Excellence in Librarianship
Each year, the University at Albany honors special members of its community with Excellence Awards denoting exceptional contributions to the life of the campus. One staff member received this tribute in 1997 for Excellence in Librarianship.
Gillian McCombs, University Libraries
Gillian McCombs, assistant director for technical services and systems, has been with University Libraries since 1982 and has developed a rare command among librarians in the area of automating technical processes. Under her leadership in technology-planning and implementation, the Technical Services Division expeditiously completed all projects to prepare the Libraries' bibliographic records for a system transition.
McCombs is always supportive of staff, and quick to provide them with the newest equipment and software in an ever-changing field, as well as the training and encouragement needed to go along with the implementation of these new tools.
She has been just as active as a scholar, reflected by the fact of her selection, in 1995, as a senior fellow in the Association of Research Libraries Senior Fellows Program. She also holds membership in the Pi Alpha academic honor society, and in 1995 received the Outstanding Student of the Year Award from the Department of Public Administration and Policy of Rockefeller College, where she received her master's degree.
Her research objectives are involved with public services, technical services and collection-development relationships in academic libraries as they apply to assessing the impact of the networked information environment on organizational structure; pursing way to improve partnerships among academic computing professional and the academic community; and the exploring of scholarly inquiry via electronic resources.
A founding editorial board member of Internet Reference Services Quarterly, McCombs is currently working on integrating the Internet into appropriate library functions, such as cataloging, ordering materials, and paying bills. She also works with other campus technology managers to upgrade infrastructure and training initiatives throughout the University.
In addition, McCombs believes that working librarians should be in contact with students, and several years ago initiated tours of Technical Services for library school students toward this end.