February 26, 2016  

Dean of Libraries receives Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue Dean of Libraries has been named the 2016 winner of the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award.

James Mullins, dean and professor of library science, will receive a cash award and be recognized in June at the American Library Association's annual conference in Orlando. The award was named in honor of a pioneer in library automation and recognizes an academic librarian who has made significant contributions in the area of library automation or management and has made notable improvements in library services or research.

"Dean Mullins' dedication to advancing the university's goals of transformative education makes him a well-deserving recipient of this award," said Deba Dutta, Purdue provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity. "He continues to develop innovative methods for improving and promoting access to research and information through the Purdue University Libraries."

Mullins established the W. Wayne Booker Endowed Chair in Information Literacy, a first in the nation. It also was his initiative that a new building be designed to embrace the active learning concept. The 164,000-square-foot Wilmeth Active Learning Center will open in 2017 on campus with teaching spaces, library/information services, formal study spaces, collaborative work areas and informal learning spaces. It will be the site of 27 collaborative active learning classrooms and six consolidated engineering and science libraries.

"I am deeply honored to be recognized through this award by my colleagues and the ALA. What I have been able to accomplish would not have been possible without the outstanding faculty and staff in the Libraries and the support, both fiscally and through encouragement, from the university administration," Mullins said.

Mullins earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Iowa and his doctorate from Indiana University. Under his leadership, Purdue Libraries received the 2015 Association of College and Research Libraries Excellence in Academic Libraries Award in the university category.

He came to Purdue in 2004 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to MIT, he held senior administrative positions at Indiana University and Villanova University. He has served in leadership positions with the ALA, the Association of Research Libraries, and is a member of the ARL board of directors and chair of the e-Science Working Group.

The award is jointly sponsored by four divisions of the ALA: the ACRL, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, the Library Leadership and Management Association and the Library and Information Technology Association. The award is funded from an endowment established to honor Hugh C. Atkinson. 

Writer: Megan Huckaby, 765-496-1325, mhuckaby@purdue.edu 

Source: Shannon Walker, 765-496-9610, walker81@purdue.edu 

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