2021 Distinguished Service Award (CUS/ACRL-NJ)

Dear Colleagues:

It is my pleasure to announce that Christina Connor, Assessment and Instruction Librarian at Ramapo College of New Jersey, is the recipient of the 2021 Distinguished Service Award, granted by the New Jersey Library Association’s College and University Section/Association of College and Research Libraries-New Jersey chapter (NJLA CUS/ACRL-NJ). This honor is awarded annually to an individual who, by their outstanding contributions, has directly enriched the profession of librarianship in New Jersey. This award honors Christina’s leadership on behalf of libraries, librarians and the library profession in New Jersey.

Christina serves as the Co-Chair of the Assessment Committee of NJLA CUS/ACRL-NJ, where she has organized the popular Summer Workshops in collaboration with other NJLA CUS/ACRL-NJ committees since 2018. She has also long participated as a member of the Assessment Committee. She has been the Ramapo College liaison to the New Jersey Digital Humanities Consortium since 2017, and she is a 2020 Digital Humanities Fellow at Ramapo College, winning a competitive stipend to be trained on digital humanities technologies and integrate these technologies within the classroom.

At Ramapo College of New Jersey, Christina worked with a colleague, Dr. Stephen Rice, to create Potter Library’s first special collection: the American History Textbook Project (AHTP), which was established in 2009 and continues to grow. She maintains and oversees this collection, makes it accessible to students, digitizes its contents, and teaches AHTP-specific information literacy classes. She has won grants to support this collection, and she successfully advocated for a dedicated special collections space in the new Peter P. Mercer Learning Commons (opening in Fall 2021). Christina also works closely with teachers at local high schools and incorporates the American History Textbook Project into this ongoing collaboration. At Ramapo, Christina has served on many committees that bring her library and information science expertise into higher education, such as the Faculty Assembly Executive Committee; the Writing Across the Curriculum Committee; the College-Wide Academic Assessment Committee; the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtable, and the General Education Task Force, to name just a few. She also developed and leads Ramapo’s information literacy assessment program on campus, and she teaches information literacy classes in many subject areas. She played a key role in Ramapo College’s Middle States Self-Study and successful reaccreditation in 2020. Her Academic Integrity online tutorial, which she developed with the Director of First Year Seminar, was given special recognition by accreditors.

Christina is currently a PhD candidate in History and Culture with a Concentration in Book History at Drew University. Christina's scholarship is ongoing. In the past, she has presented on pedagogical strategies to teach disciplinary-specific information literacy. More recently, she has focused on book history and archival work, and she has authored and co-authored peer-reviewed articles and a book chapter in these areas. One of her published articles is “Re-Reading the American History Textbook in the Global Age” in Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy (2017), and her book chapter with Dr. Rice is “The American History Textbook Project: The Making of a Student-Centered Special Collections at a Public Liberal Arts College” in Past is Portal: Teaching Undergraduates Using Special Collections and Archives (2012). She has also presented extensively on her research both nationally and internationally, such as at the ACRL Annual Conference, the ALA Annual Conference, and the international SHARP (The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing) Annual Conference.

Christina’s contributions to librarianship span several of the categories considered for the Distinguished Service Award: service in professional associations, innovation in library services and management, contribution to the literature of librarianship, excellence in teaching, and consistent dedication to the needs of New Jersey academic libraries and librarians. Christina’s commitment to and passion for her work show in her every endeavor. On a personal note, she is an incredible colleague and is happy to serve as a mentor for her newer colleagues; I have been extremely privileged to work with her and learn from her.

Please join me again in congratulating Christina Connor!
Hilary Westgate, NJLA-CUS/ACRL-NJ Vice-President/President-elect