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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU Libraries Announces 2019 Librarian and Staff Member of the Year

By University Libraries Staff

Special Collections Metadata Specialist Kathleen Smith and Engineering & Physical Sciences Librarian Abbie Basile were honored at the Librarian/Faculty Administrator & Staff Member of the Year Awards.

The winners were announced via Zoom with nearly 60 people attending.

Jessica Ritchie, head of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA), shared that Smith, who was selected as Staff Member of the Year, completed several high-profile projects for SCUA, including the grant-funded WTAR/WTKR archival news film digitization pilot project.

"She kept meticulous records and collaborated closely with colleagues across multiple departments to make sure the project was a success," Ritchie said. "I honestly don't think we could have completed the project in the time that we did without her."

Referred to as a go-to guide for inquiries within the department, colleagues appreciated Smith's caring attitude and consideration, her ability to solve problems and her sincere interest in the welfare of others.

Smith credited the influence of her family for her professional accomplishments.

"I have always been a humble person. I just work and do my best," Smith said. "It's a work ethic that I and my brothers learned from our late father, Don."

Basile was named Librarian of the Year. Recognized for serving ODU students, faculty, and colleagues with respect and thoughtfulness, the liaison was also honored for placing the Libraries' work environment as a high priority and encouraging professional development and collaboration across campus.

"I also am lucky to be able to help terrific faculty and students who have made me feel like I can make a real contribution to their success," Basile said. "It's great to work with great people."

Dorothy Lockaby, head of Liaison Services at University Libraries, shared the same opinion about Basile. She highlighted Basile's dedication to librarianship at local, state and national levels from serving as a peer reviewer for professional journals to leading a task force of the Association of College & Research Libraries Graduate Student Services Interest Group. Lockaby noted the honoree's positive, upbeat personality helps fulfill the mission of Liaison Services while setting an example for others to follow.

"Her generosity and willingness to share her knowledge by mentoring and collaborating with others makes her a positive presence for everyone she works with," Lockaby said. "Our honoree is at her best, however, as a highly proficient librarian who serves the needs of her college and departments, and most importantly, her students."


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