April 29, 2019 Library of Congress Recognizes Federal Library Community Change Makers

Honorees Are Based in New York, Rhode Island and Maryland

Press Contact: Benny Seda-Galarza (202) 707-8732
Public Contact: Robin Harvey (202) 707-4820

The Library of Congress has announced the winners of the Federal Library and Information Network (FEDLINK) national awards for federal librarianship, which recognize the many innovative ways that federal libraries, librarians and library technicians fulfill the information demands of the government, business and scholarly communities and the American public.

FEDLINK will honor the 2019 award winners at an event on May 7, 2019, at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The names of the winners will remain on permanent display in the Library’s FEDLINK offices.

Federal libraries and staff throughout the United States and abroad competed for the awards. The winners are listed below.

2019 Federal Libraries/Information Centers of the Year

Large Library/Information Center (with a staff of 11 or more federal and/or contract employees): The U.S. Military Academy Library, U.S. Military Academy (USMA), West Point, New York, is recognized for empowering more than 4,600 cadets and 650 staff and faculty to be leaders of distinction in scholarship and research. The library further supports the academy through its Liaison Program that links a librarian directly to each academic department and its Personal Librarian Program, which assigns one librarian to each cadet battalion. This develops ongoing relationships with freshman cadets to introduce them to the library and how to do college level research. In Fiscal Year 2018, the library introduced the USMA Digital Commons, an institutional repository with contributions from 15 USMA departments and other research-producing institutions within the Academy, to share the scholarly output of USMA with the world. It includes 26 research centers, the Center for Enhanced Performance and the USMA Preparatory School. 

Small Library/Information Center (with a staff of 10 or fewer federal and/or contract employees): The Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Newport, Corporate Research and Information Center, Newport, Rhode Island, is recognized for its outstanding service as a hub for innovation to expand and enhance digital access via the Research Commons portal. In Fiscal Year 2018, the information center doubled its digital depository to more than 16,000 full-text items. It also expanded its access to allow other Navy Warfare Center libraries to streamline access to content and increase cross-command research collaboration and knowledge sharing. The Research Common's pilot has become so successful that five of the ten Department of the Navy Warfare Center commands have signed on to use the Research Commons as their primary research knowledge management solution. The information center is now recognized as the most progressive library within the ten Navy Warfare Centers. 

2018 Federal Librarian of the Year

Michele Mason-Coles, Clinical Librarian, Darnall Medical Library, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, is recognized for providing innovative patient-centered care and advancing readiness, quality, education and research. In Fiscal Year 2018, she implemented an electronic Patient Health Education Portal that provides credible, reliable and vetted plain language, health information resources to educate patients and their family members. Mason-Coles provided instruction on literature searching, information organization and evidence-based medicine to more than 30 pediatric interns and residents. Mason-Coles also accompanied clinicians to the pediatric inpatient unit and the neonatal intensive care unit where she responded to clinical questions from the medical and nursing teams and bedside patient care queries. She demonstrated information retrieval techniques to residents on medical rounds. As the lead for the Darnall Medical Library’s training program for the National Library of Medicine Associate Fellowship Program, she trained 10 associate fellows with an additional five associate fellows currently in training. 

2018 Federal Library Technician of the Year

Derek McDowell, Reference Assistant, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Library, Bethesda, Maryland is recognized for his innovation and dedication as both the technical lead for library technology projects and his superior customer service to patrons throughout the country. As the primary point of contact and technical lead for the NIH Library’s Digital Production Studio, he trained and assisted staff in the production of high-quality audio and video products in support of NIH research.  McDowell produced a series of oral histories featuring many notable scientists of the NIH staff, saving the agency more than $50,000 in production costs. His efforts also supported online customer usage of the Library’s bioinformatics analysis tools. With the assistance of librarians, McDowell prepared over 450 items for analysis for the CounterACT Program, which identifies better therapeutic medical countermeasures against chemical threat agents. He provided direct support to the Indian Health Service and tribal staff from across the country with document delivery service and other account creation projects to support access for 12 regional offices, over 600 hospitals and clinics, and 4,000 clinical staff and others working in the tribal health centers.

The Federal Library and Information Network (FEDLINK) is an organization of federal agencies working together to achieve the optimum use of the resources and facilities of federal libraries and information centers by promoting common services, coordinating and sharing available resources, and providing continuing professional education for federal library and information staff. FEDLINK serves as a forum for the discussion of the policies, programs, procedures and technologies that affect federal libraries and the information services they provide to their agencies, Congress, the federal courts and the American people.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.


PR 19-045
ISSN 0731-3527