On Friday, June 11, 2021, LSU Libraries bestowed three employees—Jacob Fontenot, Hayley Johnson, and Andrea Hebert—with awards as part of the 2021 LSU Library Staff & Faculty Awards. They were nominated by their colleagues and chosen by a committee to receive $1,000 each for the Library Staff Award, the Early Career Librarian Award, and the Carolyn H. Hargrave Senior Leadership Award respectively.
Lois Kuyper-Rushing, associate dean of public & collection services, describes these awards as an annual recognition of “…outstanding library employees who have made significant contributions to the LSU Libraries, the library profession, or who have served library users in unique ways.” The selection committee comprised of the following employees:
- Sarah Simms, chair and undergraduate and student success librarian
- Barry Cowan, assistant processing archivist
- Jen Cramer, director of T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History
- Mark Martin, public services librarian
- Tasha McClain, government documents librarian
- Winnie Schwaid-Lindner, digital preservation librarian
Each award recognizes a library faculty or staff member based on their position type and career level:
- The Library Staff Award recognizes an LSU Libraries non-classified professional staff member who has demonstrated exceptional accomplishment in the LSU Libraries through job responsibilities, service to the Libraries, and to LSU. The recipient must have demonstrated outstanding achievement and maintained excellent relations with library employees and library users in their service to the LSU community.
- The Early Career Librarian Award recognizes an LSU Libraries faculty member who has demonstrated exceptional accomplishment in the LSU Libraries through initiative, creativity, and ability to make a significant contribution to the library within the first six years of his or her career.
- The Carolyn H. Hargrave Faculty Leadership Award recognizes an LSU Libraries faculty member who has demonstrated exceptional leadership through job responsibilities, research, and service. The award is named in honor of Dr. Carolyn H. Hargrave, whose outstanding academic leadership in higher education provided a statewide network cooperative for resource sharing among Louisiana academic libraries.
Jacob Fontenot, head of the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) unit in the Access Services department, received the Library Staff Award. As head of ILL, he has guided, supported, and enhanced essential library services related to the borrowing of books, articles, audiovisual, and other materials by LSU students, faculty, and staff and resource sharing with other academic libraries who request to borrow similar materials from the Libraries. Most recently, Fontenot has served an instrumental role in the Libraries’ implementation of an expedited article delivery service that supplements traditional resource sharing.
He has also contributed to the library profession through two presentations: one as coordinator for “Interlibrary Loan in Turbulent Times” for the Louis Users Conference (LUC) in October 2020 and another as presenter of “Re-Working ILL Workflows in a Post-Big Deal Environment” to the Association for Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) in March 2020. It was also at LUC 2020 that Fontenot received the Excellence in Library Support Award from the LOUIS Libraries Consortium. He is from Eunice, LA, and has an MLIS, a BA in history, and a second BA in English literature from Louisiana State University (LSU).
Hayley Johnson, head of Government Documents, received the Early Career Librarian Award. An LSU alumna from Bourg, Louisiana, Johnson joined LSU Libraries in 2017, the same year as Fontenot. Her role is multifaceted in that she oversees the Libraries government documents collection and departmental operations; administers the federal depository program in Louisiana, which includes assisting depository libraries in fulfilling their roles in the program; and provides general reference and instruction in the use of both federal and Louisiana state documents. Johnson has been the recipient of several grants and awards that support the mission of the Libraries, often in collaboration with Sarah Simms. These grants and awards include:
- The 2020 Margaret T. Lane Award from the Louisiana Library Association (LLA) for advancing access to, or use of government information in Louisiana:
- The 2020 National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Projects for the Public Discovery grant for $30,000 to fund the project, “Louisiana’s Hidden History of Japanese Internment;”
- A 2020 Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change grant for the recent 2021 programming series about climate change;
- The 2019 NewsBank/Readex/GODORT/ALA Catharine J. Reynolds Research Grant, which funds research in the field of documents librarianship, along with a 2019 Margaret T. Lane/Virginia F. Saunders Memorial Research Award for the book Government Information Essentials (ALA 2018); and
- In 2017 and 2018, two ALA Carnegie-Whitney for grants and NewsBank/Readex/GODORT/ALA Catharine J. Reynolds Awards to support Johnson and Simms’ phased research on Camp Livingston, Louisiana’s role in Japanese-American internment during World War II.
Most recently, she, along with Sarah Simms and Art & Design Librarian Marty Miller, was also selected to join a cohort of 25 librarians from across the state to work alongside instructional designers in order to foster the creation of the Interactive Open Education Resources (OER) for Dual Enrollment program. This new program will aim to improve the quality of the dual-enrollment program and expand its availability for more high school students.
Andrea Hebert received the Carolyn H. Hargrave Faculty Leadership Award. She currently serves as the human sciences & education librarian but was originally hired in 2013 as a reference librarian. A former elementary school educator in East Baton Rouge Parish and editor-turned-coordinator in the former LSU Continuing Education Independent & Distance Learning (now LSU Online) program, she has been well-suited to her role supporting the teaching, research, and learning needs of the College of Human Sciences & Education and those who teach and learn at a distance. Last year, as the Libraries developed new policies and procedures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hebert, along with humanities & social sciences librarian Brittany O’Neill, led a Research and Instruction Services initiative to host individual instruction and group workshops virtually. They posted two public playlists that feature workshops and how-to videos onto the LSU Libraries YouTube Channel.
Most notably, Hebert has contributed to the library profession through numerous presentations and publications. She has presented at the Empirical Librarians Conference, LLA Conference, LUC, and the 17th Distance Library Services Conference, where she received the 2016 Distance Library Services Conference Award. She has been published in national and state publications such as Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian, Evidence-Based Library and Information Practice, Louisiana Libraries, Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning as well as co-authored the book chapter “Maximizing LibAnswers data to drive workflow processes” in Innovative LibGuides applications: Real-world examples (2016).
All recipients expressed sincere gratitude for this recognition from their colleagues and the Libraries. Fontenot reflected on the support that he receives from within Access Services, “It means so much to be recognized for this award. I want to thank the amazing ILL and Circulation teams. They made an incredible effort for our patrons during a challenging year. And thanks to all the library faculty and staff for being great colleagues and for supporting Access Services and our patrons.” Johnson states, “It is an honor to be this year’s recipient of the Early Career Librarian award. My colleagues at LSU Libraries are all outstanding and to be recognized from amongst this group of professionals for doing work that I enjoy is a privilege.” Hebert says, “It’s an honor to receive this award and to have my work recognized by my peers. I’d like to thank the mentors and colleagues I’ve had at LSU Libraries and at other institutions who have been so generous with their knowledge, advice, and support. They have each contributed to my growth as a librarian, and they are to thank for any success I’ve had.”
Although the 2020 awards were postponed due to campus closure (see awardees from 2019 and 2018), LSU Libraries was delighted to finally recognize and congratulate all three very deserving winners. Fontenot, Johnson, and Hebert represent not only the best of the Libraries but also LSU.