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K-State Today

April 11, 2019

Four K-State Libraries employees recognized for excellence

Submitted by Sarah McGreer Hoyt

Char Simser

At a recognition ceremony on March 27, K-State Libraries honored four employees — Char Simser, Renée Gates, Kathryn Talbot and Marcia Eaton — for outstanding contributions.

Char Simser, coordinator of electronic publishing, received the Brice G. Hobrock Distinguished Faculty Award. Annually, the award recognizes outstanding librarianship and superior accomplishments among the K-State Libraries faculty.

Simser received her master's in library and information science from the University of South Florida. She supports the open access digital publication of peer-reviewed journals, monographs and conference proceedings and events, and coordinates all operations of New Prairie Press. She has been with K-State Libraries since 1996.

One of her nominators said, "Char has done an outstanding job coordinating electronic publishing for the library and overseeing the publication of open resources through New Prairie Press … . [Her] explanations are straightforward, her patience boundless, her advice golden. Char is truly an excellent resource and colleague for K-State faculty and takes the mission of the open access community to heart."

This year Renée Gates, IT coordinator, and Kathryn Talbot, preservation coordinator, both received the Dean's Award. The Dean's Award recognizes a nontenure track professional's contributions to K-State Libraries in the previous two academic years.

"Usually we only present one Dean's Award," Dean Lori Goetsch said. "But it would be an understatement to say that 2018 was a challenging year for K-State Libraries employees. This is a small way to show our appreciation for the super-human effort Renée and Kathryn exerted to keep our technology running and save our collection and during a time of crisis."

Gates' nominator said, "After the fire, Renée worked to keep computer access up and running, which allowed everyone to continue critical tasks related to restoring services. Imaging 125 machines in less than a day is a monumental task for any group … . Then, when two full-time employees left at the same time this summer, Renée prepared to onboard new employees. In short, Renée is the glue for [our unit] and invaluable to the Libraries as a whole."

According to Talbot's nominator, "Kathryn's leadership and dedication after the fire made the difference between setting us on a path to a successful recovery or not. Her years of work on the Libraries' Collection Disaster Plan paid incredible dividends. … Her follow-through was vital given the level of detail involved in packing out and mapping the removal of over 1.5 million items from Hale Library."

Marcia Eaton, library assistant III, was chosen as the Support Staff of the Year. This award recognizes a support staff employee's special contributions, dedication to daily tasks and ability to work successfully across the organization.

According to her nominator, "Marcia began the year as the sole lender in Interlibrary Services. After the fire she switched to borrowing, and Marcia jumped in with both feet and a great attitude … . Her hard work, diligence and positive attitude greatly contributed to Interlibrary Services being able to handle the increased demand after the fire. She is an extremely dedicated worker who always strives to provide excellent service."

Each winner receives a monetary prize, and their names are added to award plaques in Hale Library. The Brice G. Hobrock Distinguished Faculty Award was established by the Friends of K-State Libraries to honor Dean Emeritus Hobrock upon his retirement in 2004. Both the Hobrock Award and the Support Staff of the Year Award are funded through the Friends of the K-State Libraries.