In a typical year, the Leatherby Libraries staff gathers twice in celebration – once in June and once in December. At each gathering, fabulous decor is enjoyed, delicious food is eaten, and important news about the library is shared. In addition to all of this, each of these events includes the announcement of the Library Star Award. Of course, 2020 has been the exact opposite of a typical year. The realities of working from home and quarantine shifted the way the Leatherby Libraries marked the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. Rather than meet in person, earlier this week the Leatherby Libraries held their all-staff meeting on Teams. In the meeting, Dean Charlene Baldwin detailed how the Leatherby Libraries will be coordinating with the CU Safely Back plan, the Chairs and Coordinators of the different Leatherby Libraries departments gave updates on their departments’ achievements and news, and the newest recipient of the Library Star Award was announced. In July 2020, the Library Star Award was presented to Rachel Karas, the Library Events and External Relations Assistant.

The purpose of the Library Star Awards is to recognize, through nominations, those individuals who have demonstrated excellent contributions or service to the Leatherby Libraries. The program gives librarians and library staff the opportunity to recognize each other and inform management of the exceptional work of individuals. All permanent part-time and full-time librarians and library staff of the Leatherby Libraries are eligible.

Nominations may be made for a single, excellent contribution (example: completion of a significant one-time project) or for an individual’s performance over the past two years. Members of the review committee (Dean of the Leatherby Libraries, Associate Dean, and Department Chairs) are not eligible to make nominations. The following are examples of criteria that may be considered when making a nomination:

  • Demonstrating extraordinary support of one’s coworkers
  • Establishing excellent working relationships within the library, campus, or community
  • Completing an outstanding special project
  • Demonstrating creativity and innovation
  • Providing outstanding service to library patrons
  • Contributing to a positive work environment
Screenshot of a Powerpoint presentation slide. The slide has the Leatherby Libraries gonfalon in the top left corner, a photograph of the outside of the Leatherby Libraries across the top, and the black and white Leatherby Libraries logo in the upper right corner. Text on the slide reads "Rachel Karas" in blue font. Below the text, on the left, is a photograph of Rachel outside the Leatherby Libraries in a black shirt with red and white floral print, and on the right, a photograph of a small bronze star engraved with the words "Leatherby Libraries Star Award Rachel Karas" on a red background

Dean Baldwin used this slide to announce the winner of the Library Star Award.

Rachel received her award, including the future addition of her name to the Library Star Award plaque on display in the Library Administration offices, along with the following remarks:

Rachel has been a member of the Marketing and Development team now for a year and a half. Since she joined the library, she has been a wonderful asset. Not only has our blog been infused with great quality content, but our social media presence has also become more effective and prominent. From well-researched posts to interviews with librarians, staff, students, and collaborators, her pieces have been very well received on and off campus. I am also proud to report that after almost two years in the pipeline, our newsletter finally launched in September of 2019 and has been sent five times since then, with more people subscribing to it and commenting on the content. Thanks to Rachel’s diligent efforts, she was able to work closely with Strategic Marketing & Communications and get this project started. The newsletter receives great feedback from everyone on the list. Her excellent communication and writing skills are definitely a great addition to our marketing and outreach efforts. Additionally, her response to remote work and communicating effectively the available remote resources for teaching and research was of a crucial value the last few months. She continues to look for innovative stories and ways for outreach and communication. I am proud to have Rachel as part of the team.

At the end of the meeting, Leatherby Libraries staff all turned on their cameras to wave goodbye. We all can’t wait until we can safely be back in the Leatherby Libraries!

Screenshot of a Teams meeting. In each of the four boxes into which the screen is divided is a person smiling and waving.

Leatherby Libraries administration and staff wave goodbye! Top, from left to right: Dean Charlene Baldwin, Associate Dean Kevin Ross. Bottom, from left to right: Chair of Instructional Services Taylor Greene, Administrative Coordinator Laurie Gates Cussalli