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Carol Ishimoto Award for Distinguished Service

Recognizing distinguished service or outstanding achievements, the Ishimoto Award was established in 1991 by Carol Ishimoto, former Associate Librarian of Harvard College for Cataloging and Processing.




Eligibility and Criteria

Staff who have made a significant impact within the Harvard College Library. Nominations are accepted for anyone within the community of libraries at Harvard.

Ms. Ishimoto established this award to serve as an incentive to advance the mission of the College Library and to encourage professional staff to contribute in areas beyond the standard responsibilities of their positions. The award has served to identify and encourage those professional staff members who have distinguished themselves through exceptional contributions and demonstrated leadership potential. 


Nomination and Selection

Nominations Due: Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Submit Nominations Here

Call for nominations is made yearly each Fall. Nominations should be made for individuals who have made a significant impact within the Harvard College Library during the previous academic year. Nominees do not need to be employees of the Harvard College Library; however, submissions should be able to show the direct impact the individual had on the Harvard College Library. Senior managers are asked to discuss potential nominations within their units in order to ensure that the widest possible number of employees who merit consideration for this award are identified.

Nominations are made in the form of a narrative statement outlining the qualifications of the nominee. The final selection is made by the Vice President and University Librarian/Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in consultation with the Harvard Library Senior Management Team. The award recipient receives a cash award and a citation of achievement.


Nomination Form

Nominations are due on November 22, 2017.
Submit Nominations Here


About Carol Ishimoto (1926 - 2010)

Carol Fumiye Ishimoto, former Associate Librarian of Harvard College for Cataloging and Processing, passed away August 18, 2010.

Carol was born on February 6, 1926 in San Jose, Calif. During a portion of World War II, she and her family were placed in an internment camp for residents of Japanese ancestry. Subsequently, Carol entered Simmons College, where she first earned a Bachelor of Science in Library Science, and then served as an assistant instructor in Simmon’s Library School.

In 1950, Carol began working as an administrative assistant in Widener Library’s Cataloging Department. In 1955 she transferred to Lamont Library, where she took on the position of Reference Librarian. Between 1958 and 1960, Carol held the position of Cataloger at the University of Pennsylvania Library, returning to HCL in that same role in 1960. In 1971, she was awarded a fellowship by the Council on Library Resources.

In 1973, Carol was promoted and became the Head of the Cataloging and Processing Department, replacing Susan M. Haskins. In 1980, she also took on the role of Head of the Union Catalog Services Office.

When Carol left her position of Associate Librarian for Cataloging and Processing in 1991 to take on a pre-retirement assignment as HCL’s part-time RECON Coordinator, her words published in Harvard University Library Notes indicate the historic nature of the changes she had overseen as Associate Librarian:

“My association with the Widener Cataloging and Processing Department has been both challenging and rewarding as we progressed from manual to computer-based cataloging; from local, somewhat idiosyncratic cataloging practices to the Library of Congress national cataloging and classification standards; and from card catalogs to the present-day online catalog.”

It seems fitting that the next stage of her career involved overseeing the filming of Harvard’s Union Catalog and planning for the retrospective conversion (RECON) of Harvard’s card catalogs to machine-readable records.

Outside of Harvard, Carol took on leadership roles nationally in the field of library technical services. She served as chair of the American Library Association’s Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Interest Group (1976-1977), and as chair of the Cataloging Code Revision Committee (1974-1976) during the development of the second edition of the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (AACR2). Carol is therefore acknowledged in the text of AACR2 as one of its contributing authors. She served on the editorial board of the Journal of Academic Librarianship. For many years, she was a member of the Council on Library Resources’ Bibliographic Services Development Program Committee. In 1976, she authored the annual review of “Cataloging and Classification” included in the ALA Yearbook.

After her retirement from Harvard, one of Carol’s primary involvements was as a benefactor and volunteer for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

At a reception in 1991 to mark her retirement as Associate Librarian, Carol announced that she intended to endow a fund that recognized distinguished service by HCL staff. Richard De Gennaro, the Roy E. Larsen Librarian of Harvard College at that time, remarked:

“It is particularly appropriate that Carol, as distinguished member of the Library staff, chose to create this fund on the occasion of her retirement after four decades of dedicated service to the Harvard Library. She has set a standard for all of us to emulate.”

—Prepared by Steven Riel and Kathleen Rutter, with information gathered from The Boston Globe, Harvard University Library Notes, Who’s Who in Library and Information Services, and Report of the President of Harvard College and Reports of Departments.


Past Award Recipients

  • Heather Cole, Emilie Hardman (2015-2016)
  • Marc McGee (2014-2015)
  • Jaime McAllister-Grande, Anna Anctil (2012-2013)
  • Jindra Miller, Sarah Tudesco (2010-2011)
  • Kristin Stoklosa (2009-2010)
  • Tom Bruno, Sebastian Hierl (2008-2009)
  • Alison Scott (2007-2008)
  • HCL Macro Development Team: Daryl Boone, Beth Flood, Michael Hopper, Minna Popkin, Sarah Tudesco, Elizabeth Vernon (2006-2007)
  • James Lin (2005-2006)
  • Bonnie Burns (2004-2005)
  • Martin Schreiner, David Ackerman (2003-2004)
  • Diane Cox and Raymond Lum (2002-2003)
  • Heather McMullen (2001-2002)
  • Lynda Kresge and Jane Ouderkirk (2000-2001)
  • Paul Bellenoit (1999-2000)
  • Ron Tesler (1998-1999)
  • Thomas Parris (1997-1998)
  • William Hays (1996-1997)
  • Elizabeth Vernon (1995-1996)
  • Gillian Bartoo, Ann-Marie Breaux, and Mary Beth Kendrick (1994-1995)
  • Violet Gilboa (1993-1994)
  • Ellen Cohen (1992-1993)
  • Dennis Marnon (1991-1992)
  • Mary Beth Clack (1990-1991)