Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Recipients


Susan Brynteson ('63)

Year of Award: 2015

Susan Brynteson (’63), Vice Provost and May Morris University Librarian, with 35 years’ service at the University of Delaware Library, has spent her career improving and advancing library services.

As Vice Provost, she seeks to provide a wide range of services for the university community while assisting Library staff to reach their highest potential and making the physical library space a destination on campus. Participation in professional associations has played a large role, as has her service to Yaddo, a well-known artists’ community located on a 400-acre estate in Saratoga Springs, New York.

After graduating from SLIS, she held a number of positions in various academic libraries before joining the University of Delaware in 1980. Since then, the Library became a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), moved into the expanded Morris Library, added its 2-millionth volume and established the Student Multimedia Design Center, the largest of its kind in a U.S. research library.

As an enthusiastic proponent of electronic information, she continues to extend the electronic library which now includes more than 400 electronic databases, thousands of electronic journals, library-created Internet research guides, and an institutional repository.

A pioneering effort was to withdraw print serials in favor of providing access to electronic counterparts before its general acceptance. She is keenly proud of the University of Delaware Library receiving  Vice-President Joseph Biden’s U.S. Senatorial papers in 2012, spanning his 36-year career.

The University of Delaware Library recently became the first ARL member to implement WorldShare Management Services, the new OCLC cloud-based discovery system. One of Ms. Brynteson’s nominators observed, “It strikes me as wonderful that the longest serving ARL librarian would also be the first ARL librarian to implement this forward leap in discovery for Library patrons.”

She is well known for investing in the recruitment and training of staff including hiring librarians with new graduate library degrees. In 1984 she established a residency program for librarians from under-represented groups, the first such program in a U.S. research library. She has made extensive contributions to professional organizations as the President of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (an American Library Association division), membership on the ALA Council and Chair of both the ALA Publishing Committee and the ALA Legislative Committee. Accordingly, one of her nominating letters described her as “a marvelous role model for new librarians and developing administrators.”

A unique part of her career is her involvement with Yaddo, a distinguished artists’ community where many award-winning writers, composers and artists have had residences. Yaddo’s mission is to nurture the creative process for artists to work without interruption in a private, supportive environment. She has been a Member of the Yaddo Board of Directors since 1996 and serves as a consultant to Yaddo as someone who is knowledgeable of its history having lived off and on since 1964 among its artist-guests as the summer librarian-in-residence.

She was entrusted with contributing to the complicated transfer of Yaddo’s extensive archives of 20th century literary and artistic correspondence to the New York Public Library. For her continued service, she was named a Lifetime Member of the Corporation of Yaddo in 2006. 


Miriam Pollack

Miriam Pollack (MA '78)

Year of Award: 2014

Ms. Pollack graduated from the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1978. After her master’s, she stayed for two semesters to work with Dr. Margaret Monroe on a federal fellowship on informa - tion and referral for the aging. She also holds a master of arts in educa - tion, training, and development from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. After graduation from SLIS, she worked at the Cook Memorial Public Library District in Libertyville, IL, and taught at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL. In 1986, she began working at the North Suburban Library System in Wheeling, IL, and in 1993, she became the assistant director there. Ms. Pollack also taught at Dominican University in River Forest, IL before beginning independent consulting in 2004.

Throughout her career, Ms. Pollack has worked to improve services for the public as well as for her colleagues. As the assistant director of the North Suburban Library System, she developed what one colleague describes as “one of the best continuing-education programs in the country, serving all types of libraries and all levels of staff.” This program included more than 250 activities each year, ranging from hands-on computer training to conferences to online courses. Another colleague noted that “she was, in many ways, the heart of the North Suburban Library System all the years she was there.” Ms. Pollack also established and developed the Reaching Forward conference, which began as an annual conference for Illinois library assistants, and is now run by the Illinois Library Association, with two annual conferences to serve the entire state.

Toni Samek

Dr. Toni Samek (PhD '98)

Year of Award: 2013

Dr. Samek completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Toronto and her Master of Library and Information Studies at Dalhousie University. In 1998, she received her Doctor of Philosophy in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 1994, Dr. Samek has worked as an educator and researcher at the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta. Dr. Samek has written two books: Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility in American Librarianship, 1967 to 1974, published in 2001, and Librarianship and Human Rights: A Twenty-First-Century Guide, published in 2007. In addition, she has co-edited another monograph and published numerous articles, reports, and book chapters. Her vast amount of scholarship has appeared in translation in countries including Japan, Spain, Sweden, Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Turkey.

Hope Olson

Dr. Hope Olson (PhD '96)

Year of Award: 2012

Hope Olson (Ph.D. ’96) is Professor at the School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she has also served as Associate Dean and Interim Dean.  She previously taught at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.  She is known internationally for her research in the areas of cataloging and classification, indexing, and more broadly the organization of information.  She has brought feminist, poststructural, and postcolonial theory and critical interdisciplinary methods to greater awareness in LIS.  And in turn, she has made other disciplines more aware of the scholarship of LIS.

Olson is a prolific author of journal articles and has been the principal investigator for large funded studies related to culture, naming, and classification.  She bridged the theoretical and the practical with her books, The Power to Name: Locating the Limits of Subject Representation in Libraries, as well as (written with SLIS Professor Emeritus John Boll) Subject Analysis in Online Catalogs.  She brings the same mix to her teaching and has trained a generation of catalogers and other meta data producers to be conscious and critical about the naming they do and the structures they help create.

Richard Danner

Dr. Richard Allen Danner (MA '75, JD '79)

Year of Award: 2011

Richard Allen Danner is Senior Associate Dean for Information Services, and Archibald C. and Frances Fulk Rufty Research Professor of Law at Duke University School of Law. He has edited several books on U.S. and international legal information and is the author of Strategic Planning: A Law Library Management Tool for the '90s and Beyond and Legal Research in Wisconsin. He is also the author of numerous articles for journals in law and librarianship. His scholarly interests include legislation, legal education, and legal research and bibliography. Recent publications look at questions of impact of both electronic publishing and open access in relation to legal scholarship.

Danner has had many leadership roles in professional associations. He has been a president of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and served on the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools. He has also served two terms as First Vice President of the International Association of Law Libraries. He has been active in American Bar Association committees, including being part of over a dozen site inspection teams of Law Schools. In addition, he served as editor of AALL's Law Library Journal from 1984-94.

Jennifer Younger

Dr. Jennifer Younger (MA '71, PhD '90)

Year of Award: 2010

Jennifer A. Younger is the Edward H. Arnold Director of Hesburgh Libraries at the University of Notre Dame. Younger has held numerous positions in cataloging and technical services for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the U.S. Department of State, and Northwestern University. She served as Assistant Director for Technical Services and Liaison for the Regional Campus Libraries for University Libraries at Ohio State University. She has served as the president of the Academic Libraries of Indiana (ALI), as chair of OCLC's Review Board on Principles of Shared Data Creation and Stewardship, as president of the American Library Association's Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, as a member of the executive boards of both the Center for Research Libraries and the Association of Research Libraries and has held positions in numerous other professional organizations.

Throughout her career, Younger has exercised a steadfast commitment to the advancement of library education. She has served as an external reviewer on official ALA accreditation panels and has acted as a consultant for libraries and library schools in multiple states. Younger has made significant contributions to national and international conversations on topics ranging in scope from staff training to the development of digital collections.

Beverly Lynch

Dr. Beverly P. Lynch (PhD '72)

Year of Award: 2009

Beverly P. Lynch is a professor at UCLA's Department of Information Studies and the director of the UCLA Senior Fellows Program. She served as dean and professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies at UCLA from 1989-1994. Lynch worked as the executive secretary for the American Library Association's Association of College and Research Libraries (1972-1976) and then served as library director at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1977-1989), where she developed and led a program that linked scholarship in the humanities to the library.

For over two decades, Lynch has been an active member in library and information studies related accreditation groups and has taken on consultancies on a host o f A CRL, ALA, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, and Center for Research Libraries committees. She served as ALA president from 1985-1986. Over the course of her career, she has presented on issues ranging from preserving the nation's print archive to human resource development. In 2005, Lynch addressed the development of one of her long-standing interests in librarianship, rare books, by securing grants from the Book Club of California and IMLS to establish the California Rare Book School.

Raymond von Dran

Dr. Raymond F. von Dran (MA '71, PhD '76)

Year of Award: 2008

Raymond F. von Dran joined the faculty of Catholic University of America, where he eventually became Dean of the School of Library and Information Science. In 1987, von Dran was recruited to serve as Dean of the library school at the University of North Texas, where he helped expand both the faculty and program. In 1995, von Dran was once again approached to become Dean of a school in transition: Syracuse University. At Syracuse, he was instrumental in implementing a number of innovative changes, modernizing the curriculum, overseeing an expansion of the faculty and the student body, and expanding the School's sponsored research by almost fivefold.

Ray von Dran was an active member of the professional community. He was one of the founders of the I-School Group, a national consortium of academic institutions aimed at understanding the relationship between information and people. Von Dran served on numerous committees within the American Library Association, the Association of Library and Information Science Educators, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

Gail Schlachter

Gail Schlachter (MA '67)

Year of Award: 2007

Gail Schlachter has had an exceedingly productive career as a library educator, library user services librarian and administrator, scholar, and compiler and publisher of information sources. She holds master's degrees in history and public administration and earned her Ph.D. in librarianship from the University of Minnesota.

Schlachter is the founder and head of Reference Service Press, publisher of highly-regarded directories to financial aid for higher education. She serves on the governing council of the American Library Association, where she is also a leader in ALA 's Reference and User Services Association. In 1992 she received the highest award that the field of reference services has to offer, the Isadore Gilbert Mudge Citation for distinguished contributions to reference librarianship. In 1997 Schlachter also received the Louis Shores-Oryx Press Award for excellence in the reviewing of books and other materials for libraries. Her own publications have received many awards.

James Rettig

James (Jim) Rettig (MA 1975)

Year of Award: 2006

James R. Rettig is a prolific author in the area of reference and information services serving as the editor of the: "Current Reference Books" column in the Wilson Library Bulletin, 1981-1995 and the Libraries Unlimited book series: Bibliographic Guides in the Humanities, 1987-1998. He is a member of the Reference Services Review editorial board, 1987 - to date and was Assistant and Associate editor of this important reference journal, 1979-1987.

Active in professional organizations of the field, Rettig serves on the American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board, 2003-2006 and served three terms on the ALA Council. He has held many other important leadership positions in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the Library Administration and Management Association (LAMA) Reference and Adult Services Division of Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of ALA, and OCLC's Reference Services Advisory Committee. Rettig has been able to articulate traditional library services with emerging technologies. His work in facilities planning contributed to a beautiful and functional $32 million dollar library at William and Mary. He sets a high standard for publishing, scholarship, collegiality and continuous learning.

Eugene Engeldinger

Eugene (Gene) Engeldinger (MS 1969)

Year of Award: 2005

Eugene (Gene) A. Engeldinger is Vice President for Academic Information Services and Professor for Library Services, Carthage College, Kenosha, WI. He was named Wisconsin Library Association Librarian of the Year in 1990 and Carthage College's Hedberg Library was the WLA 2004 Library of the Year. Accomplished writer, indexer and conference presenter, Gene has developed in the areas of library cooperation, automation and bibliographic instruction. He has taught LIS courses for the University of Oklahoma, UW-Madison SLIS and UW-Milwaukee SOIS. He has taught American culture and film and history classes for Carthage College.

Gene's leadership and vision brought together library, media and computer services in a merged and collaboratively run service unit that effectively serves the needs of all the information seekers at Carthage College. Gene's creativity and leadership fosters continuous development of faculty and staff and students. He was instrumental in creating the information literacy program, related instructional changes and the comprehensive one-stop information desk. Cooperative programming with UW-Parkside and the people of Racine and Kenosha has made the Hedberg Library a vibrant community resource.

Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox (MA '73)

Year of Award: 2004

Michael Fox began his professional career at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin in 1973. Over the next 14 years he served the Society in a succession of capacities-as library cataloger, map curator, and public records archivist. In 1987, he became the Head of Processing at the Minnesota Historical Society, combining his interest in library and archival technical services. In 2000, he was named Assistant Director for Library and Archives and in 2003 was given responsibility for that organization's publication program as well.

Michael has been involved actively in the world of descriptive standards across several professions, serving on major policy committees and working groups within the Society of American Archivists, American Library Association, and the International Council on Archives. He has played a major role in the development of the Encoded Archival Description standard.

Barratt Wilkins

Barratt Wilkins (MA '69)

Year of Award: 2003

Barratt Wilkins served for nearly twenty-six years (1977-2003) as State Librarian and director of the Florida Division of Library and Information Services. During that period, library service was established in all sixty-seven counties, multi-type regional library cooperatives serving all areas of the state were initiated, and mechanisms were established for coordinating statewide library cooperation and initiating development of a Virtual Library for Florida.

Very active in numerous state, regional, and national library organizations, he served in such varied positions as president of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, as councilor of the American Library Association, and an advisor to the regional medical library service for the Southeast/Atlantic, the U.S. Public Printer, and the National Center for Education Statistics.

His most important national achievements were as a leader in developing a new federal role for libraries culminating in passage of Library Services and Technology Act in 1996 and as a leader in establishing national data collection systems for public libraries and state library agencies. Guides for his career were principles, fairness and excellence.

Larry Hardesty

Dr. Larry Hardesty (MA '74)

Year of Award: 2002

Larry Hardesty is a professor and library director of the Abell Library at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where he implemented the College Library Directors Mentor Program, which he has run since 1991. He has served as president of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), where he began the Excellence in Academic Libraries award to recognize outstanding library staffs. He has served on the editorial boards of a variety of library publications. In 2001, Hardesty was named the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year.

Eliza Dresang

Eliza Dresang (PhD 1981)

Year of Award: 2001

Eliza T. Dresang became Associate Professor in the School of Information Studies at Florida State University in Tallahassee in 1996. Prior to that appointment, she served as an Adjunct Association Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison SLIS (1978-1996) as well as worked for the Madison Metropolitan School District as Director of Library Media, Technology and Communication (1980-1996) and as assistant to the Superintendent of Schools (1987-1996). She began her career as a children's and school librarian in California, Georgia, and Madison, where she earned the Wisconsin School Librarian of the Year award as well as the Judy A. Harris award from the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education.

Dresang has served on many professional boards and has made contributions to the world of children's literature by selecting the Newbery and Caldecott award winners. Her record shows her dedication to school library and children's services.

Wallace Olsen

Wallace Olsen (MS 1956)

Year of Award: 2000

Wally Olsen has played a global role throughout his career as a librarian of natural sciences by providing information to developing countries. He served as Director of the Library at the Academy of Natural Sciences from 1960-1962. He was Chief of the Library System for the National Aviation Facilities Experimental Center, Assistant Director for Technical Services at the University of Maryland, worked for Educom and the National Agricultural Library, where he served as Deputy Director for Library Operations and Chief Field and Special Programs Division. In 1987, he went to Cornell University's Albert R. Mann Library and then became director of the Core Agricultural Literature Project.

Olsen developed TEEAL: The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library, a CD-Rom database released in 1999. He and his wife raised funds from the Rockefeller Foundation and convinced publishers to make journals available without cost to the poorest nations of the world. Olsen's contributions as a global force in agricultural librarianship have made him a truly outstanding leader.

Karen Krueger
Karen Krueger (MA 1969)

Year of Award: 1999

Karen J. Krueger is Director of Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, Wisconsin. Under her direction, the Hedberg Public Library was named Wisconsin Library Association Library of the Year in 1998. She has provided leadership in libraries in Louisiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. She is a past president of the SLIS Alumni Association. Under her leadership, the association developed a budget and annual service plan, which has been used annually since her leadership year.

For her vision of public library service and her role in broadening its scope and quality, Karen Krueger was named Wisconsin Library Association's Librarian of the Year in 1989. She is particularly knowledgeable about planning and evaluation and has conducted training sessions on these topics for many libraries across the country.

James Krikelas

James Krikelas (MS 1959)

Year of Award: 1998

James Krikelas is Professor Emeritus, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin - Madison. Following a career as a college librarian and as a consultant, he joined the SLIS faculty in 1967. He has taught a variety of courses in technical services, research methods, library evaluation, and library automation. His research focused on the information-seeking and search behavior of library users and has been published in various professional publications.

Professor Krikelas was a co-founder and inaugural chair of the American Library Association's Library Research Round Table (1968-69, 1969-70). He was awarded a Senior Fulbright-Hayes Lectureship for 1980-81 at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and an ALA/USIS Library Fellowship in 1990-91 at the University of Crete, Greece. Krikelas retired after thirty years of SLIS service in June, 1997. He served with distinction as the SLIS interim director during his last three years on the faculty.

Sarah Pritchard

Sarah M. Pritchard (MA 1977) 

Year of Award: 1997

Sarah Pritchard is Director of Libraries at Smith College. Prior to going to Smith in 1992, she was Associate Executive Director at the Association of Research Libraries from 1990-1992 and held several positions at the Library of Congress. Throughout her career, Pritchard has been an innovator and a leader. She designed the first formal user study of LC's online catalog, a report that is still cited. She pioneered bibliographic and reference work in support of emergent feminist scholarship.

Sarah Pritchard has an extensive record of publications and presentations on a wide range of issues affecting libraries and librarianship. She has also been a leading champion of gender equity, recognized by her receipt of the American Library Association's Equality Award. Pritchard attributes the seeds of her commitments to equity and access to her graduate program at SLIS.

Ginny Moore Kruse

Ginny Moore Kruse (MA 1976)

Year of Award: 1996

In 1976 Ginny Moore Kruse became director of the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC), a noncirculating children's and young adult literature library for adults where she founded the award-winning CCBC Intellectual Freedom Information Services and expanded the CCBC's study and research environment to provision of adult continuing education opportunities for librarians and teachers. A member of many American Library Association Intellectual Freedom boards, Kruse has chaired numerous children's literature award committees. She is nationally recognized as an advocate of excellence in quality and equity in access to literature for all young readers and as co-author of the annual CCBC Choices and Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults.

Nancy Marshall

Nancy H. Marshall (MA 1972)

Year of Award: 1995

Nancy H. Marshall has been at William & Mary since 1986. In 1993, she became the Dean of University Libraries, College of William and Mary. She was Associate Director of Libraries for Public Service, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1979-1986; and Founding Director, Wisconsin lnterLibrary Services (WILS), 1972-1979.

Nancy Marshall has been an outstanding leader in the library community, particularly in the area of copyright. She has served as president of the American Library Association's Reference and Adult Services Division, as a member of the OCLC Board of Trustees, president of the OCLC User's Council, and in a host of other professional roles and assignments.

Beacher Wiggins

Beacher J. E. Wiggins (MA 1972)

Year of Award: 1994

Beacher J.E. Wiggins is Director of Cataloging at the Library of Congress. He joined the Library of Congress in 1972 as a cataloger in the Descriptive Cataloging Division. He was a section head there from January, 1980 through September, 1986. He then became assistant to the Associate Librarian for Collections Services until October, 1991 when he was appointed chief of the Shared Cataloging Division. He became chief of the Arts and Sciences Division in June, 1992.

Beacher J.E. Wiggins has published widely in the area of automation and bibliographic control. He has provided distinguished service for many years in the American Library Association as well as the National Information Standards Organization.

James Danky

James P. Danky (MA 1973)

Year of Award: 1993

James P. Danky is Assistant Librarian for Research and Development at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. He has authored and compiled numerous books, bibliographies and anthologies, and in 1987 was recipient of the Bowker/Ulrich's Serials Librarianship of the Year Award.

Danky's work in serials over the past two decades has helped make the State Historical Society of Wisconsin one of the most important repositories in the world for alternative press literatures. He also currently serves as Co-director of the Center for Print Culture History in Modern America, a joint project of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.

Warren Haas

Warren James Haas (BLS 1950)

Year of Award: 1992

Warren "Jim" Haas concentrated on academic librarianship during a distinguished career that included University Librarian, Columbia University, and President of the Council on Library Resources (CLR). During his university assignments, Haas concentrated especially on library organization and management, fiscal control, and cooperative enterprises.

Haas has been consultant to universities and architects on library buildings and has served on commissions and committees of the American Council of Learned Societies and several foundations. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and has been awarded honorary doctorates by Wabash College and Indiana University, and the UCLA Medal by the University of California in Los Angeles.

Kathleen de la Pena McCook

Kathleen de la Peña McCook (PhD 1980)

Year of Award: 1991

Kathleen de la Peña McCook, a well known speaker, researcher and scholar, is Director and Professor at the University of South Florida School of Library and Information Science, Tampa. She has held positions as Dean of the Graduate School at Louisiana State University, Dean of the School of Library and Information Science at the same university, and teaching positions at other universities. She was a Public Service Librarian at Dominican University and a Reference Librarian at Elmhurst College.

Kathleen de la Peña McCook is a prolific author. She has published numerous books and articles and has edited professional publications including Public Libraries and RQ. Well known for her commitment to diversity, she co-authored Librarians for the New Millennium and Occupational Entry: Library and Information Science Student's Attitudes, Demographics and Aspirations Survey. In 1997 she was awarded that Association for Library and Information Science Education President's award for her work on diversity.

Spencer Shaw

Spencer Gilbert Shaw (BLS 1941)

Year of Award: 1990

Spencer Gilbert Shaw, professor Emeritus, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Washington at Seattle, was named the first Alumnus of the Year. Shaw's career includes experience as a branch librarian, as program coordinator and storytelling specialist and as the public library consultant in children's services. As a university professor, in addition to educating numerous children's and school librarians, he has been an inspiration to African American librarians in all specializations.

Prof. Shaw has received numerous honors and recognitions for his work, including Honorary Life membership in the American Library Association (1988), the Distinguished Service Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (1988), and the Grolier Foundation Award (1983).