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Tamsen Leigh Hert Receives UW’s Agnes Milstead Distinguished Librarianship Award

April 23, 2012
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Tamsen Hert

For her significant contributions to libraries through her knowledge of the American West and, especially, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park, University of Wyoming Associate Librarian Tamsen Leigh Hert was awarded the Agnes Milstead Distinguished Librarianship Award.

The award honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to the UW Libraries through, among other things, scholarship of librarianship, distinctive work with faculty and students in both teaching and implementing information resource use in an academic curriculum, and improving the access to the scholarly record for the university community, specific groups and state of Wyoming.

"For her many years of service to the students and faculty and her work in advancing research of Wyoming and the American West, Tammy models the characteristics of Agnes Milstead," says Maggie Farrell, UW dean of Libraries.

As the UW bibliographer for history, American Indian studies, anthropology and geography, Hert works closely with UW's teaching faculty to build research collections to support the curriculum. She works with students to build their information literacy and research skills.

"Drawing on her experience as a librarian and historian, Hert was able to show the new graduate students how the library resources related to the topics we covered," wrote a faculty member. "Her experience as a researcher and writer allowed her to talk with the seminar members from her real-world experience."

As head of the Emmett Chisum Special Collections, Hert is the curator of the Grace Raymond Hebard Collection, the most comprehensive collection of published materials about Wyoming history, culture and natural history. She has used the Hebard Collection as the foundation to build the Libraries' collection of maps, books and pamphlets documenting Wyoming and regional history.

Hert previously was a government documents librarian, reference/collection development librarian, the Wyoming Bibliographer/Collection Development librarian and the interim head of the Brinkerhoff Geology Library. One nominator noted, "Throughout the years and many responsibilities and involvements, Tamsen has been the consummate library professional."

Another faculty member noted, "It has been an honor to collaborate with a scholar of Tamsen's caliber these last few years. I have gained a great deal of knowledge and feel more confident in my own ability as a historic clothing scholar through our joint efforts."

Hert is active in several organizations, including Western Association of Map Libraries, Western History Association, Wyoming State Historical Society, National Council on Public History, Wyoming Association of Professional Historians, Wyoming Library Association and the Mountain Plains Library Association. This service extends to conference planning and program development. Hert is coordinating a field trip of Western History Association members to UW to promote the research and collections of the American Heritage Center and the Chisum Special Collections.

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