This month, Lyrasis honored Georgia State University Learning Commons Librarian Sarah Steiner with the 2009 NextGen Librarian Award for Outreach. Lyrasis is a library network formed in 2009 after the merger of well-established library groups PALINET and SOLINET. It presents the awards to five NextGen librarians each year. They selected Steiner this year because of her significant publications and presentations, her activity in the Georgia Library Association, and her initiative in developing better virtual research support at Georgia State University.
Steiner reaches out to Georgia State students through a variety of technologies, including Facebook, YouTube, blogging and instant messaging. Under her guidance, the online chat service at the Georgia State University Library has seen a surge in users. Throughout the school year, Steiner also conducts information literacy classes for students online.
Along with her devotion to virtual reference, Steiner is very active in the Georgia Library Association. In 2008, she was the chair of their New Members Round Table. She is also the founder of the Atlanta Emerging Librarians, an organization that provides library, information and media science students the opportunity to network with their future colleagues. Since many of these students are in distance learning programs, this organization helps them develop peer relationships with other emerging librarians. It has been extremely successful, with almost one hundred people attending their meetings at various metro Atlanta libraries.
Finally, Steiner already has significant publications and presentations under her belt. Most significantly, Steiner co-edited a book titled The Desk and Beyond: Next Generation Reference Services. This collection deals with innovative approaches to in-person and remote reference services in academic libraries. She has also co-authored an article on wiki usage in academic libraries, as well as performing several presentations on how wikis and other Web 2.0 applications can affect library services.
Sarah Steiner is truly a rising library leader, with her multiple publications and presentations, together with her activity in the Georgia library community and her improvement of online library services. She well deserves the NextGen Librarian Award, since she is constantly developing new ways to communicate with the next generation of students and librarians.