After dedicating 33 years to the University Libraries, retired Associate Dean Sally Kalin and her husband decided to give more to the university with a commitment to fund two endowed professorships.
The recipients of these inaugural positions are two faculty librarians Dawn Childress and Emily Rimland, who received the Technological Innovations and the Learning Innovations award, respectively.
According to a library press release, The Sally W. Kalin Early Career Librarianship awards will provide funds for librarians’ efforts in the first decade of their career as they develop new library resources.
“These endowments help solidify careers and gives new librarians a firm start,” said Kalin, a Penn State alumna. “When you have an endowed professorship, the individual holding that professorship receives additional funding for research, traveling to conferences and other special events.”
In a library press release, Dean of University Libraries Barbara Dewey said, “The awards […] are the first of the positions of their kind at any U.S. research library and they place Penn State’s libraries as a leader in the evolving information world.”
A change that has come about with this “evolving information world” is an evolution in the role of a librarian, Catherine Grigor, manager of public relations for Penn State Libraries, said.
“Librarians are doing so much more than they used to,” Grigor, said. “They are still doing the same task of helping people find information, but now finding information is done in so many different ways, with different software, programs and search engines.”
Both Childress and Rimland were chosen for integrating learning with technology.
“Emily [Rimland] was chosen because she is doing a lot of work with mobile apps and technology,” Grigor said. “Dawn Childress was chosen because she is looking at how technology innovations have informed humanities research.”
Both of the librarians plan to use the money they received for the award in order to enhance their research and the learning community of Penn State.
“I plan to use the endowment to explore areas related to my research interests like: educational gaming, instructional technologies, mobile learning, and adaptive technologies,” Rimland wrote in an email. “I will also explore outlets for sharing scholarships such as hosting a symposium, colloquium, or workshop in order to share valuable information.”
Childress plans to do similar work to support her research on digital scholarships and research methods in the humanities.
Kalin is pleased to offer this opportunity to these two women that she considers “exceptional.” Kalin adds that she is very proud to have her name associated with these women.
Kalin named two reasons why she created the awards in the first place.
“I wanted a way to challenge and encourages librarians to explore innovative ways to use technology to enhance learning,” said Kalin.