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Marc McGee Wins 2015 Ishimoto Award

Ishimoto Award given to Marc McGee for his impact on Harvard Library.


Marc McGee, part of the metadata creation unit of the Information and Technical Services department, has received the 2015 Ishimoto Award for Distinguished Service.

“Marc contributes wherever he is asked, and gives his full attention and effort to any project. He has had an immense impact within the library and has helped to make us a national leader [in the geospatial field],” said Bonnie Burns, head of geospatial resources.

The award was created in 1991 through an endowment established by Carol Ishimoto, former associate librarian of Harvard College for cataloging and processing. It recognizes a member or group of staff members who advance the mission of the library through exceptional contributions and leadership.

As geospatial metadata librarian in the Map Collection, McGee offers insight into the most efficient and accurate methods to make these types of resources accessible and discoverable. He is a longtime member of the Harvard Geospatial Library team, and has become a nationally recognized expert in the documentation of geographic information systems data. Currently, he is working with librarians at Cabot Library to make sure their cartographic collection remains accessible as they undergo renovations, and he is involved in efforts to research linked data and its impact on the world of geospatial data.

McGee is a founding member of the OpenGeoMetadata effort with Stanford, Tufts, MIT and other peer institutions. This collaboration has made it possible for Harvard Library to provide increased access to geospatial metadata. He also takes on additional shifts at the reference desk as another way to contribute and to get to know the collection better, which helps strengthen his knowledge and ability to assist others. “His collaborative approach embodies the kinds of partnerships that Harvard is building to effectively serve a broader community,” said Sarah Thomas, Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian.

“Without the generosity my colleagues have shown, I wouldn’t be in the position to contribute in the ways that I do,” McGee said. “I’m thankful to be able to collaborate with such a great group of people. These relationships and interactions are what keep me motivated.”

Article updated on December 9, 2015.