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Award Winner

The Catholic Library Association presents the Aggiornamento Award every year to an individual or organization that has contributed to parish or community life in the spirit of Blessed John XXIII (1881-1963). This year, the Marian Library and the International Marian Research Institute were recognized for their many outreach initiatives, from digitization of archival materials to the crèche loan program that sends nativities to parishes throughout the country. This award recognizes the work of the staff, faculty, librarians, archivists, student workers, volunteers, and researchers who share the mission of making the Blessed Virgin Mary better known, loved, and served. It was presented in San Diego on March 29, 2016.

I was honored to accept this award on behalf of the Library and the Institute. It was one of my first opportunities to represent the University of Dayton at a national conference; I began my new position on February 1. Fortunately, I have been able to learn from my predecessor (Father Thompson, who continues to make significant contributions to the Library and IMRI) and from the colleagues who have welcomed me with generosity of spirit. I discussed many resources and services in my presentations at CLA, from the online Marian Forum to the Library’s ongoing work to build a comprehensive collection of Marian books. Even better, I heard from several people at the conference that they had used our online resources for their own papers or presentations! It is wonderful to know that our work is proving useful to people out in the world.

The spirit of “aggiornamento” is relevant to libraries and, indeed, to educational institutions in general. We hold fast to our traditions, certainly, but we are also open to new ideas, such as the new technologies that we can use to connect with patrons. Although this award recognizes work we already do, I hope it will also encourage further work to build community at the University of Dayton and beyond.

I look forward to working with all of you in the years ahead.

– Sarah Burke Cahalan, Director of the Marian Library

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