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Judith Cannan wins ALA Medal of Excellence Award

CHICAGO — Judith Cannan, Chief of Policy, Training and Cooperative Programs Division has been awarded the ALA Medal of Excellence Award.  This annual award, presented by the American Library Association (ALA) and sponsored by OCLC recognizes creative leadership of high order, particularly in the fields of library management, library training, cataloging and classification, and the tools and techniques of librarianship.

“The jury for the 2022 Medal of Excellence award is delighted to honor Judith Cannan for her many accomplishments during a long, varied and distinguished career as a pioneer in cataloging and the training of catalogers at the national and international levels, said  Winston Tabb, chair of the Medal of Excellence jury.”  “Among the achievements specifically noted by the Medal of Excellence jury and the many colleagues and admirers from around the world who wrote in support of this award are Judith Cannan’s outstanding service to the profession through her creative and collegial leadership in spearheading: the transition from AACR2 to RDA (Resource Description and Access), the more recent move from the original RDA to the new Tool Kit, and the transition from MARC to linked data, the most monumental achievements in cataloging in recent decades.”

Judith Cannan was accurately described by various nominators as “indispensable,” “the most helpful and caring colleague,” a person “who provides invaluable leadership and support to colleagues, generously sharing both her outstanding expertise in cataloging and her admirable capacity for embracing, implementing and guiding change.”  Colleagues from around the world praised Ms. Cannan for her ability “to back her convictions with essential training for the community to help us all move forward.  This is the quintessential Judith: always all in and always prepared to back up her ideals.”  “Focus and dedication,” “always encouraging cooperation and dialog,” “helping hundreds of institutions and thousands of practitioners world-wide”: all these accomplishments demonstrate in an exemplary way the “achievement for recent creative leadership of high order” that the Medal of Excellence is designed to honor. 

The 2022 Medal of Excellence will be presented at the ALA President’s Program, Sunday, June 26, during the ALA Annual Conference in Washington DC.

In addition to chair Winston Tabb, Sheridan dean of University Libraries & Museum, John Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries, Baltimore, Maryland; the members of the 2022 ALA Medal of Excellence are: Daniel F. Barden, technical services division director, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Lakewood Ohio; Theresa A. Jehlik, strategy and business intelligence manager, Omaha Public Library, Omaha Nebraska; Christopher Lee Proctor, II, coordinator of access services and campus accreditation project manager, Indiana University, Southeast Library, New Albany Indiana; and Robert R. Newlen, executive director, Dwight D. Opperman Foundation, Washington DC.

The deadline for submission of applications for the 2023 ALA Medal of Excellence Award is Dec. 1, 2022.

Guidelines and forms are available on the ALA website.





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