Congratulations are in order for Susan Barribeau (English Language Humanities Librarian at Memorial Library) and Larry Ashmun (Southeast Asian Studies Bibliographer), who each recently received the prestigious Distinguished Prefix title. On November 21st, the Distinguished Prefix Review Committee (DPRC) recommended that both Larry and Susan be awarded the title by unanimous vote.
According to DPRC, to earn the Distinguished Prefix title,
“An academic staff member at the Distinguished level performs at a level of proficiency typically requiring extensive experience and advanced knowledge and skills. A Distinguished academic staff member is expected to develop new approaches, methods or techniques to resolve or prevent problems with little or no expert guidance and to cope independently with new, unexpected or complex situations.”
Past recipients of the Distinguished Prefix title are: Lyn Korenic of the Kohler Art Library, David Henige (retired 2012), John Dillon (retired 2013), and Phyllis Weisbard (retired 2013).
Susan Barribeau has held a number of positions in her twenty-one years with the UW—Madison Libraries. She began as a reference and instruction librarian at Memorial Library, worked part-time with Head of Collections and Memorial Library bibliographers, became the General Library System website manager, was project manager for SFX and MetaLib implementations, was electronic Resource Librarian/Officer for the UW—Madison campus, and eventually became the English Humanities Collections librarian and Special Collections librarian for the Little Magazines Collection and the Cairns Collection of American Women Writers. She has held her current position for nearly five years.
This past spring, Susan received the Librarian of the Year award given to a librarian who has worked more than ten years at the Libraries. Susan is the first person to receive this award a second time, having also won in 2000 as the Librarian of the Year with less than ten years of service.
Susan never misses an opportunity to acquire new and unique items that make the collections special and useful to faculty, staff, and students. She has also been exceptional at promoting the collections. For example, she maintains a blog for the nationally prominent Little Magazines collection, which she and a student assistant launched at the beginning of the year. This effort culminated in Susan’s participation on a panel at the Grolier Club in New York in March that brought together private and institutional collectors of American Little Magazines. Susan brings this same work ethic and enthusiasm to the numerous collaboration efforts and committees that she serves on. She has been an active member of the Evolving Directions in Academic Research and Resources committee that brings in speakers to present their research to library staff. She has also served as a representative to the University Library Committee to advocate for the Libraries and work with faculty to support library priorities and strategies. Susan’s most recent project has been selecting titles and coordinating a large-scale digitization project involving the Little Magazines Collection and a company called Reveal Digital.
When asked about her favorite part of her job, Susan said, “Books. Great people. The Little Magazines Collection! I learn something new and have the opportunity to see unusual and rare things nearly every day. I like creating exhibits in Special Collections, and I enjoy the challenge of finding exciting things to add to our collections.”
As UW’s Southeast Asian & Hmong Studies Bibliographer, Larry Ashmun’s responsibilities include all aspects of collection, liaison, and public services related to the fields of SEA Studies and Hmong Studies for one of the U.S.’s leading SEA collections as so recognized by the federal government’s continuous Title VI (financial) support. As the Library’s first mainland SEA specialist, he has initiated and coordinated new directions and developments focused on Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Hmong, while maintaining UW’s strong Indonesian and Philippine Studies collections.
Ashmun facilitates use of the UW’s SEA Collection resources for our faculty and students, as well as non-UW patrons. He regularly contributes to the Thailand/Laos/Cambodia (T/L/C) listserv of the similarly named Studies Group of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS). He is also T/L/C’s designated Bibliographer. Similar contributions regarding Hmong Studies are distributed via a self-maintained listserv of international scope.
Active in CORMOSEA, or the Committee on Research Materials on Southeast Asia, the SEA Studies field’s major professional body for librarians, his contributions have included the primary responsibility for a review of the collaboratively founded Thai National Collection housed at the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago as well as initiating and leading revisions of the ALA-LC romanization tables for Thai and Khmer.
SEAiT (South East Asian images & Texts) is home to a diverse collection of scanned resources within the UW System’s Digital Collections, with Larry guiding the growth of this unique resource from 5 to 11 collections (and several more currently in progress).
In early 2012, Larry was duly honored with a Fulbright Specialist Program award for a 6-week collaborative period with Thammasat University in Bangkok, one of the country’s oldest and leading higher educational institutions, which enabled him to further network with people and sources in Cambodia and Laos as well as Thailand.
In her letter of support, Mary Rader (Larry’s immediate supervisor at the time) praised him for his exceptional work: “Larry is an outstanding Southeast Asian Studies librarian…It’s in his blood, his hard-wiring, his make-up—his professional calling equates exactly with who he is.”
On behalf of the UW—Madison Libraries, Vice Provost Ed Van Gemert commends Susan and Larry, saying “We are proud of Susan and Larry’s work and happy for this achievement.” Congratulations, Susan and Larry on this well-deserved honor!