SUU Employee Awarded 2019 Librarian of the Year

Published: May 17, 2019 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 3 minutes

Caitlin GerrityPennsylvania born Caitlin Gerrity is thrilled to receive the 2019 Librarian of the Year award from the Utah Library Association (ULA). Gerrity is an Assistant Professor of Library Media and the Director of the Library Media Program at Southern Utah University.

Each year, the ULA distributes six different awards. Gerrity’s grant writing skills, creativity in designing instructional modules for Library Aide Basics, and organization of summer boot camps for school librarians are a few of the many reasons why she has earned this accolade.

“I am honored and humbled to have my work recognized,” Gerrity said. “I am empowered in my work at SUU and in growing alongside the most collaborative, innovative, and change-making folks in the state.”

Gerrity earned her Bachelor’s in English and Communication from Temple University, and her Master’s in Library Science and her K-12 teaching endorsement from Drexel University. Originally, she didn’t consider librarianship as a career. It was after working her first post-graduate job as Research Assistant for the Philadelphia Housing Authority that convinced her otherwise.

“I had the opportunity to organize a small library, comprised of donations, in a new community center at one of the city’s affordable housing complexes,” Gerrity said. “This project was really motivating to me, and so I began to research librarianship as a career. It has turned out to be the perfect melding of my skills and inclinations towards teaching, research, and public service.”

Gerrity originally came to work at SUU in 2015 as an Instruction Librarian. During her time at SUU, she has been nothing short of excellent. Gerrity has written many successful grants in collaboration with Associate Dean of the Library Matt Nickerson, which have resulted in several exciting projects. More recently the SUU Library received a grant to create an open online training for school library aides in Utah.

For the past two years, Gerrity has also organized and coordinated school librarians across Utah to visit campus for two days of professional learning. SUU has provided many career growth opportunities for Gerrity. This fall 2019 semester, she will serve as an Associate Director for the Center for Teaching and Learning (CETL) on campus. She also recently appeared in a podcast with CETL.

“She's been a totally awesome colleague here at SUU,” said Anne Diekema, department chair and assistant professor of Library Media. “The award couldn't have gone to a better librarian.”

Gerrity is passionate about her career and would love to share more information about librarianship with curious students.

“Come talk to me!” she said. “I’ll help dispel any of those misconceptions about old curmudgeonly librarians who shush people. This is a dynamic, people-centered career, and I would love to answer any questions and chat about graduate school opportunities.”

The Gerald R. Sherratt Library has many librarians and staff willing to help students with any of their needs. For more information about the library and its services, visit the website.

The Utah Library Association has been in service for more than 100 years. Their mission “is to serve the professional development and educational needs of its members and to provide leadership and direction in developing and improving library and information services in the state.”

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