This is the time of year to start thinking about nominating your favorite preservation and/or conservation librarian for one of the several awards available from the ALA-ALCTS Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS). There are several available, summed up over on PCAN and listed with other awards over on the ALCTS awards website.
I want to highlight the newest PARS award and ask for your help in getting the word out to students, new preservation librarians, and to preservation programs and their faculty. The Jan Merrill-Oldham Professional Development Grant rewards the recipient with cash to help defray the cost of attending the ALA Annual Conference.
Throughout her career Jan championed new professionals and supported them by providing internships and jobs. She willingly and quickly took many new professionals, myself included, under her wing and taught them the importance of the work and why preservation matters to the greater academic world and, indeed, to society itself.
We stand on very tall shoulders and would not be successful today without the help of many, many people. What I have found in this profession is a large cadre of very smart, very dedicated and very supportive people who are more than willing to give you their time and advice. Jan is one of these people and I owe her a great number of things. Even now, more than a decade into my career, Jan continues to inspire me and provides her thoughts and advice when I need it.
Jan is humble and shies away from the limelight. But I’m here to say that she is a gem, one of those people that in decades to come we will stand and tell our stories of how Jan helped us through the tough times and supported us through our successes. Please help honor Jan by getting the word out on this new award.
Full disclosure: I am one of two authors of the PCAN blog; I was an intern for Harvard College Libraries with Nancy Schrock (another person to whom I owe so much), worked for Jan and Pamela Spitzmueller (yet another mentor) in the Weissman Preservation Center at Harvard, and I and two other librarians developed the JMO Award.