The NISO Plus Conference is only four years old, but its awards ceremony, held this year on February 15, is already a much-anticipated annual tradition. As in prior years, the ceremony is an opportunity to recognize individuals for their contributions to NISO as well as to the wider information community. It is also the time when we introduce the year’s NISO Scholarship Awardees.
A highlight of the event is the Miles Conrad Award and Lecture. This award, established in 1965, was named for the founder of the National Federation of Abstracting and Indexing Services (NFAIS), which merged with NISO in 2019. The award recognizes recipients for lifetime achievements in the information community, and previous winners include Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan, Director of the National Library of Medicine (2022), and Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (2021). This year’s recipient was Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble, Professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)and author of the influential Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (NYU Press). In her thoughtful and inspiring talk, “Decolonizing Standards: A Provocation,” Dr. Noble emphasized that our community is now in a unique position to effect real change in standards and information work: “There’s a great opportunity to … bring hard conversations into the foreground, to rethink how we organize and disseminate and share knowledge and information around the world in service of the most pressing issues. … I find it to be an incredible time to be alive in our field and doing this work.” A recording of the lecture and ceremony is now publicly available.
Next on our awards ceremony agenda was the Ann Marie Cunningham Service Award, established by NFAIS in 1994 to honor volunteers who routinely go above and beyond in their commitment to our organization. This year’s awardee was Robert Wheeler, Director of Platform Technology at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Robert is currently a NISO board member and has served on several NISO committees, including as convener and co-chair of two working groups. “Robert has been a tremendous force within NISO in recent years,” said Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director.
NISO also has a tradition of recognizing leaders and contributions over their careers in information services by granting them a lifetime membership in the organization. The NISO Honorary Fellow for 2023 is our colleague Jill O’Neill, who joined us when NISO merged with NFAIS and went on to develop and lead NISO’s education programs for seven years. As Todd noted, “NISO and NFAIS were made much better organizations because of her involvement.”
And finally, our awards ceremony would not have been complete without the introduction of the 2023 NISO Scholarship Winners! Now in its fourth year, the NISO Scholarship program, sponsored with the generous support of Digital Science, was founded to ensure that our community is as diverse and inclusive as possible by supporting the next generation of information community leaders. We invite you to join us again in recognizing them:
- Doyin Adenuga, Electronic Resources Librarian, Houghton University
- Joanna Bailey, Course Reserves Manager, Western Washington University
- Whitney Bates-Gomez, Electronic and Continuing Resources Librarian, Georgia State University
- Janaynne Carvalho do Amaral, Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- Tarenta Daniels, Assistant Operations Officer, U.S. Navy
- Amir Rabiyah El-Chidiac, Diversity Resident/Research and Instruction Librarian, Susquehanna University
- Stanislava Gardasevic, PhD Candidate; Teaching Assistant/Instructor at LIS, University of Hawaii at Manoa
- Rosy Salman Khan, Library Assistant, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR)
- Grace Kim, Electronic Resources Librarian, Transitioning from Touro University Nevada to Nevada State College
- Nancy Kwangwa, Scholarly Communication and Publishing Manager, University of Zimbabwe
- Mubanga Lumpah, Senior Library Assistant, The University of Zambia Library
- Shima Moradi, Instruction & Research Librarian, University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
- Caterina Reed, Instructional Support Associate, Stony Brook University
- Milo Santamaria, Webmaster, YouthFacts
- Sonali Sugrim, Electronic Resources Librarian, Queens College, CUNY
A hearty congratulations to all of our 2023 awardees—thank you for all that you’ve done and continue to do for the community. And again, check out the recording if you missed any part of the ceremony or Dr. Noble’s presentation!