DUBLIN, Ohio, May 10, 1994--Raleigh Muns, reference librarian at the Thomas Jefferson Library, University of Missouri-St. Louis, is winner of the 1994 OCLC On the Front Line Award presented today at the National Online Meeting in New York City.
The annual award from OCLC, which includes a check for $1,000, honors an outstanding reference librarian who makes effective use of electronic reference products in his or her daily work, demonstrates knowledge, creativity, good humor, and "goes the extra mile" for library patrons.
"I'm tickled to death to win it," said Mr. Muns. "I was honored that my boss considered me for nomination, and winning was just icing on the cake."
Sandra Snell, head of reference services at the library, nominated Mr. Muns for the award.
"Raleigh Muns should win the OCLC On the Front Line Award because he is integrating traditional nuts-and-bolts reference work at an academic library reference desk, with creative implementation of the latest technologies on a shoestring budget," stated Ms. Snell, in her nominating letter. "The best example of this is his one-person crusade to take the most useful public domain U.S. Federal Government information and make it available to the campus community and the world. Raleigh maintains a `virtual library' gopher on the campus mainframe computer. Using custom software which he created, he has uploaded over a thousand files from federal CD-ROMs, such as the National Trade Data Bank, many of which are unique to the Internet."
Mr. Muns manages the library's electronic resources, including The FirstSearch Catalog, OCLC's online reference service for library patrons. He has established an online list review service, and he routinely trains users in use of all electronic products and on the Internet.
"Raleigh's focus is on meeting the immediate needs of the students, faculty and staff of the University of Missouri-St. Louis yet his idea of reference work expands beyond the confines of the campus," said Ms. Snell.
"I am a practicing reference librarian--and proud of it," said Mr. Muns. "It's not a tenure-track position. It's a `what can you do for the patron?' position." He went on to say that the tasks and responsibilities of library professionals continue to change, but that doesn't mean his title or position should change.
Mr. Muns described the Thomas Jefferson Library as "an eclectic environment" staffed by eight generalists.
The staff was just as excited for Mr. Muns as he was for the honor.
"They all congratulated me," he said. "They were all pleased. We're a pretty tight group.
"I can't think of a better place to work," said Mr. Muns.
Judges for the 1994 OCLC On the Front Line Award were Lucinda D. Conger, principal reference librarian at the U.S. State Department; Nancy Garman, editor of ONLINE magazine; and Mick O'Leary, assistant director of the Learning Resources Center at Frederick Community College in Maryland.
OCLC is a nonprofit computer library service and research organization whose computer network and services link more than 17,000 libraries in 52 countries and territories.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: Nita Dean (614) 761-5002