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11th Annual Library Celebration Awards Ceremony Held Online During COVID-19

May 4, 2020

For the last 10 years, the Drexel University Libraries has recognized staff for their exceptional contributions to the Libraries with a reception and awards ceremony in the W. W. Hagerty Library. But with campus facilities closed due to COVID-19, celebrating in person was not an option this year.

Instead, the Libraries decided to move online – just as it has done with many of its other in-person events, programs and services since Drexel’s campus moved to working remotely in mid-March.

On May 4, 2020, a total of 49 guests—including Libraries staff, members of the Bryan Family, members of the Library Advisory Group and other friends of the Libraries—“gathered together” in an online Zoom “room”  to honor this year’s awards recipients. The awards recognize demonstrated exceptional service, collaborative teamwork, entrepreneurial spirit, and dedicated professionalism. A screenshot of an online Zoom meeting with over 40 participants

“No matter what obstacles confront us, our talented and dedicated employees provide critical support and services to the Drexel community—in person during times of prosperity, remotely during times of uncertainty, and everywhere in between,” Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD, Dean of Libraries, said during her opening remarks.

During the event, Dean Nitecki also took a moment to congratulate all Libraries staff for their hard work to help smoothly transition Drexel’s faculty, students and staff to teach, research and study remotely over the past six weeks in response to changes triggered by COVID19.

“It is simply amazing how the Libraries staff have moved off campus to continue services and operations—through teamwork, dedication, and demonstrating genuine care for our students and faculty, and for collegial support for fellow Drexel employees,” she said. “We rely on all Libraries employees to demonstrate exceptional service… [and] we are truly lucky to have such enthusiastic, creative, resourceful, and hardworking people here.”

Congratulations to all 2020 award recipients and to the entire Libraries team for their hard work and dedication!

2020 Drexel Libraries Award Recipients

Jane Bryan Student Worker Award: Presented to Christine Dong

This award is presented to student employees for their outstanding service to the Libraries. It honors Jane Bryan, director of Drexel University Libraries from 2005 to 2008, who was committed to providing outstanding service to students. With this award and reflection, we also honor Jane’s dedication and years of service.

Christine Dong began working at the Drexel Libraries as a freshman in 2015, and she has provided excellent customer service throughout her time working at the service desk in the W. W. Hagerty Library. She regularly goes above and beyond the typical student worker job requirements, providing personal, one-on-one assistance for clients. She is always willing and eager to step out from behind the service desk to help someone, and she is the first to tackle any problem that may arise. During her senior year, Christine also sharpened her information literacy skills by participating in the Libraries’ Information Explorer program.

The Matrixed Team Member Award: Presented to David Cupo, Information Access Manager & Metadata Librarian

The Matrixed Team Member Award recognizes staff who demonstrate the Libraries’ spirit of matrixed collaboration, as evidenced by his or her productivity and collegiality in cross-unit projects and programs.

David Cupo is a member of numerous working groups and teams, from the iDEA Working Group to the Communications group. This past year he continued his participation in these cross-Libraries groups while having his hands full with being the resident expert Metadata Librarian, the managerial leader for Information Access, and the interim Online Resources and Acquisitions Librarian during its vacancy.  In these various roles, he successfully and productively implements matrixed work connections to all the different divisions and programs within the Libraries.

Exceptional Service Award: Presented to Ashley Moore, Client Access Experiences Assistant II & Thomas Pugh, Library Integrated Technology Systems Specialist III

This award celebrates individuals who showcase dedication and service, going above and beyond their job to provide exceptional service.

Ashley Moore always provides exceptional customer service, helping to bridge the gap between staff and user experiences. She is not afraid to suggest a new project or solution to an existing problem, and she is a team player who always does more than required in order to make the Libraries exceptional.

Thomas Pugh works tirelessly to resolve Libraries staff technology issues. In addition to performing his normal duties, Tom also trains other staff in the Library Integrated Technology Systems team and has helped Libraries’ staff with administrative and technological tasks, no matter the size—and always leaves them with a smile.

Libraries Champion Award: Presented to Oreste “OJ” Jimenez, Client Access Experiences Specialist II

This award is given to an individual or team demonstrating an entrepreneurial spirit that extends the reach of the library to its stakeholders.

OJ Jimenez brings his expertise and enthusiasm to the entire Drexel Libraries organization. Over the last year, OJ played an integral role in launching and expanding the Libraries’ Information Explorers Program, spending countless hours brainstorming and developing new projects and initiatives with students. OJ’s work to build, grow, and champion this Program demonstrates his creative and entrepreneurial spirit, making him a true champion of the Libraries.

Professional Contribution Award: Presented to Elise Ferer, Undergraduate Learning Librarian & Information Assistance Program Manager

This award recognizes individuals who made significant contributions to the profession, positioning the Drexel Libraries as a leader in the field.

Last year, Elise Ferer served as the Director-at-Large for the ACRL Delaware Valley Chapter, using her knowledge of current trends and practices in academic librarianship to organize programs and events, including a one-day Chapter conference about equity, diversity and inclusion in the library. Elise is always willing and eager to share her wisdom and experiences from serving on the board of a professional association with Libraries staff and student workers to help build their skills and knowledge as well.

Change Champion Award: Presented to Lynda Sadusky, Resource Sharing Librarian

The Change Champion Award recognizes staff who use evidence of client expectations and the framework of the Libraries’ strategic directions to transform, improve or innovate the Libraries.

Lynda Sadusky continually looks for new ways to improve the Libraries’ interlibrary loan services using data and client feedback to guide her decisions. Most recently, Lynda spearheaded the Libraries’ participation in the OCLC ILL Cost Calculator Early Adopter Program. Lynda's understanding of this tool is helping the Libraries provide the most cost-effective access to information for our clients.

Members of the 2020 Library Celebration Awards Committee were Shin Amano, Javier Arroyo, Shannon Robinson, and Tonie Williams. Thank you, awards committee!