TODAY, I have the pleasure of introducing you to a colleague and a friend whose career spans more than 30 years and who has been an active and enthusiastic member of CARL for nearly 20 of those years. And what is truly surprising about this individual is that her contributions to this organization have escaped formal recognition until today. But perhaps that is emblematic of the unassuming commitment to the profession and professional development that drives Beth Sibley to contribute her time and energy whenever this association puts out the call for assistance.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to present to you the recipient of the 1999 California Academic and Research Libraries Association Member of the Year Award, Beth Sibley.
Since 1980, Beth Sibley has been a librarian at UC Berkeley, where she has worked in the Public Health Library and the Moffitt Undergraduate Library, and is currently serving as a government and social sciences information librarian. During the 12 years prior to that, Beth held a variety of positions, including service as a Peace Corps librarian in the Kenya National Library, and as a reference librarian at the New Jersey State Library, the San Mateo County Library, CSU Hayward, the Meicklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, Chabot College, and Mills College.
I first got to know Beth when we were colleagues at the Moffitt Undergraduate Library during the 1980's. I quickly came to respect Beth's competent, dedicated and ethical approach to academic librarianship. During that time, Beth was also a fellow CARL member, and I worked with her on a variety of CARL activities over a period of nearly ten years. I remember being impressed with and inspired by the level of energy and enthusiasm Beth sustained both as a UCB librarian and as a CARL member. And that energy and enthusiasm continues today.
In the 20 years since Beth initiated her membership in 1980, Beth has served CARL as the UCB campus liaison, Northern Campus Liaison Coordinator, secretary of the CARL Program Committee, a member of the SEAL North and CARLDIG North Program Committees, Secretary-Treasurer of CARLDIG North, CARL Executive Board Member, member of the Planning Committee and Local Arrangements Chair for the 5th Annual CARL Conference at Jack London Square in Oakland, and Speaker Hospitality Coordinator for this 7th Annual Conference here at Asilomar. This list of official roles does not include all the CARL tasks she's taken on informally. And I am here to say that Beth has dispatched each and every one of these association responsibilities with the same thoroughness and effectiveness that she exhibits in her primary job as a reference librarian.
But if you were to ask Beth, I think she would say that her real contribution to CARL is not about the rÈsumÈ she has built, but about her grassroots work with CARL members in the north and throughout the state. In CARL's early days, Beth helped the organization grow by working with campus liaisons to beat the bushes for new members. More recently, Beth reached out to community college libraries as CARL strove to bring its programs and membership benefits to this previously underrepresented segment of our organizational community. Whether via telephone, as in the old days, or via e-mail, Beth has often provided the only personal contact with CARL for members who might otherwise have remained isolated.
In a sense, Beth's activity in CARL exemplifies the outreach to our members and potential members that the association takes pride in. She has helped plan and develop regional programs, and has taken them on the road in order to extend our reach into the state's mountains and valleys. She also took it upon herself to make sure that the state's library schools were receiving the CARL Newsletter and program announcements, and that library school students were fully aware of the benefits of CARL membership. Beth has even gone the extra mile as a librarian and member of CARL to make sure that at least one academic library in the state--UC Berkeley--has a complete run of our newsletter.
While these activities may not seem so significant individually, it is the accumulation of a long list of grassroots activities on behalf of CARL, spread over the course of a career, that we honor today. As you have said, Beth, "it takes many hands to build an effective and strong organization, and every contribution, no matter how small, counts and is appreciated." It is this spirit, which you yourself exemplify so admirably, that makes me proud to be able to name you this year's CARL Member of the Year.
NB: This year the cash award accompanying the plaque given to the CARL Member of the Year was made possible in part by the generosity of Innovative Interfaces, Inc. and III President Jerry Kline.