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2022 Nominees and Recipient

The Distinguished Librarian Award is presented annually by the University of Washington Libraries to a librarian whose contributions advance the mission of the Libraries and the University. The recipient of the award will be named in late Spring Quarter and identified here after public announcements are made.

Nominees for 2022 are:



2022 Distinguished Librarian Award Recipient

Azusa Tanaka
Azusa Tanaka

Azusa Tanaka

Japanese Studies Librarian, Distinctive Collections
Year Nominated: 2021-2022

As Japanese Studies Librarian, Azusa Tanka serves the faculty and students of the Japan Studies Program in the Jackson School of International Studies, as well as the Japanese Language and Literature Program, and leads reference, instruction, and acquisition of Japanese language materials for Tateuchi East Asia Library. Through her expertise, creativity, and relationship-building with donors, she greatly expanded the collections of Japanese language materials available from the UW Libraries.

She has led innovative projects that have increased access to Japanese materials, such as Japanese Imperial Army maps and finding aids to multi-volume Japanese language sets. Described as a “superhero” to the Japan Studies program, she regularly supports teaching, learning, and research through orientations for new students, creating research guides, tracking down sources, and hosting the Tadoku club for Japanese language students.

Her own scholarship is international in scope, ranging from a Japanese language book about working in American academic libraries to assessment of the research needs of Asian studies faculty. (author Justin Wadland)



Nominee Profiles

Jackie Belanger
Jackie Belanger

Jackie Belanger

Director, Libraries Assessment and Planning
Year Nominated: 2021-2022

Jackie Belanger leads the Libraries in large scale assessment and planning projects that guide improvement and decision-making, aligning the services, programs, and resources of the UW Libraries to the ever-evolving needs of UW students, staff, and faculty. Jackie plays a leadership role in Libraries’ strategic planning process, including managing the development of the 2018-2023 Libraries strategic plan and evaluating progress towards the stated goals.

Jackie works collaboratively and in partnership across the organization, establishing and sustaining structures that are effective, open, and equitable. She has transformed the assessment program to include both large-scale surveys as well as student-centered, values-driven methods like Design Thinking and Participatory Design.

As a member of the steering committee, Jackie has co-organized the Library Assessment Conference since 2014 (co-sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and UW Libraries). Her collaborative work and co-authored article "Towards a Critical Library Assessment Program" has significantly impacted the field, bringing a critical and reflective lens to assessment methodologies and practices. (author Deb Raftus)



Alaina Bull
Alaina Bull

Alaina Bull

First Year Experience Librarian, UW Tacoma Library
Year Nominated: 2019-2020

Alaina Bull is the First Year Experience Librarian, and in this role, she leads the UW Tacoma Libraries programs and services for first year students. She is the co-creator of two book clubs at UW Tacoma, a collaboration between the Library and the Center for Equity and Inclusion. The Real Lit[eracy] Book club is an inclusive space for discussing social justice issues through reading a work of fiction. Real Lit book selections are offered free to students and feature narratives written by BIPOC and own voices.

Whether meeting in person or online, Alaina is an expert facilitator who creates a safe environment for connection, and she shared lessons learned from her experience in the 2021 book Transfer Student Success: Advancing Outcomes in the Library. Alaina partnered with campus and community groups and expanded Real Lit's reach by inviting local high school students to attend author events. Alaina brings the same passion and thoughtfulness to Staff Reads, empowering staff to learn about different issues being faced by students and community members. (author Nia Lam)



Verletta Kern
Verletta Kern

Verletta Kern

Head, Open Scholarship Commons and Digital Scholarship Librarian, Research and Learning Services
Year Nominated: 2019-2020

Thanks to Verletta Kern’s leadership, advocacy, and strategic efforts, UW Libraries now offers a rich menu of platforms, programs, and support for digital and open scholarship. Working collaboratively and creatively, Verletta has developed key relationships with campus partners (UW Press, The Simpson Center for Humanities, the eScience institute, and Learning Technologies), secured funding, and built programs and infrastructure for digital scholarship across the disciplines.

Verletta founded the Going Public conference which has featured such notable keynote speakers as community organizer and attorney Nikkita Oliver. Verletta envisioned the Hacking the Academy series which highlights new ways in which scholarship is produced, shared, archived, and reused.

Verletta currently oversees the new Open Scholarship Commons (OSC), a much-needed central hub for learning skills to create content and share it openly to the public. With values of equity, experimentation, flexibility, openness and technology, the OSC is advancing research for the public good. (author Deb Raftus)



Sandra Kroupa
Sandra Kroupa

Sandra Kroupa

Book Arts and Rare Books Curator, Distinctive and Special Collections
Year Nominated: 2021-2022

Sandra Kroupa is the Book Arts and Rare Book Curator in Special Collections, where she has worked for over 53 years. A prolific writer, lecturer, and exhibit curator, Sandra is a tireless teacher of classes and workshops on modern and historical book arts and the history of the book. Sandra has wide-ranging, ongoing collaborative instructional partnerships with faculty and students in undergraduate and PhD programs, particularly in Textual Studies, the iSchool, History Department, and French and Italian Studies, among many others.

A book artist as well as a scholar, Sandra co-founded the Book Arts Guild, serving on its board and coordinating lectures and workshops of visiting artists and giving many presentations herself. During the pandemic, Sandra was able to parlay a half century of in-person teaching to online presentations for faculty at UW and other universities.

In 2002, Sandra’s excellence was acknowledged with a UW Distinguished Staff Award. She has frequently been profiled in the press, and you may read more about her work in these articles.

(author Conor Casey)



Diana Louden
Diana Louden

Diana Nelson Louden

Life Sciences Librarian, Research and Learning Services
Year Nominated: 2019-2020

Diana Louden currently serves as Life Sciences Librarian and is the liaison to the departments of Psychology and Bioengineering (with Christina Byrne); interdisciplinary graduate programs such as Neuroscience; and the liaison from the science librarians' team to the Population Health Initiative. She also provides research impact services as part of the Open Scholarship Commons.

Diana was nominated by a colleague in 2020 when she was working as the Biomedical and Translational Sciences Librarian at the Health Sciences Library. Her references praised her instruction successes, including teaching graduate students how to develop complex search strategies; creating workshops for NIH-funded researchers; and co-developing medical genetics classes for health sciences librarians.

Diana has been a leader in advancing open science and supporting faculty and students as they adopt emergent practices for sharing research products, documenting research impact, and conducting systematic reviews. Diana’s work is held in such high regard that she is regularly invited to be a partner in research teams, such as Dr. Paul Crane’s investigation of the genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease, and she is listed as primary or co-author in over twenty publications. (author Conor Casey)



Caitlin Maloy
Caitlin Maloy

Caitlin Maloy

Nursing and Research Services Librarian, Health Sciences Library
Year Nominated: 2021-2022

In her first two years at University of Washington’s Health Sciences Library, Caitlin has emerged as a collaborative and innovative colleague, teacher, leader and researcher. Her ability to define her role in an online environment has been swift and effective, benefiting School of Nursing students, staff and faculty during a time of uncertainty and ambiguity.

Caitlin has created podcasts and tutorials in addition to her guest lectures in School of Nursing to highlight the library’s role of Evidence Based Practice. The Health Sciences Library is fortunate to have Caitlin as a valuable team member. Her colleagues have an appreciation of her collegiality and willingness to support her team and the interdisciplinary research that goes beyond the health sciences.

We are all very excited about this nomination and proud of Caitlin’s dedication to students and colleagues! (author Electra Enslow)



Chelsea Nesvig
Chelsea Nesvig

Chelsea Nesvig

Global and Policy Studies / Research and Instructional Librarian, UW Bothell / Cascadia College Library
Year Nominated: 2019-2020

Since becoming the Global & Policy Studies Librarian for the University of Washington Bothell and Research & Instruction Librarian for Cascadia College, Chelsea Nesvig has partnered with faculty to develop students’ information literacy and critical thinking skills. Faculty praise Chelsea’s creativity, “dynamic pedagogy,” and innovative uses of educational technology that help them to be innovative in their own instruction.

Chelsea has spent several years helping students enrolled in the UW Bothell Human Rights Seminar develop their research skills - focusing on international human rights and legal sources in preparation for their trips to Washington, D.C. Chelsea obtained funding to travel with the 2019 seminar class and Professor Camille Walsh wrote that it was, “the best year we’ve had as a class – the students had the best research questions, asked the best briefing questions of the politicians, NGO representatives, think tanks, embassies, and other groups, and gained the deepest insights of any year I’ve seen. A huge part of that is because we had Chelsea along on the trip....her contribution to the experience for students was incredible.”

Chelsea documented her experience in a book chapter in Liaison Engagement Success: A Practical Guide for Librarians, a clear example among many of Chelsea’s dedication to learning and developing her professional skills, using those skills to help faculty and students, and then sharing what she learned with colleagues so they too can grow. (author Jessica Albano)



Je Salvador
Je Salvador

Je Salvador

Computer Science / Research and Instruction Librarian, UW Bothell / Cascadia College Library
Year Nominated: 2021-2022

Throughout their career, Je has stood out as someone with a unique ability to provide outstanding and empathetic instruction to all user bases. Je has demonstrated this capacity in the role of Computer Science Research and Instruction Librarian on the UW Bothell campus since 2019 and before that, as a Student Reference Specialist in Suzzallo Library.

Je has been praised by colleagues, partner faculty and students for their dedication and care to ensure that students gain an understanding of Information Literacy and are also affirmed and encouraged on an individual level. Beyond their impactful work in Teaching and Learning, Je has been dedicated to making the Libraries and the community at large a better place and is deeply involved in issues of social justice, accessibility and inclusivity.

Je is described as a radiant presence by their colleagues, someone who is passionate about having a positive impact in everything they do, and who uplifts everyone around them.  (author Andrew Weaver)



Elliott Stevens
Elliott Stevens

Elliott Stevens

English Studies and Research Commons Librarian, Research and Learning Services
Year Nominated: 2019-2020

Since joining the UW Libraries over five years ago, Elliott Stevens has emerged as a leader in digital scholarship who works independently and collaborates with fellow innovators to teach UW students, faculty, and staff how to communicate their scholarship through open source podcasts, electronic books, and digital exhibits. He energizes members of the English department and engages them in interdisciplinary resources and technological tools that enhance their work in digital humanities.

Elliott is part of many of the UW Libraries ground-breaking programs including Storytelling Fellows, the High School Internship program, the Research Commons student worker written reflection program, and accessibility, privacy and safety initiatives.

Elliott is described as creative, curious, generous, enthusiastic, thoughtful, respectful, and someone possessing a pedagogical savvy and collaborative spirit. (author Jessica Albano)