Merinda Kaye Hensley, Instructional Services Librarian and Assistant Professor, University Library, has received the 2015 Leadership Award from The Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) Library School Alumni Association (LSAA). LSAA presents its awards each year at the American Library Association Annual Conference. The Leadership Award is given to an alum who has graduated in the past ten years and shown leadership in the field of library and information science.
Hensley was nominated by Stephanie Davis-Kahl, Scholarly Communications Librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University; JoAnn Jacoby, Head of Research and Information Services at the University of Illinois; and Sarah L. Shreeves, Associate Dean for Digital Strategies at the University of Miami. “I knew our biggest challenge would be choosing which of her many accomplishments to highlight for the nomination,” Jacoby noted. “Merinda’s work at he intersection of information literacy and scholarly communications has had a tremendous impact nationally through her research and service, as well as here on campus where she has led the development of programs like the Savvy Researcher Workshops and been actively involved in campus initiatives supporting undergraduate research.”
Hensley’s librarianship, research, and service exist, as the title of a book she recently co-edited suggests, at the nexus of information literacy and scholarly communication. She explains, “During my time in the classroom and throughout my research, I have noticed the intricacies of publication and dissemination are a mystery to our students, undergraduates in particular. As an instruction librarian, I investigate emerging methodologies for how the library can extend its information literacy mission into new areas, especially the librarian’s pedagogical contribution and the factors that influence the decisions students make as creators of new knowledge.” Her work in this area can be seen in her contributions to the University of Illinois’s Ethnography of the University initiative and undergraduate research journals, and the Association of College and Research Libraries Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education Task Force, among other accomplishments.