Portland State University Library is pleased to announce the winner of the 2014 Kenneth W. and Elsie W. Butler Award for Library Faculty Service, 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.”
The Kenneth W. and Elsie W. Butler Award for Library Faculty Service is awarded annually at commencement to recognize excellence in Library Faculty service to students, faculty and other patrons of the University Library. Faculty winners are considered when 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. The award was created through a charitable gift annuity that provides endowment support created by the late Professor Emertitus Kenneth W. Butler and his wife, Elsie W. Butler.