Dickinson College Director of Library Services Earns User Services Association's Highest Honor

Eleanor Mitchell

Eleanor Mitchell

Eleanor Mitchell

Eleanor Mitchell, director of library services at Dickinson, is one of the co-recipients of the 2018 Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award, the Reference and User Services Association's highest honor. The award recognizes Mitchell for her 13 years of service as co-editor of Reference Services Review, alongside Sarah Watstein, dean of Seattle University's Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons, who is the other co-recipient of the award.

As stated in a recent release on the award from the Reference and User Services Association, Mitchell's and Watstein's "collaboration combines their individual strengths of knowledge and experience about reference service and user instruction to deliver critically vetted and carefully edited articles on the major strains of reference work. They have taken a strong journal and developed it into an exemplary venue for sharing ideas about the complex nexus of information sources, information discovery and delivery systems, information professionals and library users. Under their editorship, they have transformed the journal into one of the most respected in the field of reference librarianship."

Mitchell is a nationally known authority on information literacy and instruction issues in library services, which was a major focus of her work as head of the undergraduate library at UCLA, and she has published and presented extensively on the subject. As the director of library services at Dickinson, she has continued to advocate for the integral role of information literacy in the curriculum as one of the complex challenges of contemporary reference services. She addresses these issues in her book Reviewing the Academic Library: A Guide to Self-Study and External Review, co-authored in 2015 with Peggy Seiden.

Sponsored by Credo Reference, the award consists of $5,000 and a citation for making "a distinguished contribution to reference librarianship." The award will be presented at the Reference and User Services Association's President's Program on Saturday, June 23, at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in New Orleans.


Published April 5, 2018