Kovacs Award nominations are neeeded!

The LIS Alumni Association is accepting nominations for the Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement. You can read about the award and its expectations below. Nominate someone for exceptional achievement using our handy form!

The Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement is presented annually by the UNCG-LIS Alumni Association to a graduate of the UNCG Department of Library and Information Studies who has made significant contributions to libraries, library users, and Information Studies. The award honors former faculty member Dr. Bea Kovacs and recognizes individuals whose service to community and career achievements reflect those exemplified by Dr. Kovacs. Among these achievements are:

  • Exceptional service to the users of libraries and school media centers
  • Innovative and creative leadership that benefits colleagues, institutions, and professional organizations
  • Scholarly excellence in research and publication
  • Excellence in the education and mentoring of future librarians
The Kovacs Award carries on a tradition which originated with the UNCG-LIS Alumni Association’s Outstanding Alumna / Alumnus Award. The award was officially renamed during ceremonies honoring Dr. Kovacs at the alumni luncheon on April 21, 2007. We will honor the next recipient at our Alumni Luncheon on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
And mark your calendars NOW for our alumni luncheon on Saturday, March 23, 2013.

Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement Nominations!

The LIS Alumni Association is accepting nominations for the Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement. You can read about the award and its expectations below. Nominate someone for exceptional achievement using our handy form!

The Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement is presented annually by the UNCG-LIS Alumni Association to a graduate of the UNCG Department of Library and Information Studies who has made significant contributions to libraries, library users, and Information Studies. The award honors former faculty member Dr. Bea Kovacs and recognizes individuals whose service to community and career achievements reflect those exemplified by Dr. Kovacs. Among these achievements are:

  • Exceptional service to the users of libraries and school media centers
  • Innovative and creative leadership that benefits colleagues, institutions, and professional organizations
  • Scholarly excellence in research and publication
  • Excellence in the education and mentoring of future librarians
The Kovacs Award carries on a tradition which originated with the UNCG-LIS Alumni Association’s Outstanding Alumna / Alumnus Award. The award was officially renamed during ceremonies honoring Dr. Kovacs at the alumni luncheon on April 21, 2007. We will honor the next recipient at our Alumni Luncheon on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
And mark your calendars NOW for our alumni luncheon on Saturday, March 23, 2013.

The 2012 Alumni Luncheon is almost here!

That’s right! The event you wait for all year long is coming up in just a few weeks! This year’s luncheon will be held on March 31, 2012 @ 12:00pm in the Virginia Dare Room of the UNCG Alumni House. This year the Cora Paul Bomar lecture on Librarianship will be delivered by Dr. Brian Sturm. Brian received his MLS in 1991 and my PhD in 1998, both from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. He served as the assistant director of the Indiana University Library School on the South Bend campus. He is an Associate Professor at UNC SILS and teaches classes at SILS on storytelling. He has been a storyteller for over 12 years. His talk is entitled “Creating and Marketing Immersive Libraries.” We will also be presenting the Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement to this year’s deserving alumnus. Alumni, family, friends, and LIS faculty and students are all welcome to attend!

Tickets are $25 for alumni (and other non-students) and $10 for current LIS students. Please RSVP to ehsapienza@gmail.com. We hope you will join us on March 31!

Check out some of the highlights from last year’s luncheon here and here.

Featured Alumna: Susan Sharpless Smith (aka our 2011 Kovacs Award recipient!)

Bea Kovacs, Susan Smith, and Randall Bowman

Our Featured Alumna for April is Susan Sharpless Smith! Susan graduated from the UNCG LIS program in 1993 and since then has distinguished herself as a well-known speaker and writer on technology, education, and libraries, including web-based instruction and digital archives. She currently serves as the Director of Research, Instruction and Technology Services at Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University. Susan was also selected as the recipient of the 2011 Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement. Read on to learn more about Susan and her contributions to librarianship! Congratulations, Susan!

1. Had you worked in other areas before entering library school?

Librarianship is my second career. I spent the first few decades of my work life in the home center industry as a manager. This is where I got a wealth of practical experience in administration, management and leadership, and developed my customer service philosophies. When the company I worked for decided to pull out of North Carolina, they provided outplacement counseling and it was through that testing that I discovered that librarianship might be a good fit for my next career!

2. What was your first library job?

While I was in library school, I worked in the Charlotte Observer library. Upon graduation I became the assistant librarian there. It was there that I first became interested in digital librarianship. Our main responsibility was “enhancing” the daily news stories for ingestion into the Dialog database. This included making sure the most complete version of the story out of the four daily editions was accurate and providing keywords to aid searching.

3. What do you remember most about your time in the UNCG LIS program?

Because I was a non-traditional student (working and living in Charlotte with a young family), I remember being grateful for the ability to take courses via teleconferencing facilities at UNCC. It was an early introduction to the power of technology in extending educational possibilities, which is now one of my main areas of interest.

4. What is your current position and what does it entail?

I am the Director of Research, Instruction and Technology Services at Z. Smith Reynolds Library, Wake Forest University. In that capacity, I have a team of 14 librarians and professional staff who are responsible for all the information/research services; scholarly communication initiatives; library and technology instruction; digitization initiatives; library information systems; computer hardware and software resources; multimedia services; and Library Web services. At Wake, we are library faculty, so I represent ZSR in the Faculty Senate and on the Committee for Academic Freedom and Responsibility as well as the Committee on Information Technology. I get the opportunity to get involved in various projects both internal and external to the library in a variety of capacities. Two of my favorite ones have been co-directing the annual Wake the Library 5K race, and embedding two different years with the sociology class “Social Stratification in the Deep South” as they travelled through Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

5. Do you have any projects going on that you’re particularly excited about?

This past year, the third edition of my book Web-Based Instruction, A Guide for Libraries (ALA Editions) was published, and that was gratifying. Recently, ZSR Library was named as the winner of the 2011 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries award for the university division. I co-authored the application for that award with colleague and UNCG LIS alumna Lauren Pressley, so its success was rewarding to both of us. I am the chair of the 2012 LITA National Forum Planning Committee (it will be in Columbus, Ohio), and I’ve just signed on to be guest editor of a Journal of Web Librarianship special issue on data curation that will be published in Fall 2012. My newest “personal” project is my recent re-entry into graduate school in the UNCG Higher Education PhD program where I expect to gain a deeper perspective on the academic library’s role and value within the larger university.

6. How do you feel the profession has changed since you graduated from UNCG?

When I started as Electronic Resources Librarian at ZSR Library in 1996, I half jokingly told people my goal was to work on developing a virtual library so that people would not need a physical library to get what they need. That’s become truer that I ever really seriously envisioned. But this shift has also brought new opportunities for innovation and for transforming what our profession can become. It also means that our education is never complete and that we need to stay open to redefining our roles and to updating our skills.

7. Anything else you’d like to say to the UNCG Alumni:

It’s an exciting time to be in librarianship!

We missed you at the UNCG LIS Alumni Luncheon!

The UNCG LIS Alumni Luncheon was a wonderful success. We had a great turnout, yummy food, and an engaging speaker. Our speaker, Lauren Pressley, gave a thoughtful talk on the changing library. We also awarded the Bea Kovacs Award to Susan Sharpless Smith. More information coming soon about her!

Kovacs Award Winner is Susan Sharpless Smith

The only thing missing was you! Hope you can join us in 2012. We will announce the date for next year’s luncheon very soon. Keep an eye out for more information or join our listserv to find out more!

Lauren Pressley, Luncheon Speaker

I’ve posted only a few pictures from the event. You can see all of them on our Flickr page.

The LIS Alumni Association Executive Board

Save the Date!: Alumni Luncheon

Please save the date for the UNCG LIS Alumni Luncheon on April 16 at noon in the UNCG Alumni House!

We are pleased to announce that Lauren Pressley, Instructional Design Librarian at the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University, will deliver the Cora Paul Bomar lecture on Librarianship. We will also honor the next recipient of the Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement.

Tickets are $25 for alumni and $10 for currently enrolled LIS students

Please rsvp to Erin Sapienza (ehsapienza@gmail.com).

Nominate UNCG Alumni for the Kovacs Award!



The LIS Alumni Association is accepting nominations for the Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement. You can read about the award and its expectations below. Nominate someone for exceptional achievement using our handy form!

The Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement is presented annually by the UNCG-LIS Alumni Association to a graduate of the UNCG Department of Library and Information Studies who has made significant contributions to libraries, library users, and Information Studies. The award honors former faculty member Dr. Bea Kovacs and recognizes individuals whose service to community and career achievements reflect those exemplified by Dr. Kovacs. Among these achievements are:

  • Exceptional service to the users of libraries and school media centers
  • Innovative and creative leadership that benefits colleagues, institutions, and professional organizations
  • Scholarly excellence in research and publication
  • Excellence in the education and mentoring of future librarians

The Kovacs Award carries on a tradition which originated with the UNCG-LIS Alumni Association’s Outstanding Alumna / Alumnus Award. The award was officially renamed during ceremonies honoring Dr. Kovacs at the alumni luncheon on April 21, 2007. We will honor the next receipient at our Alumni Luncheon on April 16, 2011.

Previous recipients of the award

  • Carol Stanley
  • Wanda Brown
  • Wilma Bates
  • Frances Bradburn
  • Mary Kit Dunn
  • Judy LeCroy
  • Sue Spencer
  • Lou Sua

2010 Kovacs Award Recipient Carol Stanley

This month’s featured alumna is our 2010 Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement recipient, Carol Stanley. Carol has been an extremely active member of the profession since graduating  from UNCG in December 1988. Currently, she is a Branch Librarian at Athens Technical College in Elberton, Georgia and the President of the Georgia Library Association.

Read on to learn more about our Carol!

What was your first library job?

My very first was as a student work study at NC State in cataloging, typing name authority cards for the authority file! And on a typewriter (at least it was electric!) using an electric eraser to correct mistakes at that! Our supervisor Pam Goetz was deaf but would constantly be telling the group of students typing and talking to “Be Quiet”! My first librarian job was Catalog Librarian at Queens College—now Queens University in Charlotte. I also provided reference service and served as interim director while there. My fantastic cataloging assistant there, Colleen Turnage, received her MLS from UNCG after I left for Georgia, and is now a big time cataloger—Director of Cataloging Services for the NC Community Colleges. She taught me bunches!

Had you worked in other areas before entering library school?

I was a Business Management major and had NO intention of working in a library, but other than summer jobs in retail, customer service, and manufacturing, I had had no other full-time jobs that were not in a library! You know, stuff just happens. And I’m so glad. There is nothing else I’d rather be, than a librarian!

What do you remember most about your time in the UNCG LIS program?

Loved it all! I was fortunate to be able to go full-time and work as a Graduate Assistant for different departments including our very own. My first semester, I was researching AIDS for the Nursing School using the red CINAHL indices in Reference in Jackson Library, writing down citations, finding the articles and photocopying them. Ahhh….where was I…oh…another memorable time was our LISSA trip to DC and LC when another LIS student, David Stegall started flirting with me. He is now my husband of 21 years! And I remember painting the halls outside the department and scrounging up furniture from surplus so we could have a communal area around the student mailboxes. What is it like now?! I hope that old chair is still not there—I mean the kind you sit in…not our professorial leader! And of course our professors were something else—Keith Wright, Sangster Parrott, Jim Carmichael, and Bea Kovacs, with Department Chair, Marilyn Miller and her assistant…the top notch and efficient, Liz Meeks! Memories…

What is your current position and what does it entail?

I truly love my job as Branch Librarian at Athens Technical College in Elberton, Georgia “Granite Capitol of the World—makes the most granite memorials—okay, so it could be called “Tombstone, Georgia”. Also famous for the Georgia Guidestones—like Stonehenge but was built in 1980! Anyways, I began on the main campus in Athens in 1995 as Evening Librarian and Cataloger, and when the Elberton Campus opened in 1993, I became the librarian there. There are about 500 students that I get to know and help in our tiny library with 10 computers and 3 shelving units. I provide information literacy instruction to classes, ILL, and supervise 5 student assistants, AND am still THE cataloger for the college. We have had two additional campus libraries open in the last few years and sometimes I’m the traveling librarian to teach on those campuses. I also work some Saturdays on the Athens campus. When there, I am able to catalog the college archives!

Do you have any projects going on that you’re particularly excited about?

Serving as the 2010 President of the Georgia Library Association is definitely a “project”! We’ve had a busy year organizing our Mid-Winter Conference with special guest speaker Dr. Jim Carmichael,  our first annual “Georgia Library Photo Contest,” “Virtual Library Legislative Day” in conjunction with our actual “Library Day” in Atlanta, hosting ALA President, Camila Alire to present a workshop on “Frontline Advocacy”, and am now preparing for our annual conference in October.

Do you have an accomplishment that you are most proud of?

I didn’t know this until just now, but I’d have to say it is raising money for our Georgia Library Association Scholarships for Library School students. We have had a raffle at the annual state conference for many years and I began emceeing the event- dressing in costumes and being silly. Last year I was “Susan Boyle”. It is now such a big event that we have made it the closing conference event this year instead of having a keynote speaker. We raise about $5,000 which keeps us from dipping into the account, so hopefully it can grow to fund more scholarships. I enjoy bringing all types of librarians together for a good cause and making it fun.

What does it mean to you to receive the Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement?

I am extremely honored and humbled. Dr. Bea Kovacs was my Cataloging and Collection Development professor. These two aspects of librarianship have been strengths of mine and I owe it to her. She was feisty, intelligent, humorous, and caring. I hope she is enjoying retirement!

How do you feel the profession has changed since you graduated from UNCG?

Let me see….can we say “blog” as a good example?! Electronic communication and the technology/information explosion has put the library and information services profession in a unique position to provide access to the public serving as “information first responders”!—I heard that at a conference yesterday. We always have been in the information business and always will, just the format of the information has mostly changed.

Anything else you’d like to say to the UNCG Alumni?

I cherish our profession and am fortunate to be among you! Whatever type of library you work in we need to support each other. It is wonderful we all have such different careers but are tied together as UNCG LIS alums.  I vow to be a better alumna and support our library school.

Thanks, Carol! And congratulations!

Camila Alire and Carol Stanley (as Susan Boyle) at an event for the Georgia Library Association.

2010 Spring Alumni Luncheon Wrap-Up

May Day, May 1, marked the 2010 LISAA Alumni Luncheon held in the Alumni House on UNCG’s campus.  Many former and current students, family members, and faculty met to celebrate the MLIS program at UNCG and to hear a wonderful speaker.

Current president Mac Nelson opened the day by introducing the board members and letting the group know about LISAA’s activities for the year such as our strengthened communications with members via a new blog and Facebook page, a get-together at NCLA in October 2009, an online mentoring session, and a survey sent to alumni asking them what they would like LISAA to do for them.

2009-2010 LISAA Board: Jennifer Smith, Randall Bowman, Kathy Shields, Sandra Andrews, Jeff Stabnau, and Mac Nelson. Not pictured: Lynda Kellam and Adrian Whicker.

Department Chair Dr. Clara Chu reported the department’s activities for the year:  the first IDEAL Summit, a program review, the ALA accreditation presentation, exploration of possible dual degrees and continuing education opportunities, a new Strategic Plan, a new building next year, and a new faculty member next year– Fatih Oguz, from Valdosta State University.

Dr. Chu also invited alumni to give feedback through the department’s website.

The Cora Paul Bomar Lecture was given by Dr. David Cecelski.  Dr. Cecelski’s talk, entitled “Love in the Archives:  the search for Abraham Galloway,” was a wonderful presentation about his journey through many different archives and libraries to research his elusive topic: North Carolinian Abraham Galloway. Galloway was an escaped slave and a Union Spy during the Civil War.  Everyone present could have listened for much longer about his love for historical research and about the librarians and archivists who helped him along the way. And we can’t wait for his book to come out next May! But in the meantime, you can check out some of his other publications.

Dr. Cecelski with LIS faculty member Dr. Jim Carmichael.

The Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement was given to Carol Stanley (1988). Stanley is a Branch Librarian for Athens Technical College, Elbert County Campus in Elberton, GA and is currently serving as President of the Georgia Library Association.

Carol Stanley and LISAA President Mac Nelson.

We have already set the date for next year’s luncheon – Saturday April 16, 2011 – so put it on your calendar and make sure you don’t miss a fun and interesting day with wonderful colleagues, a superb speaker, and good food!