L. J. Names 2005 Librarian of the Year

From http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA491141

After entering as a "bit player" among feudal lords, she became an honored, celebrated campus leader. Building and repositioning the library, Susan Nutter brought it from what one senior professor called "an embarrassment" to its current role and site, a central force and place in the academic enterprise at North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh. As Vice Provost and director of libraries, Nutter "has taken a middling library and made it into a model for the entire profession," says her colleague Carla Stoffle, dean of libraries at the University of Arizona. "The NCSU libraries have come to be recognized across our campus as vital for the university's success," says NCSU provost James Oblinger. Despite these and many more achievements, she "supports and gives credit generously to others and is unduly modest about her own contributions," says Karin Wittenborg, university librarian at the University of Virginia.

Professor Michael K. Stoskopf tells how, with her guidance, the NCSU faculty decided to forgo personal salary increases during trying financial times in North Carolina. They insisted that the money go to support the development of the NCSU library. "This generous gift made with enthusiasm by the entire university faculty was the catalyst that allowed the transformation of our library to one worthy of respect and admiration," Stoskopf continues, adding, "It is as good an example as I can provide of Susan's special abilities."

Because of these achievements, and with these enthusiastic endorsements, the editors of LJ celebrate Nutter as the 2005 Library Journal Librarian of the Year.


"I always hire people who aren't quite ready to do the job," Nutter says. Proud of her ability to recognize talent, Nutter interviews every candidate. "You have to see them and try to get to know them in a short time," Nutter says. "I love that part of it. I want to convince them to come here. It was hard before, but it is easier now." Certain positions at the NCSU library are reserved for brand new graduates. Nutter got the idea from Jay Lucker when she worked for him at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the late 1980s. "We won't have a profession if we don't hire people right out of graduate school," she quotes Lucker. I seriously wish somebody like Nutter was available in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Most ads right now are not looking for folks right out of "library school". Another problem in Ohio and PA is the number of out-of-work librarians that have been deliberately taking entry-level jobs just to get back into the field (I got turfed out of a couple searches that way and such thoroughly annoyed me). A colleague of mine who attended "library school" with me in PA has been coming up with nothing in New Jersey and PA and has had trouble looking much farther beyond. I know I have had resumes seemingly enter a quantum singularity when sent south of the Mason-Dixon Line insofar that I never hear what happens to them. I always wonder what happened to the last resume I sent to NCSU, too. Alas, I wish I had the resources right now to just up and move south...but such does not quite exist for me...

When I was in library school, I got a summer job in a library from a woman who made a point of only hiring people with no previous library experience. I believe that this is how she got started and wanted to continue the tradition. I was certainly grateful!