Mary Ann Harlow Named Agnes Milstead Distinguished Librarian

May 3, 2010
Two women working at computer
Mary Ann Harlow, right, helps nursing senior Jessica MacNaughton of Berthoud, Colo., research a subject at Coe Library. Harlow received the University of Wyoming's Agnes Milstead Distinguished Librarian Award recognizing her many contributions to librarianship and education. (UW Photo)

In recognition of her many contributions to education and librarianship, Mary Ann Harlow is the recipient of the University of Wyoming's Agnes Milstead Distinguished Librarian Award.

The Milstead 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 academic curriculum, and improving the access to the scholarly record for the university community, specific groups and state of Wyoming.

A librarian at UW since 1991, Harlow led the initiative to incorporate information literacy into the University Studies Program (USP), working closely with faculty to teach information literacy skills across the university. This ensures UW students have information skills that will contribute to successful careers and lifelong literacy capabilities, says Maggie Farrell, dean of UW Libraries.

One nominator said, "Mary Ann has a way of leading and creating excitement for changes she would like to implement" that helped expand the university support for building information literacy into the USP program. "Her foundational work in this area leaves a lasting legacy, the importance which cannot be overstated."

As a bibliographer, Harlow has strengthened the Libraries' business and communications programs by organizing library activities for the Department of Communication and Journalism courses.

"She works closely with faculty in our (Communication and Journalism) Department to revise the lesson and materials as library technology changes over time," a nominator wrote. "This is valuable to our undergraduates and the graduate assistants who teach these classes."

As a result of her bibliographic skills, Harlow has strengthened the Libraries' business, economic, zoology and physiology collections, Farrell says.

"Her willingness to embrace change has allowed her to remain effective and relevant as technology has revolutionized the work of libraries and librarians," says Farrell.

Harlow played a key role in securing funding to digitize the Grand Teton National Park Herbarium, resulting in a collection of high-resolution photographs documenting the park's unique plant species while preserving fragile plant specimens.

"Her vision to bring the UW research to the world created this opportunity to promote UW herbarium research," Farrell adds.

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