, which require similar treatment (receive, label, claim, shelve, consider for binding, etc.) for a total of about 2,000. Serials are notoriously finicky, as the title can change slightly from year to year, or many serials have similar titles. Accuracy is of utmost importance because a labeling mistake means a lost issue.

Wanda's is responsible for the maintenance of all these serials. There was a time when the serials team had more than 10 staff, with specialized areas such as ordering, receiving, check-in, claiming, and binding. Attrition has reduced the team to ONE staff person, Wanda Day.

Wanda has created a bookmark file in Firefox, which links directly to the WMS serial record that needs to be checked in and labelled. The bookmarks are titled in such a way as to clearly identify the exact journal that needs checking in, with specific notes to differentiate among titles with similar volumes or series names. The file contains useful information regarding order status (current subscription or gift), binding status, issues that are overdue and need to be claimed, or “Discard upon receipt” (unsolicited gifts which the library does not maintain). The bookmark file enables Wanda to do the work that was previously performed by several staff and enables the accurate and efficient processing of serials. The file is accessible to all staff of the library, via the P and O drives, and can be easily used by any serials librarian.
This bookmark file is a completely innovative and truly a BRIGHT idea. It is truly a powerful tool, which took much planning, design, and implementation to create.


Project Implementation Award Winners

Information Technology Services Applications Team

 Photo of the Web Apps Team,Patrick Schierstein, Bennett Poulin, and Amy Winter

Left to right: Patrick Schierstein (Systems/Network Analyst 3), Bennett Poulin (Programmer/Analyst 3), Amy Winter (Programmer/Analyst 2)

Upon request from Access Services, the ULIT Web Applications Team created an application to be used at the newly gated entrances to the libraries. This was done over the course of the summer of 2022, and implemented shortly after the fall semester started. The team designed and built a custom application to store data and allow entry for community users once the turnstile security system was put in place. Not only was the application built from scratch, but they did it in the course of a few months with limited resources. They have now also added a second module to the application to allow for students to access the libraries without an ID. Amy Winter created the initial data model, working prototype, and user interface for the application, and conducted preliminary user testing. Bennett Poulin built the full, secure working application, performed quality checks and subsequent rounds of user testing as well as adding the phase 2 feature allowing patrons with a NetID to gain entry if they failed to bring their Lobocard with them. Patrick Schierstein optimized the database, created data tables and reports to track patron counts, contributed a design pattern for phase 2, and ensured that user data was purged correctly after the designated hold time. The application went into use in Fall 2022 with phase 2 completed after spring break 2023.

Employee Award Committee 2023

Arianne Avery

Sever Bordeianu (chair)

Tomas Gonzalez

Cheyenne Stradinger

Victoria Brown (ex officio)