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Take Note: Cheryl LaGuardia, Susan Berstler, Ramona Islam, Ed Copenhagen, Leah Edelman, Amanda Sherman

Take Note shares professional news about Harvard Library staff members. Have something to share? Please send it to the Harvard Library communications team at


Cheryl LaGuardia, research librarian in Widener Library and member of Services for Academic Programs in the Harvard Library, has been named the recipient of the 2016 Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award from the American Library Association's Reference and User Services Association. Established in 1958, the Mudge Award is the highest honor presented by ALA/RUSA for significant contributions to the field of reference librarianship, and is bestowed upon an individual for her or his excellence in reference services. It includes a monetary prize of $5,000 and a citation from ALA/RUSA. The award will be conferred at the ALA Annual Conference in June 2016.

Cheryl was selected for the Mudge Award for her many contributions to reference services, as well as her considerable influence in the field through her editing, writing, reviewing, and reference work. Her contributions include editing Magazines for Librariesa professional reference tool providing critical evaluations of journals to aid librarians in creating and maintaining quality collections; writing and editing the Magazines for Libraries Update blog, an online resource providing free reviews of both open-access and subscription publications for all types of serial collections; being among the first in the field to review electronic library resources, work she has been doing for Library Journal since 1992, winning LJ’s E-Media Reviewer of the Year Award in 2000; and writing the Not Dead Yet blog for Library Journal. She is also the author of a number of books directed at librarians, as well as a member of the editorial advisory board for the professional journal Reference Services Review: Reference and Instructional Services for Libraries in the Digital Age.

At Harvard Cheryl is the library liaison to the Center for Jewish Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Committee on Regional Studies—East Asia, the Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations, the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, and the Freshman Seminar Program. In her liaison role she provides course support by teaching library research classes, delivering one-on-one research consultations and reference services to each department’s faculty and students, and creating custom-tailored course research tools such as the online guide Freshman Seminar 40e, Law and Society Through the Cinematic Frame for the Spring 2016 seminar of Professor Ofrit Liviatan, director of the Freshman Seminar Program. She has worked at Harvard since 1994, having previously worked in reference, library instruction, collection development, interlibrary loan, database services, and access services at the University of California at Santa Barbara’s Davidson Library and at Schaffer Library, Union College, in Schenectady, New York. Cheryl received her BS in literature from the State University of New York at Oneonta, and her MLS from the State University of New York at Albany.


Susan Berstler and Ramona Islam are among the individual recipients of the 2016 Dean’s Distinction. The award “honors the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ highest-achieving staff members, whose contributions, citizenship, and skillful collaboration have delivered outstanding results for the FAS and SEAS in 2015,” writes Michael D. Smith, Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and John H. Finley, Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Susan Berstler, technology specialist for libraries, is based in Cabot Science Library. She serves as a FAS library-wide resource on new technologies, as she initiates and organizes collaborative projects in response to and anticipation of the effect of new technologies in the library setting. She was the lead author on an article, entitled “The Future of Digital Scholarship,” about the second LIBERACT conference held at the University of Calgary. Susan is an active member of the Digital Futures Consortium, a network of faculty, researchers, technologists, and librarians engaged in the on-going transformation of scholarship through innovative technology, and co-organized the successful Digital Futures conference, “Art, Technology, Psyche,” which was held at Arts@29 Garden St. She also works as a visual artist, curator and arts producer. Susan is the founder and director of the Nave Gallery and Nave Annex in Somerville and is the originator of a wide variety of arts projects including the Windows Art Project, Project MUM, the Phone Art Box Project, the Somerville Toy Camera Festival and the SqueezeBox Slam. She has a BA in humanities from Johns Hopkins University, where she specialized in political anthropology and German literature.

Ramona Islam is curricular design and research librarian in the Services for Academic Programs unit. She began working for Harvard College Library in 2009. She holds a BA in fine arts and English literature from Alfred University, an MLS from Kent State University, and an MA in educational technology from Fairfield University; she is currently pursuing her PhD in education at Lesley University.

The Title IX Coordination Team, which includes Anna Anctil, senior human resources consultant, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, also received Dean’s Distinction.


Ed Copenhagen joined the Harvard University Archives as a reference archivist. In his new role, Ed assists HUA's public services team in delivering a full range of reference and research assistance to Harvard students, faculty and administrators as well to the broader research community. Prior to coming to the Archives, Ed was the special collections librarian at Gutman Library (HGSE), a position held since 2006. Previously, he was the assistant archivist at Boston College, where for seven years he managed the daily operations of the institutional archives. He holds a MS in library and information science (archives concentration) and a MA in history, both from Simmons College, and a BA from Hampshire College.



Leah Edelman joined the Harvard University Archives as a project processing archivist for the Harvard Library records. She will be analyzing, cataloging, and rehousing Harvard Library records dating from 1800 to 1950, with a focus on providing rich content description in MARC records and EAD finding aids to optimize access through Harvard’s discovery systems. Previously, Leah was a project archivist at the American Jewish Historical Society in New York City, a junior fellow at the Library of Congress, and an archives assistant at Tufts University Digital Collections and Archives. She holds an MSLIS from Simmons College, an MA from Boston College, and a BA from Brandeis University.



Amanda Sherman recently joined the staff of the Harvard University Archives as a project processing archivist. In this role, she will be responsible for improving access to the Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Views by writing new finding aids, creating HOLLIS catalog records, and digitizing photographs. This project was supported by Harvard Library's Hidden Collection initiative. She is a newly graduated archivist who has worked primarily in photographs, audiovisual materials, processing, metadata, and digitization and she has previously worked at Facing History and Ourselves, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and Schlesinger Library. She received her MS in library and information science from Simmons College.