For her "outstanding leadership and extraordinary commitment to the acquisition and installation of an Integrated Library System," Barbara B. Tillett received the 52nd annual Arthur S. Flemming Award on June 5 during a reception at George Washington University.
Ms. Tillett is a leader in the field of librarianship and was one of the prime forces in achieving the Library of Congress's goal of obtaining an Integrated Library System (ILS). The new ILS allows the Library to provide integrated automated support for core functions, such as acquisitions, cataloging, serials management and circulation services, as well as providing the Library's online catalog of more than12.5 million bibliographic records.
"The development and implementation of the Library of Congress ILS was a remarkable achievement for the Library of Congress—in the scope of library activities it covered, the massive numbers of staff involved in the planning and implementation process and the very ambitious timetable required," said Associate Librarian for Library Services Winston Tabb. "While hundreds of Library employees deserve credit for the role they played in this once-in-a-generation accomplishment, it is clear that the expertise, leadership and energy demonstrated by Barbara Tillett were our most critical success factors. I am elated that this achievement is being recognized throughout the government through Barbara's receipt of the Flemming Award."
"The implementation of the Library of Congress Integrated Library System was a huge team effort, with more than 500 people involved and more than 3,000 people trained," said Ms. Tillett. " It's a great honor to receive this award."
In 1995, Ms. Tillett was chair of the Library's Shelflist Task Group, which recommended procurement of an ILS. She was also leader of the ILS Project Team, which prepared the Request for Proposal in 1996-97. Her previous experience in systems implementation included key roles in the implementation of two integrated library systems at the University of California at San Diego.
As ILS program director, Ms. Tillett assembled 76 teams to undertake the massive task of converting the Library's legacy systems, which were not integrated, to the state-of-the-art ILS. Prior to full implementation, Ms. Tillett prepared a two-year timeline detailing each phase of the operation, including alternative analysis, business case preparation, acquisition, staffing, training of hundreds of Library employees and implementation in October 1999.
For her achievement at the Library, Ms. Tillett received the Distinguished Service Award, the Library's highest honor, in 1999. She has also received the Library's Meritorious Service Award in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.
Ms. Tillett holds a bachelor's degree from Old Dominion College in Norfolk, Va., a master's in library science from the University of Hawaii in Honolulu and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles. She has held various positions at the Library of Congress since 1994, including Chief of the Cataloging Policy and Support Office. She is a member of the editorial board of Advances in Librarianship and Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, and has chaired several committees of the American Library Association and the International Federation of Library Associations. Ms. Tillett has also published extensively in the field of library and information science.
Arthur Sherwood Flemming's career spanned seven decades of service to the federal government and higher education. He was a member of the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the president of three universities, director of the Office of Defense Mobilization, secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare; chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; and co-chair of the Save Our Security Coalition. In 1994 President Clinton awarded Flemming, who died in 1996, the Medal of Freedom.
In the late 1940s, Flemming suggested that the Washington, D.C., Downtown Jaycees create an award to recognize exceptional employees in the federal government. In 1948 the first Flemming Awards were given out. More than 400 individuals have received the award.