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UW Libraries Web Team Receives Statewide Honor

September 29, 2014
six people posed in front of library
Members of the UW Libraries Web team who received the Wyoming Library Association’s Andy Fisher Technology Award are, from left; top, Shannon Tharp, Cass Kvenild and Susan Schulz; bottom, Kate Conerton, Pam Reeves and Mike Obenchain. (UW Photo)

The Wyoming Library Association (WLA) has presented members of the University of Wyoming Libraries’ Web team with the WLA’s Andy Fisher Technology Award.

Team members were recognized Sept. 25 at the WLA’s annual conference and award banquet.

Current UW Libraries staff and faculty members of the Web team are: Kate Conerton, Cass Kvenild, Mike Obenchain, Pam Reeves, Susan Schulz and Shannon Tharp. Previous members, who also made significant contributions, include Mary Ann Harlow and Jennifer Mayer.

Established in 1979, the Fisher award recognizes a Wyoming library that has accomplished a significant technology-related project completed within the last two years. Fisher served as the state librarian from 1963-67. He was a Wyoming native and a graduate of UW. After leaving the State Library, he became the regional program officer in Denver for the Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) for Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. Fisher was honored with the WLA Meritorious Service Award for 1968.

“Two years ago, the Web team realized that, while our library website was modern and dynamic, students and faculty were struggling to quickly find their resources,” UW Libraries Dean Maggie Farrell says. Thus began a Web redesign project that started with creatively outlining user search patterns and studying how students approached online services.

The work on the website redesign started in late 2012, and usability studies and testing were conducted throughout 2013, with the release of the new website in January 2014. UW Libraries’ Web team oversaw the studies and worked closely with UW Libraries’ systems department to implement the project.

“Contemporary college life has been quick to seize the new-found opportunity presented by technological gains and advances over the past decades. The library system at the University of Wyoming has proven to truly be the front-runner in embracing the new way students access information and learn,” wrote Mitchell Nedved, a UW student, about the Web team’s work.

The UW Libraries’ Web team consists of six faculty and staff members representing multiple service departments within the library. Members are appointed by the dean of UW Libraries and serve a minimum of one year. Team members are charged with the general oversight of the libraries’ website, which received more than 53 million hits last year alone.


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Chad Baldwin

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