Librarians, recognized

November 3, 2021

The university's faculty senate recognizes excellence in librarianship with two annual awards. At this year's ceremony, Dean of Libraries James Hilton offered remarks on this year's awardees.

Leigh Billings, metadata management librarian

University Librarian Recognition Award for "active and innovative early-career achievement in library, archival or curatorial services."

The value in library collections depends upon our ability to find items within them, so the metadata for every one must be carefully created and maintained.

As the library’s first metadata management librarian, Leigh Billings has become a leader in this realm, both locally and nationally.

Leigh has advanced many metadata quality control and standardization initiatives that enhance access to the university's collections, and those of our partner institutions around the world.

She is also engaged in the important work of identifying and replacing racist, sexist, and homophobic language in our catalog, and advocates for changes to biased Library of Congress subject headings.

Charles "Chuck" Ransom, multicultural studies librarian

University Librarian Achievement Award for "exceptional distinction reflected in active and innovative career achievements in library, archival or curatorial services."

In his 30 years with the library, Chuck Ransom has pioneered the role of multicultural studies librarian; mentored countless students; diversified the library's collection by looking to small presses, community records, and web archives for marginalized ideas and voices; championed university-wide climate assessment, equity studies, and funding for multicultural resources and programming; and served the library and university in more ways than I can relate here.

And he's not yet finished: among his current projects is a digital history of the William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center.

All of us owe a great debt of gratitude to Chuck, who exemplifies what it means to be a librarian and an agent of change.

Leigh Billings and Charles Ransom. Photos by Austin Thomason, Michigan Photography.

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