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Harvard College Library News: News from around the libraries

HCL Names Excellence in Service Award Winners


HCL's 2011 Excellence in Service award winners were feted at a reception held by the Associate Librarians on November 16. Back row: Ann Heintz, Michael Grossman, Associate Dan Hazen, Tim Gray, and Jay MacIntyre. Front row: Ann-Marie Costa, Shirleyann Holcombe, Associates Marilyn Wood and Susan Fliss.

November 16, 2011 – Recipients of the 2011 Harvard College Library Excellence in Service Awards come from different units and have varying skill sets, but all have in common a sense of mission and dedication to their work. This year’s award winners are: Ann-Marie Costa, Widener Access Services; Tim Gray, HCL Operations; Michael Grossman, Middle Eastern Division Widener; Ann Heintz, Tozzer Technical Services, Shirleyann Holcombe, HCL Preservation & Imaging Services, and Jay MacIntyre, HCL Technical Services.

Ann-Marie Costa, Assistant Head of Library Billing & Privileges, was nominated for her leadership role in the creation of Inscriptio, the online carrel seating application developed through the Library Lab. The system is expected to save an estimated five weeks of work per year, replacing time consuming manual processes. In addition to the Inscriptio project and her regular workload, she was also instrumental in implementing the Widener and Lamont Amnesty program and patron blocking program. From her nominator: “Her commitment to library innovation and dedication to staff and patrons is invaluable to the Access Services mission. She has gone above and beyond to help create a production environment and provide positive encouragement to staff.”

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Tim Gray, Assistant Director for Security, was cited for his willingness to assume additional responsibilities and for his effective leadership style. When the HCL Operations office manager took an eight month leave, Tim assumed all of the administrative duties, including significant HCOM work, key requests, and frontline customer service. At the same time, he continued to cultivate a strong security team through training, effective communication, collaboration and “bridge building” with other units, like the Privileges Office, Collections Conservation, and HUPD. From his nominator: “Tim is well respected by the staff and the training he has implemented leads to competent and well-educated employees.  He has created a positive environment that is conducive to staff  working well together.”

Middle Eastern Librarian Michael Grossman’s contribution centered around his ongoing collaboration with Professor M. Shahab Ahmed in building the South Asian collections to support a burgeoning program in South Asian studies, and the new Department of South Asian Studies. Michael undertook a great deal of work in preparation for the acquisition of the very significant Shah Shuja Library of Lahore. He worked closely with the vendor in Pakistan to receive bibliographic data in a format that could easily be adapted to MARC records and uploaded in batches by OIS, an innovative effort that saved the division time, ensured timely payment to the vendor, and made material accessible to users quickly. From his nominator: “This type of creativity characterizes Michael’s work... Thanks to Michael’s hard work the library continues to enhance and strengthen its South Asian and Armenica resources.”

Ann Heintz, Acquisitions Assistant, is known and respected among her peers for her never ending willingness to step in where help is needed and for her devotion to Tozzer Library.  This year Ann assumed most of the duties of a colleague in Acquisitions who went out on a three-month leave for an internship, and then volunteered to work an additional five hours per week to fill in for a cataloger out on short term disability. When the employee who took the intern position did not return to work, Ann continued to cover as many duties as possible, in addition, of course, to her own workload. Ann worked for two years to close Tozzer’s exchange program in an effective, orderly manner, corresponding with partners in dozens of different countries and working with materials in an array of languages. Ann is also Tozzer’s macro expert. From her nominator:  “In an environment where it is unclear where we will be either physically or administratively in a few months, Ann has put her nose to the grindstone, taken on extra duties and focuses on getting the work done... She is a selfless employee who is more than deserving of recognition for her talents, kind heart, perseverance and intelligence.”

Shirleyann Holcombe, Manager of Scanning & Microfilming Services, has been with the Harvard College Library for more than 30 years. She has experienced an astounding number of changes in technology, systems, and services with the library, but regardless of the change she has both adapted and excelled at the job, resulting in lasting and pertinent contributions to the preservation of the collections. Among her most recent accomplishments, Shirley led a seamless transition away from a microfilm-only service towards a more diverse set of digitization services. Over the past year, she was invaluable in the commencement of an ambitious six-year project with the National Library of China to digitize all of the Chinese rarer books held at the Harvard-Yenching Library. She trained staff on use of new workstations and on image processing workflow. From her nominator: “What distinguishes Shirley as an outstanding employee and supervisor is her versatility, cooperative nature, and respectful attitude, all of which have allowed her to be both an extremely effective communicator and a revered colleague.”

Jay MacIntyre, Technical Services Library Assistant, is recognized for his remarkable efficiency in handling requests from multiple selectors and balancing priorities, ensuring that faculty requests for Reserves materials are filled quickly, and at the same time placing orders for Lamont’s other collections in a timely fashion. As a result of Jay’s assiduous efforts, Lamont almost never has a processing backlog, even during peak ordering periods for reserves. In the past two years Lamont has undergone some significant changes, from the integration of Widener and Lamont services, to the reorganization of HCL Technical Services, and the current Library transition. Through it all, Jay has shown a remarkable ability to adapt with great professionalism and remain effective. From his nominator: “Despite being located off-site in Central Square, Jay has served Lamont’s mission with great professionalism and dedication during a time of transition... He is an invaluable source of institutional knowledge about Lamont, its practices and its collections.”