About the Award
The Butler Award for Library Service was created by Ken and Elsie Butler in 1999. Ken was active in building library collections as the Assistant Library Director and was an advocate for library funding. He embraced new technology and helped shape the Library as the extension center evolved into a University campus in downtown. Ken was very proud of his faculty status as a full professor at Portland State Library, and the award was created to recognize the excellence in library faculty service at PSU. His wife, Elsie “Rusty” Butler was a librarian in the Multnomah County library system and lived a life of dedicated service to her county and patrons. Both Ken and Rusty exemplified the excellence in librarianship we strive for everyday at the Portland State University Library as we support this great urban university.
The Butler Award was created through a Charitable Gift Annuity and continues through the Butler Endowment at the Portland State Foundation. The award is celebrated annually at commencement and winners are only considered if nominated by a member of the PSU community. There is a selection committee comprised of the Chair of the Faculty Senate Library Committee, a student ambassador, a local alumna and the Butler’s daughters, Gillian, Margaret and Catherine.
Ken and Elsie’s daughters continue to support the legacy left by their parents through donations to the Butler Endowed Fund. We are grateful for their support and for the legacy left by their parents here at the PSU Library.
2017: Professor Mary Ellen Kenreich
Portland State University Library is delighted to announce the winner of the 2017 Kenneth W. and Elsie W. Butler Award for Library Faculty Service, Mary Ellen Kenreich. Professor Kenreich is the first person to receive this award twice. She has been described by her nominations committee as “highly respected and sought after for professional advice and conduct…unrivaled in her professionalism and work ethic-the epitome of a service provider.” Professor Kenreich is highly respected and valued for being a leader among Library faculty. Her leadership in the Library has included administrative duties, faculty governance, promotion and tenure review, and committee service. Since her last Butler Award in 2006, Mary Ellen Kenreich has continued to “be a model of academic librarianship, as seen in the level of competency she demonstrates in the core elements of professional academic librarianship: adeptness in a key area of library expertise, service to end users and research and service to the profession” as Susan Hinken from the University of Portland says. Professor Kenreich is receiving this award for the second time because she demonstrates continual dedication to the Portland State community.
2016: Professor Emily Ford
Portland State University Library is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 Kenneth W. and Elsie W. Butler Award for Library Faculty Service, Assistant Professor and Urban and Public Affairs Librarian Emily Ford.
Professor Ford integrates library instruction into both undergraduate and graduate coursework, provides individual guidance and support to students, and works with faculty to bring high quality materials into the Library’s collections. As one of her CUPA colleagues noted, “Emily Ford goes out of her way to make herself available to faculty and students and her expertise and dedication to service are extreme assets to the University.”
Professor Ford’s scholarship is focused both on student learning and on scholarly communication, specifically open peer-review. She led the reTHINK PSU “Digital Badges for Creativity and Critical Thinking” project, providing faculty the ability to integrate information literacy skills into their pedagogy and assessment of student work. Dillon Mahmoudi, PhD Candidate in the Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning, noted, “Through our interactions I have seen first-hand how she has cultivated cultures of both critical thinking and intensive research. Her various work on the incarnations of ‘open’—from open peer review to open access—have been key in influencing the open and collaborative nature of graduate students and been imperative in recent published work.”
A dedicated librarian, Professor Ford’s knowledge, creativity, and commitment to serving library patrons have made important and lasting contributions at Portland State University.
2015: Professor Jill Emery
Assistant Professor and Collection Development Librarian Jill Emery is the 2015 winner of the Kenneth W. and Elsie W. Butler Award for Library Faculty Service. As her colleagues in the Library note, Professor Emery “has significantly enhanced collection development within the Library, strengthened the Library’s connection to the Orbis Cascade Alliance, and demonstrated innovation in her field.”
Professor Emery joined the PSU Library faculty in 2011 with an already established national reputation in librarianship. Her two ongoing projects, “Techniques for Electronic Resource Management” (TERMS) and “Open Access Workflows for Academic Librarians” (OAWAL), have won accolades, including the 2015 Ingram Coutts Award for Innovation in Electronic Resources Management from the American Library Association. Additionally, Professor Emery was named a Library Journal “Mover and Shaker” in 2004 and received the American Library Association Esther J. Piercy Award for leadership and contributions in library technical services in 2006. Professor Emery is frequently an invited speaker at national conferences on topics such as electronic resources management analytics, publishers and libraries, and more recently open access publishing.
James Bunnelle of Lewis & Clark College writes that that Professor Emery “is a dedicated advocate of academic freedom, championing open access and using her TERMS project as a helpful road map for librarians struggling with the complexities of electronic resources management.” And as another colleague notes, “Professor Emery’s distinction in the library field has also enhanced the reputation of PSU and our Library as a place of vision and innovation.”
At Portland State, Professor Emery is guiding investment in collections that will both serve the new demands of a changing higher education landscape and support our community in the long term.
2014: Professor Thomas Larsen
Portland State University Library is pleased to announce the winner of the 2014 Butler Award, Professor Thomas Larsen. Prof. Larsen joined the PSU Library staff in 1998 and began his faculty position in 2003. He received tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2009, and was promoted to full professor in 2013. Now the Head of Monographic Cataloging, Prof. Larsen handles rare materials for the Special Collections, eBooks, and leads special projects. His unique blend of skills, including his doctorate in Linguistics, knowledge of rare languages, technological savvy, and deep knowledge of local and national cataloging rules and practices, make him an invaluable asset to the Library.
Prof. Larsen has been an essential member of several technology-focused committees, including the Shared ILS Team, the group overseeing PSU Library’s transition to a new cataloging and acquisitions system. Prof. Larsen’s colleagues in the Library and the greater community praise his leadership, his collegiality, and his technological expertise.
Prof. Larsen is also known as a dedicated ally to local and global indigenous communities. As subject liaison to Indigenous Nations Studies at Portland State University, he has pursued resource acquisitions, demonstrated a profound commitment and knowledge, and enhanced the program immeasurably. As his colleagues noted, “Tom Larsen’s dedication to service, inquisitive nature, work ethic, and collaborative instincts are truly unmatched.”
2013: Professor Kimberly Pendell
The University Library congratulates Kimberly Pendell, winner of the 2013 Butler Award for Library Faculty Service. Kimberly Pendell, Assistant Professor and Social Work and Social Sciences Librarian, joined the Portland State University Library in 2010.
Professor Pendell provides high-quality, impactful work in her extensive and multi-faceted area of responsibilities. She has brought creativity, professionalism, and an astute sense of strategy to the navigation of an increasingly complex information world, and increased ease of access to our educational community. Her successes include research on usability of the library mobile website, creating an open access research web page supporting both current students and alumni, and focused instruction on information literacy.
Professor Pendell’s dedication and responsive demeanor are a testament to the spirit of the Butler Library award. Her work exemplifies innovative ways to truly allow knowledge to serve the city. She extends the vibrancy, relevance, and excitement of digital literacy through knowledge applications for a new generation of academic colleagues and students, via online teaching formats. As many PSU faculty members begin to plan and engage with new online teaching formats, Professor Pendell has helped to mobilize literature, practice frameworks, and other resources to assure that the exploration of these teaching formats is effective, efficient, and ethical.
2012: Professor Kerry Wu
The University Library congratulates Kerry Wu, winner of the 2012 Butler Award for Library Faculty Service. Professor Wu joined the Library in 2005 as the Reference and Instruction Librarian for Business and Economics.
“Kerry is an extremely talented and dedicated librarian who gets rave reviews from faculty and students in her liaison area at the School of Business Administration,” said Interim University Librarian Lynn Chmelir. “A faculty member recently told me he thinks she must be ‘the best business librarian in the country’!”
Her Library faculty colleagues who nominated her said, “[Kerry] has built a laudable reputation through her spirit of collaboration, her unflagging support of students, and her creation of learning objects and research tools for faculty and students that also that also demonstrably assist her colleagues in carrying out their reference and instruction responsibilities.”
2011: Professor Cristine Paschild
“In addition to the solid record of scholarship, creative activities, and service that she brings to the Library, Cris’s leadership and excellent contributions in her primary duties have resulted in a significantly improved and strategically important Special Collections & University Archives program for our entire campus,” stated Interim University Librarian Adriene Lim.
Most recently, Cris secured $4,280 from the National Film Preservation Foundation. The grant, funded through the Library of Congress, provided support to create a film preservation master and two access copies of the student film, The Seventh Day. The film concerns the seven-day student strike at Portland State University, which began on May 6, 1970, as a protest against the Kent State University killings and the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia. Films saved through the NFPF programs are made available for on-site research and are seen widely through screenings, exhibits, DVDs, television broadcasts, and the Internet.
2010: Professor Rose Jackson
Associate Professor Rose Jackson, Urban and Public Affairs Librarian, joined the Portland State University Library in December 2003 as an assistant professor and as a reference librarian and information consultant to the College of Urban and Public Affairs (CUPA). In 2009, she was promoted to associate professor and awarded tenure. Her responsibilities include collection development for all subjects; reference and personalized consultations; instruction; and liaison activities with all schools, divisions, and centers within the college.
Professor Jackson is a well-respected partner with CUPA faculty and administrators. Further, she is noted for providing excellent service to the faculty, students, and community members who rely upon the Portland State Library’s collections and services.
Professor Jackson is actively involved in publication and presentations. As a researcher, she has worked on solo projects, collaboratively with other members of the Library faculty, and with CUPA faculty members. She was the investigator of a nearly $100,000 grant to create the Oregon Sustainable Community Digital Library. She has worked tirelessly with other Library faculty, CUPA faculty, Office of Information Technology staff, and partners in area agencies (city of Portland, Metro, TriMet, and the Oregon Department of Transportation) to develop a digital library devoted to planning. Engaged with the community, Professor Jackson also was instrumental in obtaining important gifts, in particular, papers of renowned Portland city planners and the holdings of the now closed TriMet Library.
2009: Professor Kris Kern
Kristen Kern, associate professor and fine arts librarian, has served the University for 37 years. The nomination portfolio for the Butler Award extols her excellent library service to students, faculty and others at the Branford P. Millar Library and through the Library’s website.
Professor Kern’s service to Portland State University began in 1972 when she was hired as a part-time Arabic cataloging assistant. She held this position for 22 years, before becoming preservation/cataloging librarian and subject specialist for Middle Eastern Studies in 1998.
She has cataloged Arabic, Persian, Hebrew and Ottoman Turkish research materials, she has written grants to enhance the collection; and she works closely with the Middle East Studies and Foreign Languages and Literatures faculty. She also taught English as a Second Language at PSU from 1974 to 1981. Recently, she became the Fine and Performing Arts librarian and continues as subject specialist to Middle Eastern Studies.
As preservation librarian, Professor Kern prepared the disaster prevention and recovery plan for PSU’s Library for use in the event of fire, flood or earthquake. She has been responsible for minimizing the chemical and physical deterioration of the Library’s collections, prolonging their use for scholars. She is the regional expert on disaster planning and disaster management, teaching workshops and graduate library school classes, leading interest groups and consulting with libraries facing recovery issues. She has authored articles on the topic and has co-authored a chapter for the 2009 edition of the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences.
Professor Kern is active in faculty governance, the Oregon Library Association, Middle East Librarians Association, and the American Library Association. She is also engaged in the community. She served on the board of the YMCA and William Temple House, on the board of directors of the Middle East Librarians Association; as a member of the Junior League of Portland, and she currently serves on the Artists Repertory Theatre board of directors.
2008: Professor Linda Absher
Professor Linda Absher, has served the University for six years. The nomination portfolio for the Butler Award is a testament to her outstanding performance as a member of the Library faculty. She has a commitment to collaboration and service which is evident in her interactions with colleagues as well as in her engagement with library users.
Professor Absher is responsible for collection development, library instruction, and faculty liaison in the departments of foreign languages and literature, communication studies, applied linguistics, English as a Second Language, and related subjects. During the last year she also has served as Interim Public Access Services Librarian, managing Millar Library hours, and the Circulation, Shelving, and Interlibrary Loan units in the Library. She supervises ten full-time employees and sixty student assistants in this position.
In the Library and on campus, Professor Absher contributes as a member on a variety of committees. Active in the Special Libraries Association, she has served as Secretary and President of the Oregon Chapter. She is a member of the statewide Oregon Reads program planning committee. “The Lipstick Librarian!” is a web site she created as a lighthearted tool to promote awareness about librarians and librarianship, and it has become a focal point in library research articles that document the social commentary of the profession. Her more traditional scholarship focuses on technology and diversity, and has been presented at national and regional academic conferences.
Professor Absher earned her A.B. in English literature from the University of California, Davis, and her Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
2007: Professor Adriene Lim
Professor Adriene Lim, Systems Librarian for the Portland State University Library, is awarded the 2006-2007 Butler Award for outstanding service to the Library! Adriene Lim is currently the Leader of Library Technologies, where she also serves as a member of the Library’s Administrative Council. She provides leadership related to all library computing, technology planning, policymaking, and systems implementation and management, often collaborating with the campus’s technology division to improve services for the campus community. When asked to comment about receiving the Butler award at the 2007 Portland State University Commencement, she said,
I couldn’t accomplish what I do without the help and collaboration of many teammates and colleagues. I feel I am the bridge and change agent to get things moving and to keep them moving, but that many others are involved in our successes at the Portland State Library!
Prior to joining Portland State in 2005, she served as the Digital Library Services Team Leader at Wayne State University in Detroit and as the Systems Librarian and Head of Database Management for the Detroit Area Library Network (DALNET). Adriene holds an M.L.I.S. in Library and Information Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, both summa cum laude, from Wayne State University. She has published and presented at national, state, and local levels, and is active in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) divisions of ALA. In addition to winning several community and collaboration awards over the years, she received the Loleta D. Fyan Award for creative library service from the Michigan Library Association in 2004, and now, the Butler Award from Portland State University in 2007. She recently was awarded a full scholarship to participate in the Ph.D. program focusing on managerial leadership in the information professions at Simmons College in Boston.
2006: Professor Mary Ellen Kenreich
Mary Ellen Kenreich, associate professor and acquisitions librarian, has served the University for twelve years. The nomination portfolio for the Butler Award is a testament to her outstanding performance as a member of the Library faculty.
Professor Kenreich works behind the scenes with great dedication to ensure that relevant information is made available to Library patrons. She is valued for the technical expertise she brings to acquisitions processes at the University. She is also valued for her leadership, expertise, and reputation within the greater library and technology community.
Professor Kenreich is highly respected for being a leader among Library faculty. Her leadership in the Library has included administrative duties, faculty governance, promotion and tenure review, and committee service.
Professor Kenreich willingly shares her expertise. She provides instruction to library paraprofessionals in her unit. She is valued for her publications in professional library science journals, for presentations at professional meetings, and for involvement in professional library organizations.
Professor Kenreich’s contributions to University service are impressive and much appreciated. She has served three times as a faculty senator, been on numerous campus committees, and volunteers for various campus activities.
2005: Professor Sarah Beasley
Sarah Beasley, associate professor and education and social science librarian, has served Portland State University for eight years. The nomination for the Butler Award is a testament to her outstanding performance as a member of Library Faculty.
Professor Beasley has made significant contributions in reference and instructional services and in the development and management of information resources. She was instrumental in the planning and implementation of the Branford P. Millar Library’s second floor Research and Learning Center, where she and other librarians provide reference services to students, faculty and community members.
Professor Beasley is the librarian assigned to support the learning and research needs of students and faculty in the education and women’s studies programs. She facilitates collection purchases and provides library instruction customized to courses in these areas. She also coordinates the development and management of the Library’s collections and other information resources, and has rewritten the Library’s Information Resources Management Policy.
Professor Beasley is active professionally. Her scholarly presentations at local, regional and national conferences have focused on collection development and on teaching and learning. She serves on committees in the Association of College and Research Libraries and has provided leadership as a past president of the association’s Oregon chapter.
2004: Professor Jian Wang
Jian Wang, assistant professor and serials cataloging librarian for the last five years, was awarded this year’s Butler Award for Library Faculty Service. In announcing the award at Convocation on September 28th, Interim Provost Michael Reardon praised Professor Wang as “a source of strength, calm, and pragmatism [who] is noted for her quiet leadership. She is a recognized expert in serials cataloging and has used her expertise to improve access to the significant journal collection available through the library.”
“I am deeply honored and humbled to be the recipient of this award, and I give my thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Butler and all of my colleagues in the Library for their inspiration, collaboration, and support,” Wang said. Professor Wang noted that she had used the award honorarium to travel to an international conference in Suzhou, China where she presented a research paper this summer.
2003: Professor Michael Bowman
Michael Bowman joined the PSU Library faculty in 1992. Over the past ten years he has successfully worked with instructional and research faculty in departments such as Mathematics, Physics, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science. His subject knowledge and expertise in Science and Technology is combined with a deep understanding of Library resources in all their varied forms. In addition, he is able to span the range of knowledge needed to assist both the specialist working on a research project and the student in need of general information for a survey course.
Michael has the remarkable ability to think in the future while not neglecting the needs of the present. He has been described as being “always ahead of the curve on new ideas and technologies available to [Library] patrons.” He played a leadership role in the planning and realization of the Library’s Research and Learning Center where he is now Coordinator of Reference and Information Services. A colleague has described Michael Bowman as “the ultimate objective viewer of every situation [who] will also integrate the views of others into his solutions.”
Michael Bowman combines a superior level of subject expertise with the highest standards of professional excellence. He approaches problems with “unwavering affability” and always manages to get the job done no matter how difficult it may be. He is, in the words of one who wrote in support of Michael: “The model of a librarian for the 21st century.”
2002: Professor Sharon Elteto
2001: Professor Robert C. Westover
Robert Westover, humanities librarian, has demonstrated excellence throughout a long and distinguished career at the Portland State University Library. As Head of the Acquisitions Department he was responsible for the efficient development of the library’s monographic collection. Later, he returned to the unit in an acting capacity to lead it in the transition from manual procedures to an automated system. For the past 10 year he has been the library’s subject specialist in music, theater arts, applied linguistics, philosophy, French and Russian. His responsibilities include teaching, consultation with students and researchers, and the selection of appropriate library resources. His publications include co-authorship of the important reference work Inter-Play, a finding tool for more than 14,000 citations to the texts of plats.
2000: Professor Larry Bruseau
Larry Bruseau combines the traditional skills and professional values of library service with new forms of technology. As database management librarian he plays a key role in assuring the accuracy and completeness of the Library’s online catalog, the basic tool for access to its collections. His outstanding work and dedication reaches across all areas of the Library in support of service to faculty, students, and the public. His intelligence, creativity, and commitment are appreciated by all who know and work with him. As an esteemed member of the Library faculty, Professor Larry Bruseau is a fitting recipient of the first Butler Library Faculty Service Award.
Thanks to a generous private donor, Professor Westover has been able to work collaboratively with colleagues in the Music Department in making large investments in the purchase of books, scores, and recordings. This effort is moving Portland State Library to a new level of excellence. In support of Professor Westover’s nomination for the Butler Award, a faculty member wrote: “I can think of no professor outside the Department of Music who has contributed as much to the learning environment for music students.” This kind of relationship between the library and the University’s schools and colleges is the essence of outstanding library service.