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College of Information and Communications

Gavigan receives distinguished service award

Posted Oct. 16, 2014

Dr. Karen Gavigan was awarded the Frances Bryant Bradburn Distinguished Service Award by the North Carolina School Library Media Association (NCSLMA) at its conference on Oct. 10, 2014. 

This award is presented annually to an individual or organization for contributions to the NCSLMA and/or to school library media programs throughout the state of North Carolina.

Gavigan provided leadership for school librarians in North Carolina for many years in several ways. She provided leadership for the state school library organization, from the days as a North Carolina Library Association section through the formation of the separate organization NSLMA.  She was a key leader in the formation of the new association and served as president in 2000 and 2001. 

As president, Gavigan helped fuel the Read-to-Succeed grant creation and the current scholarship program, both of which help keep school libraries in front of administrators at the building and county level, an important step in advocacy for school libraries. 

Karen Perry, a former NCSLMA board member, nominated Gavigan for the award. Perry said Gavigan had been a leader in providing conference programs for the association and for other library arenas.  "If you look back at souvenir program booklets from NCSLMA conferences, you will find that Karen Gavigan has given numerous programs on grant-writing, collection development, young adult literature, and graphic novels." 

Gavigan also served as the librarian for the Teaching Resources Center on the campus of UNC-Greensboro where she assisted in the preparation of new school librarians and in new teachers who saw the value of school library resources and the school library professional.  Additionally, she opened the space and the collection to school librarians in the region and state to meet or use its resources.

Now an associate professor at the University of South Carolina, Gavigan maintains her support for practicing school librarians by conducting school library research in both North and South Carolina. Additionally, she has published numerous articles in school library journals, and a book, "Connecting Comics to Curriculum," that is used by in-service librarians and teachers.

Dr. Sue Kimmel, assistant professor at Old Dominion, said of Karen: "I have observed Karen’s ability to pull other people in and to encourage their leadership and service to the organization.  Her service and care are truly distinguished."

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