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Librarian’s knowledge, passion recognized with national award 

Subject librarian Jesús Alonso-Regalado was recognized for his dedication to accessible information. (Photo courtesy of Jesús Alonso-Regalado)

ALBANY, N.Y. (Dec. 12, 2019) — A UAlbany librarian dedicated to making open access materials available to students has been honored with a national award from the American Library Association.

Jesús Alonso-Regalado is one of 10 public, school, college and university librarians to win this year’s “I Love My Librarian” award, which comes with a $5,000 prize, a plaque and a travel stipend to attend the award ceremony during the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits in January in Philadelphia.

“It’s wonderful to see Jesús recognized for his excellent work and dedication to the students and faculty at the University at Albany,” said Dean of University Libraries Rebecca L. Mugridge. “We are fortunate to have a librarian of his caliber on our faculty, and we’re proud of his accomplishments and thrilled to see him acknowledged with this very competitive award.”

Alonso-Regalado is a subject librarian for the departments of History; Latin American, Caribbean and Laitino/a Studies (LACS); and Languages, Literatures and Cultures (LLC). He was nominated for the award by associate professors Alejandra Bronfman (LACS) and Ilka Kressner (LLC) — and a total of 20 co-nominators, including current and emeritus faculty, librarians and doctoral students, added their support.

They praised his work teaching students research and information literacy skills, his devotion to finding open source course materials to allow students full access without economic barriers, and his willingness to search for hard-to-find and primary source documents for faculty and students.

“Jesús’ knowledge of sources and suppliers is seemingly endless,” Mary Beth Winn, a research professor emeritus in French, wrote in support of the nomination. “On several occasions he has helped me access especially remote documents, identifying websites abroad or obtaining authorizations to consult rather obscure databases.”

Ryan Irwin, an associate professor in history, praised Alonso-Regalado’s devotion to locating open access course materials. “Jesús is deeply committed to the ethics of public education,” Irwin said. “Before every semester, he asks faculty about the books and articles they plan to assign. If electronic copies are available, he ensures that students can attain these readings through the library. Jesús is not pushy or preachy – but his actions speak for themselves.”

Spanish Professor Lofti Sayahi said Alonso-Relegado is such an asset to the department that they use him as a recruiting tool, making sure to introduce job candidates as part of their interviews. “Not only does he exceed the usual qualities we came to expect from librarians (knowledge, availability, patience, among many other attributes), but he is also proactive in keeping the library relevant to modern day researchers,” Sayahi said.

Alonso-Regalado has been with the University Libraries for 14 years, and worked prior to that at the Library of Congress. He received his master’s degree of library and information sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.

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