The Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual who has been an ALAO member for at least 5 years, and who has promoted academic libraries and librarianship not only on his or her own campus, but also within the state. The award also recognizes someone who has provided leadership in the promotion of ALAO through service such as committee membership, executive board office, or interest group office.
I had the pleasure of awarding the 2016 Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award to Julie Deardorff, Director of Library Collection Services and Associate Professor of Library Science at Cedarville University. She has been a member of ALAO since 1996. She has served in various leadership roles such as interest group chair for collection management, interest group program coordinator, workshop coordinator, and discussion group moderator. She has presented at conferences, participated as a panelist, and presented a poster.
From the nomination, the nominator shared that Julie developed an undergraduate library internship program 11 years ago which has had nearly 30 interns explore librarianship as a career option through learning about and carrying out multiple aspects of library work including cataloging, processing, circulation, reference, instruction, archives, and other areas. Internship students work closely with current staff, develop and carry out projects, deliver presentations, document their experiences, and play important roles in the operational activities of the library. The internship is listed as a for-credit class and counts toward graduation requirements in both the History and English programs, in which she serves as the faculty member of record. Of the 29 interns, 11 have gone on to 6 different library schools (including 4 currently enrolled at Kent State) and 10 of the 30 are working in libraries (including 1 in Rwanda) and another working for a library association. In 2015, she led a group of 1 former and 3 current interns in delivering an ALAO workshop entitled “Today’s Undergraduates…Tomorrow’s Library Directors!” so that other Ohio academic libraries might be able to adapt some of these concepts into their local campus communities. She has also served as the faculty member of record for 2 independent study courses in librarianship for interns who wanted additional opportunities to explore careers in librarianship. And she has advised 6 additional students through a non-credit Library Careers Program that she has developed that is a slightly scaled-down version of the internship.
Julie has organized and conducted an annual Library Careers Interest dinner which has served to provide an introduction to students and staff members about all the different forms a library career can take. Attendees are treated to a dinner, a presentation from that semester’s group of library interns on what they have learned, and, finally, a personal narrative or panel discussion by current library professionals. These library practitioners have ranged from public, academic, special, and school librarians – including some with archive, government, and international experiences. Over 160 students have attended the dinner, now in its 11th year, along with university and local librarians, alumni, current and former interns, Career Services staff, and faculty members. A number of attendees have gone on to work in the library and/or participate in the internship program. She takes an active role in representing the university library and librarianship at the bi-annual campus Career Fair. She maintains a list of graduates who have gone on to careers in librarianship and has provided advice, recommendations, and support to them as well as to former interns and any student who expresses an interest in librarianship as a career.
The nominator also said “I cannot imagine that anyone has done more practical work to promote librarianship as a career option for undergraduates in Ohio.”
Brian C. Gray, Past President, Case Western Reserve University