Dr. Drew's Infrequent Blog

05 May 2007

Graduation & Vann Award Thanks

I know it sounds corny, but today was one of the happiest days of my professional career. I’m always proud at Graduation Dinners, although it is mixed with a tinge of sadness as I see students transform into graduates. Today we had a large crop of some real future leaders who showed their intelligence, creativity, and kindness while they were in the program.

To be honest though, today was more than that since our ALA Student Chapter presented me with the 2007 Sarah K. Vann Professional Service Award. I felt both very honored, but also quite guilty since there are many professionals here in Hawaii who’ve put in years of service to intellectual freedom and international librarianship. The award is named in honor of LIS Professor Emerita Sarah K. Vann who taught both subjects – and library history -- at the University of Hawaii. I’ve enjoyed meeting with her, and have been inspired by her real internationalism and social responsibility. She’s also so charming.

Vann Award

It is an honor to join to the ranks of Dr. Knuth, Lynn Davis, and Gail Morimoto in this group. Our ALA Student Chapter really makes me so proud too. It really has been a treat to be their advisor over the years. It is fun to see how each group creates its own culture and priorities. They really are so creative and hard working.

I know that some students think that I play favorites among those who are active in various professional groups, but it seems obvious to me that these groups are the leadership factories for all LIS students, and these groups do so much for all students.

At today’s ceremony I was really moved by the beautiful nomination letters that ALA-SC Past President Christine Cipolla read. Service is often a rather thankless task. For university professors this comes after teaching, which comes after research… and service to our professional associations probably falls well below scholarly societies… so this would not be the smartest chart to tenure or fame, but I really believe that it is so important. I’m happy that I see the students also treating service with such seriousness. They really do great things in so many different organizations. It is amazing how many groups run – especially compared to our small student size – compared to other LIS schools.

Well, it is late. Perhaps I should just call it a night. I have a huge pile of papers to grade, but I’m too tired to grade now. It was draining to be the faculty MC tonight.

I’ll miss many of the graduates this year. I suppose I usually feel this way. We’ve all gone through a lot together. I should just say Congratulations to the grads, and thank you again for all of your support.

Graduates, Gail asked me to remind you to send her your updated addresses. Award winners, please sign the paper and send it to her this week. Thanks! And, yes, I uploaded 77 photos from the dinner up to flickr as a set. Sorry some were far from ideal, and that I didn’t get shots of everyone.

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