2019 – Karen Selden

Karen SeldenThe Technical Services Special Interest Section Awards Committee is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2019 Renee D. Chapman Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions in Technical Services Law Librarianship is Karen Selden.

Karen is the Metadata Services Librarian and Interim Head of Technical Services at the William A. Wise Law Library, University of Colorado Law School. Karen’s extended and sustained distinguished service to law library technical services and law librarianship in general include leadership roles at the local, regional, and national levels, active committee service, significant publications and scholarly work, and numerous conference presentations. As noted in her nomination, “one cannot come away from an encounter with Karen without an awareness of both her infectious personal energy and her dedication to law librarianship.”

Karen joined the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) in 1998, and currently serves as a Member-at-Large on the AALL Board where she brings to the Association a much-needed technical services perspective. On her path to AALL leadership, Karen brought her considerable skills and energy to both the Technical Services Special Interest Section (TS-SIS) and the Online Bibliographic Services Special Interest Section (OBS-SIS). As an active TS-SIS member, Karen serves on the Metadata Management Standing Committee, and volunteers as a Classification and Subject Heading Ask an Expert. She served a term as AALL Representative to the American Library Association’s Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information (MARBI) Committee (2002-2004), where she brought the needs of the legal research community to a broader audience. In 2017, Karen was a Member-at-Large on the TS-SIS Executive Board, and a member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Standing Committees Structure. Karen held numerous key leadership positions in OBS-SIS, serving as Secretary/Treasurer (2009-2011), Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect (2013-2014), Chair (2014-2015), Immediate Past Chair (2015-2017), in addition to her appointments to the OCLC Committee, and Education Committee, which she also chaired while a member of these committees. Karen’s service to AALL included membership on an AALL Special Committee on Cataloging and Intranet Access to Electronic Resources (2002-2004), and appointments to both the 2017 and 2018 AALL Annual Meeting Program Committees (AMPC) as a Team Leader.

In addition, Karen is active professionally at the local and regional level of law librarianship, serving in various leadership positions in the Colorado Association of Law Libraries (CoALL) as Secretary, Member- at-Large, Vice-President/President-Elect, President (2007-2008), and chairing committees including Nominations, Public Relations, and Spotlight Educational Program. Other regional organizations in which Karen actively participates include the Society of Rocky Mountain Archivists, Southwestern Association of Law Libraries (SWALL), and Western Pacific Chapter (WestPac).

Since 1999, Karen has coordinated, moderated, or spoken at more than 15 educational programs at AALL annual meetings. She has contributed programs on cutting edge issues of importance to technical services librarians, and of interest to public service librarians, as well. Karen’s article co-written with Georgia Briscoe and Cheryl Nyberg, “The Catalog vs. The Homepage: Best Practices in Connecting to Online Resources,” awarded the 2004 Law Library Journal Article of the Year, began as a presentation at the 2002 AALL Annual Meeting. Recent AALL programs that Karen presented include current topics, such as data mining, linked data and BIBFRAME, discovery layer design, and digital archives. In addition, Karen developed and presented programs for CoALL, SWALL, and WestPac conferences.

Karen’s scholarly publications include co-authoring articles, “The Accidental Archivists: Lessons Learned from a Digital Archive Project,” in the academic journal Legal Reference Services Quarterly, and “Cataloging @2000: Over 100 Years of Change at the University of Colorado Law Library,” in Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. Additionally, Karen authored, “Linking Globally, Coping Locally: Cataloging Internet Resources at the University of Colorado Law Library,” and co-authored, “The Catalog vs. The Homepage,” both of which were published in Law Library Journal. Karen authored numerous columns for Technical Services Law Librarian as OCLC columnist, OBS-SIS chair, MARBI representative, and AALL annual meeting program reviewer on multiple occasions. Karen’s publications on practical technical services issues truly meet the Renee D. Chapman Memorial Award standard, as they extend the theoretical foundations or practical elements of the bibliographic control and access to legal materials within and throughout law libraries.

Colleagues who nominated Karen for this award all commented on the personal qualities Karen brings to law librarianship, noting Karen to be a creative strategic thinker, an inspirational role model, a supportive, encouraging mentor, and a collegial and thoughtful peer. Expressed by another colleague, “Ms. Selden’s creativity and innovation has elevated her to the ranks of a 21st Century thought leader in the profession.” A favorite quote from a colleague, “There is no one in the technical service law library arena of law librarianship more energetic, friendly, warm, welcoming, and enthusiastic than Karen Selden.”

In summary, Karen’s record of service to librarianship, especially law librarianship, is exemplary, consistent, sustained, and will leave a legacy of scholarship for future technical services law librarians. Karen’s leadership, continuing advocacy for technical services standards and excellence, willingness to make a difference, and significant contributions to conference programs and publications are all reasons why Karen Selden is very deserving of the Renee D. Chapman Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions in Technical Services Law Librarianship. The TS-SIS Awards Committee is pleased to recognize Karen’s achievements with this award.

Congratulations Karen!

2018/2019 Awards Committee

Virginia Bryant (Chair)
Kevin Carey
Rebecca Engsberg
Andi Molinet
Neil Pereira
Loren Stamper
Barbara Szalkowski