The following remarks were made by Gary Vander Meer, Chair of the Awards Committee.
The Renee D. Chapman Memorial Award was established in honor of the former head of technical services at the State University of New York at Buffalo and chair of this Special Interest Section in 1988-89.
In 1996, Richard Amelung was the chair of the selection committee, but was unable to attend the Indianapolis convention. The honor of presenting the award to Melody Lembke fell instead to our shy and retiring incoming chair, the very media image of the librarian, Alva Stone, who led us in a chorus honoring Melody, using the tune of the Mickey Mouse club theme.
In assessing my strengths, I came to the conclusion that trying to top that presentation would be fruitless. However, we do have here today, to make the presentation, the person who nominated our honoree. Normally the committee’s challenging and, sometimes, argumentative work is quite secretive, but special circumstances make this change appropriate. This person chaired the committee that drafted the procedures for the committee, and selected its first honoree, Phyllis Marion. It was an honor for me to serve on that committee also, because Renee was a friend, a mentor, and a leader who was all too willing to say, "Yes, I will". The same is true of the person who I now present to you, a former chair of the Technical Services Special Interest Section, a former Chapman honoree, and the current President of the American Association of Law Libraries, Margie Maes Axtmann.
The following are the remarks made by Margie Axtmann upon her presentation of the Renee Chapman Award to Anna Belle Leiserson at the TS-SIS Business Meeting in Philadelphia.
Thank you very much. I am honored to be able to make this presentation, both because this award means so much to all of us and because this year’s recipient is such a good friend and colleague.
It is no secret that the award is being presented to Anna Belle Leiserson, Collection Development Librarian at Vanderbilt University Law Library. But I wanted to say a few things about Anna Belle’s contributions to the field of acquisitions.
About five and a half years ago Anna Belle asked me if I would like to see a prototype of a World Wide Web site she was developing. I barely knew what a Web site was, much less how to develop one. When I looked at an early and rough version of AcqWeb, I knew immediately that this resource was going to revolutionize the way acquisitions librarians performed their jobs. And it has. From its beginnings, AcqWeb has been a wonderful tool for pre-order verification and collection development resources. The editors of the major discussion forum for acquisitions librarians, ACQNET, recognized this potential and moved to affiliate with AcqWeb in 1995. Anna Belle is still the editor of AcqWeb, and the site has continued to develop and flourish under her leadership.
Today AcqWeb provides links to a broad range of information and resources of interest to librarians with acquisitions or collection development responsibilities. It is not limited in scope to law librarianship, and it is widely recognized as the premier Web site for this field. For five years I have not attended a presentation or seen a bibliography on acquisitions that didn’t mention AcqWeb as the mother of all Web sites. It is a model Web site, both for its simple organization and for its entertaining but unobtrusive graphics.
Compiling the information on AcqWeb would be a daunting enough task; maintaining and updating it on a Web site is an awesome accomplishment. Anna Belle started this task when the World Wide Web was in its infancy, combining her subject expertise with her interest in technology to produce a resource that helps acquisitions and collection development librarians every day. She unselfishly shares her professional knowledge while also encouraging all librarians to enhance their understanding of technology and the standards that support it. She is in demand as a speaker on Web development, and she makes us all believe that we can do it too.
The development of AcqWeb alone would be worthy of the Chapman Award. Anna Belle was a pioneer in this effort, which has benefited acquisitions and collection development librarians throughout the world. But she continues to pave the way for others with her understanding of the applications of library software, Web technology, the potential of the Internet, and the critical elements of technical standards.
The Chapman Award can be given in recognition of achievement in an area of technical services, for services to the Association, or for outstanding contributions to the professional literature. Anna Belle’s contributions meet all of those criteria, and she deserves our thanks and praise.
Please join me in congratulating this year’s recipient, Anna Belle Leiserson.