News & Noteworthy

Dr. June Abbas Wins 2016 LITA/OCLC Kilgour Research Award

Dr. June Abbas, Professor of Library and Information Studies at the University of Oklahoma, has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology sponsored by OCLC and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA).

The Kilgour Award is given for research relevant to the development of information technologies, especially work which shows promise of having a positive and substantive impact on any aspect(s) of the publication, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information, or the processes by which information and data is manipulated and managed. The winner receives $2,000, a citation, and travel expenses to attend the LITA Awards Ceremony & President’s Program at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando (FL).

Dr. Abbas has published more than 100 articles with the h-index of 13 since 2008, which demonstrates a significant impact on the field as seen from the more than 600 citations that many of those publications received. She has also authored and edited two books, contributed 10 book chapters, and developed several research/technical reports and specifications. In addition, she obtained over $1,600,000 in grant awards resulting in 23 funded grant projects. Two recent projects among those are “The Digital Latin Library: Implementation Grant” with the award amount of $1,000,000 funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2015 and “Partnering to Build a 21st Century Community of Oklahoma Academic Librarians” with the award amount of $414,545 funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services from 2009-2013.

Her research areas are information-seeking and information system use and design, organization of information, and the changing nature of information and systems. As such, her research fits well with the purpose of the Kilgour Award, which aims at bringing attention to research relevant to the development of information technologies. The nomination letter states: “Dr. Abbas’ work has contributed substantially to our understanding of the provision of information resources in the context of libraries and our entire digital society through the study of processes by which information and data are manipulated and managed. The core purpose of Dr. Abbas’s research program is to provide individuals and communities with effortless access to accurate, relevant information through the development of information technologies that facilitate the storage, retrieval and dissemination of data and information.”

Bohyun Kim, Chair of the Kilgour Award Committee noted that “Dr. Abbas’ outstanding record of interrelated and cutting edge papers, books, and conference publications, and the garnering of over $1,600,000 in funding to advance her work, are all a brilliant testament to how this talented and productive puzzle master’s in-depth explorations have helped to solve, and will continue to break new ground in, problems in the provision of information resources in this era where information systems are highly dynamic and new forms of information ecologies seem to develop in the blink of an eye. The Committee was impressed with her work and believes that it will have continued impact on the field of library and information technologies.”

When notified she had won the Award, Dr. Abbas said, “I am deeply honored to accept the Fredrick G. Kilgour Award. He was a librarian, innovator, visionary but pragmatic thinker, leader and guide whose contributions to libraries, cataloging, and interlibrary loan are unparalleled. Under his direction OCLC has not only changed the way libraries and information organizations create and share bibliographic records worldwide but how the world views the potentials of networked information. His spirit truly embodied one of the core values of librarianship to which I hold dear, providing equitable, user-centered access to information. Developing new ways in which the emerging technologies of computers and networks could be used in meaningful ways to provide access, enable collaboration, and sharing of electronic records are but a few of the many legacies he has gifted the profession and the world. I am grateful and humbled to be named the 2016 LITA/OCLC Fredrick G. Kilgour Award winner.”

The members of the 2016 Frederick G. Kilgour Award Committee are: Bohyun Kim (Chair); Ellen Bahr; Jason Simon; Margaret Heller; Tabatha Farney; Tao Zhang, and Roy Tennant (OCLC Liaison).

About OCLC

OCLC is a nonprofit global library cooperative providing shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC’s WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world’s collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff and partners make breakthroughs possible.

About LITA

Established in 1966, the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) is the leading organization reaching out across types of libraries to provide education and services for a broad membership of nearly 2,700 systems librarians, library technologists, library administrators, library schools, vendors, and many others interested in leading edge technology and applications for librarians and information providers. LITA is a division of the American Library Association. Follow us on our Blog, Facebook, or Twitter.