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Michael Nelson Receives Librarianship Award
May 4, 2009 — Michael Nelson, reference librarian and subject bibliographer in social sciences and French for University of Wyoming Libraries, is the recipient of the 2009 Agnes Milstead Distinguished Librarianship Award.
In 1993, Milstead established the annual award to recognize significant contributions to UW Libraries in scholarship, program development, teaching, fundraising or improving access to library resources. As a librarian at UW from 1966-1981, Milstead developed the university's first courses in library science and helped establish the library science graduate program. Colleagues may nominate anyone of their choice and a non-librarian external committee chooses the recipient.
In nominating Nelson for the award, Associate Dean of UW Libraries Lori Phillips notes that he has worked tirelessly "to build and shape a collection that is balanced, cohesive and coherent. His dedication to examining new editions, monitoring book reviews and working to leverage his extensive knowledge of resources, assures that collections meet the needs of users."
Nelson has served on the Collection Development Committee at UW and is adept at balancing the interest of both students and faculty members while providing careful stewardship of the collection budget.
A highlight of Nelson's nomination was his research projects that have resulted in highly acclaimed work published in the Journal of Academic Librarianship in 1987 and online in 1995. His research concentrated on database pricing and how publisher practices influenced end-user access to information. In 2005 he co-wrote an article that analyzed federated search tools that was used nationally by libraries to make informed decisions about the new technology.
Nelson's research is impeccable and "one can trace the cutting edge of librarianship by paying attention to the issues that he chooses to tackle in his work," Phillips says.
Nelson receives high accolades from UW faculty members who have come to depend on him as an invaluable resource for their students. UW professor Keith Miller "routinely built in a day at the library with Nelson specifically so he could instruct students in using the library resources most effectively."
Described as well informed and tenacious, Nelson has a reputation with his colleagues as providing extremely strong reference services to UW students and patrons.
"Nelson's expertise, professionalism and contributions set him apart," says Phillips, "and he is deserving of this award."
A UW Librarian since 1984, Nelson received a B.A. from Kalamazoo College (1973), an M.L.S. from the University of Washington (1978) and an M.A. in history from Montana State University (1980).
Posted on Monday, May 04, 2009