UIC library leader receives lifetime achievement award

Mary M. Case

Dean of Libraries Mary Case.

The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services is recognizing Mary Case, University of Illinois at Chicago librarian and dean of libraries, for her 30-year career as a library leader.

Case will receive the 2018 Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization’s awards ceremony during the American Library Association annual conference and exhibition June 23 in New Orleans.

The award honors the memory of Ross Atkinson, a distinguished library leader, author and scholar whose work with the association and the library community serves as a model for those in the field, according to the organization.

“I am thrilled and humbled to be acknowledged by my colleagues for the work I have loved over my career,” Case said. “It is especially meaningful to receive an award named for Ross Atkinson, who was already an emerging leader in librarianship nationally when we both worked at the Northwestern University Library very early in my career.”

Since 2004, Case has overseen operations of the Richard J. Daley Library and Library of the Health Sciences on the UIC campus in Chicago and its regional sites in Peoria, Rockford and Urbana. The University Library system has more than 170 staff members, 3 million volumes, 65,000 journals, and special collections focused on the social, political, and cultural history of Chicago.

Case, who is also a professor, was co-chair of the UIC Obama Presidential Library Steering Committee, which created a proposal to try to bring the library to UIC and the North Lawndale neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side.

She was also a leader in the founding of a new organization of libraries, museums and archives called Chicago Collections.

Prior to joining UIC in July 2004, Case was director of the Office of Scholarly Communication of the Association of Research Libraries in Washington, D.C. Previously, she was director of Program Review at Northwestern University in the Office of the Vice President for Administration and Planning.

In addition, she had worked in serials and acquisitions at the Northwestern University Library.

“Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have had the support of organizations and mentors who have guided and challenged me. I am deeply grateful to UIC for the opportunities it has given me to contribute locally, stay engaged professionally and collaborate with colleagues across the region,” Case said.

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