Tom Durkin, Social Science and Social Work Librarian, has been awarded the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work Director’s Award

October 18, 2023

Congratulations to Tom Durkin! He recently received the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work Director’s Award for his exceptional work and dedication.

Tom Durkin comes to his work with enthusiasm and commitment. He has proven to be a strong partner and trusted asset to the school, making a number of efforts to ensure the library is accessible and welcome to our students, staff, and faculty. Tom always visits classrooms and shares the vast resources available to students through the libraries, in addition to advocating for additional resources.

Tom’s enthusiasm and leadership are particularly appreciated, as he helps us integrate diverse voices and sources into our courses. Many faculty benefited from the workshop he gave last January, and this work was the catalyst for developing a Canvas course he created and recently presented.  

Having access to organized resources is a huge support to meeting DEI strategic plan goals. As Ellen Smith says: “Our faculty do a great job thinking about “what” we want to teach but having a librarian partnering with you helps you think about the organization and the “how”. Most librarians operate as a hospital, they are always there and you go there when you need them. Tom is like a first responder. He has made the effort to get out into our community and has gone above and beyond to get the faculty and students what they need when they need it.” 

Angela Willits adds: “I love that Tom created the library open houses each fall, champions our community read, and is a ready resource for licensure exam preparation materials for students.” 

Russ Portier notes that in 2021 Tom developed a new “Advanced Student Assistant” position in the Social Work Library to give student workers more opportunities for leadership, supervision, and higher pay. We think that speaks well to Tom’s thoughtfulness, not just with faculty and students, but also with how he runs the library and supports those who work for him. 

Even though both Tom and the social work library are structurally a part of the library system rather than a part of the school, we consider Tom one of our own within the school.