Alison Scott Receives Eighteenth Annual Ishimoto Award

hcl committees  

Alison Scott, center, accepts the eighteenth annual Carol Ishimoto Award for Distinguished Service in the Harvard College Library from Nancy Cline, the Roy E. Larsen Librarian of Harvard College, and Dan Hazen, Associate Librarian of Harvard College for Collection Development.


November 19, 2008 - Alison Scott, Widener Senior Collection Development Librarian and Charles Warren Bibliographer for American History, has been named as the 2008 winner of the Carol Ishimoto Award for Distinguished Service in the Harvard College Library.

An endowment established in 1991 by Carol Ishimoto, former Associate Librarian of Harvard College for Cataloging and Processing, annually provides a cash award and citation for creative professional achievement of a high order. The award recognizes a member or group of the professional staff who has advanced the mission of the College Library through exceptional contributions and leadership.

"Alison's dedication, wit, intelligence, leadership skills and range of activities are exemplary," said Dan Hazen, Associate Librarian of Harvard College for Collection Development. "She models the generosity of spirit, breadth of perspective, personal integrity and deep-seated knowledge and competence that exemplify our collection development enterprise."

Since her appointment in 2000, colleagues credit Scott with leading a substantial expansion and revitalization of the library's Americana collections and collecting program, with a particular focus on primary resources and popular culture. To that end, she has collected thousands of film and TV DVDs in support of a number of courses, and has provided resources essential to original research - including the new doctoral program in Film Studies.

Scott has also nurtured complimentary donations, including a complete, mint-condition run of TV Guide. Other recent acquisitions include a major private collection of science fiction and fantasy comic books, an array of materials on HIV/AIDS and significant purchases in previously under-represented genres, such as ‘zines and graphic novels.

It is not only Widener that has benefitted from Scott's collecting work. She is credited with organizing cooperative acquisitions with other units, including the Harvard Film Archive and Houghton and Loeb Music libraries. She has also promoted selection and ordering efficiencies in conjunction with other English-language bibliographers at the English Division at HCL Technical Services.

Already an accomplished bibliographer, Scott's responsibilities increased significantly over the past two years, with her appointment as Senior Collection Development Librarian. Following the departure of Dan Hazen, who took an Associate position, Widener Collection Development was deliberately left without a head. Seeking a more immediate source for counsel and administrative support, many bibliographers found it in Scott, who helped ease the managerial and supervisory demands on the Associate Librarian for Collection Development.

At both Widener and elsewhere, colleagues say Scott has been a leader in addressing staff concerns and in developing policies to better meet HCL's goals. She has helped organize weekly bibliographers meetings to address issues like travel funding, and helped create a CD tour of Countway Library to clarify collection expectations and coverage in the critical realm of public health.

Scott also serves on the Administrative Committee of the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, and even participates in classroom instruction with lectures on analytical bibliography in some history courses. She also offers guest lectures at the University of Washington's Information School during occasional visits to the west coast.