Library Assessment Career Achievement Award Winners Selected for 2018
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the University of Washington (UW) Libraries, and the Library Assessment Conference Steering Committee have selected three recipients for the 2018 Library Assessment Career Achievement Awards. This year’s awardees are William Wilson, Ethel Himmel, and Steve Hiller. The Career Achievement Awards are offered in conjunction with the biennial Library Assessment Conference, organized by ARL and UW Libraries. The 2018 awards will be presented during the luncheon on Wednesday, December 5.
William Wilson and Ethel Himmel contributed in substantial ways to effective, sustainable, and practical library assessment in public, academic, and school libraries as well as in state library agencies. They produced over 500 consulting reports that formed the impetus for change based on sound data and methods. Wilson and Himmel were deploying qualitative and quantitative methods before many in the field knew how and why to use these methods. Their contributions are unparalleled in the library community and Wilson and Himmel are a legacy in library assessment.
Wilson worked in and with public libraries for more than 40 years. He began his career as a page in his neighborhood branch library in Buffalo, New York, and, over the next several decades, served in many roles including as assistant administrator for a multi-county library system (Winding Rivers Library System, La Crosse, Wisconsin), director of a medium-sized municipal library (McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids), director of an urban county library system (Milwaukee County), and as state librarian for Wisconsin.
Himmel was the head of circulation, adult services, and public services, as well as deputy director at La Crosse Public Library in Wisconsin. She served as a research assistant and project assistant at the Library Evaluation and Research Center at the University of Wisconsin while working on her PhD. She also worked as a library consultant for HBW/Providence Associates and was the principal partner at Himmel & Wilson, Library Consultants.
Steve Hiller has been a transformational and inclusive leader in the assessment community for more than 25 years. He retired as director of assessment and planning at the University of Washington Libraries in December 2017. Hiller developed the UW Libraries’ assessment program that provides information about user needs and the effectiveness of the libraries’ support for research, teaching, and learning activities at the University of Washington. He created a robust assessment program that utilizes a variety of quantitative and qualitative assessment methods, including the triennial survey for faculty and students, which has been running continuously since 1992. As a result of Hiller’s leadership, the UW Libraries developed an innovative culture of assessment and evidence-based decision-making that pervades all aspects of the libraries’ work, which is widely respected in academic libraries both nationally and internationally. Hiller was recognized by the university for his assessment service and leadership when he received the UW’s David B. Thorud Leadership Award in 2016.
Hiller’s career also includes years of service to the assessment community through his research, publications, presentations, mentorship, and leadership. He is a co-founder and co-chair of the biennial Library Assessment Conference, which began in 2006 and will have its seventh conference in Houston, Texas, on December 5–7, 2018. He has served as a visiting program officer for the Association of Research Libraries since 2004, providing consultation, training, and expertise to the ARL community and beyond. Hiller’s responsibilities with ARL have included co-leadership of the seminal Effective, Sustainable, and Practical Assessment program, which worked with 42 libraries between 2005 and 2010. He is recognized as an international leader in the areas of assessment, evaluation, and measurement.
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