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Upstate Health Sciences Library, librarian earn honors from regional library panel

The honor comes from the Central New York Library Resources Council, which represents 61 libraries in four area counties: Herkimer, Madison, Oneida and Onondaga.

Judges, who represent library systems from across the state, said the Health Systems Library goes “above and beyond” what libraries offer.

“The library’s services extend far beyond the walls of the physical building. There is extensive outreach and collaboration with the community,” the judges noted. “The library has been an advocate for broader campus-wide issues such as racial intolerance and LGBTQ issues. The library serves not only clinical staff and students, but the community at large.”

In addition to its main campus library, the Health Sciences Library also maintains Family Resource Centers in Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and the Upstate Cancer Center, which provide medical and health information resources to patients and families where they receive care. The library regularly holds art exhibitions to highlight student and staff artwork, de-stress events for students, and collaborates with other area libraries to promote wellness.

Judges looked at several criteria in considering library of the year honors, including responsiveness to the community, user conveniences,  skill level of staff, sustainable practices and ability to provide research assistance.

Tsistinas was named top academic library staff member in recognition of her work and assistance with Upstate’s clinical services. She has adjusted her schedule to support clinical staff members depending on their shift. Tsistinas joined the Health Sciences Library staff in 2007.

In honoring library staff, judges reviewed professional excellence, community engagement and ability to assist patrons, among other attributes.

The awards were presented Oct. 8

Judges included Barbara Kay Stripling, president elect of the New York Library Association (NYLA) and senior associate dean and associate professor at Syracuse University’s iSchool; Geoff Kirkpatrick, past president of NYLA and director of the Bethlehem Public Library; and Sally Collins, Livonia Public Library Board of Trustees and Friends of the Livonia Library, and a staff member at the Rochester Regional Library Council.

Caption:  Staff members of the Health Sciences Library are, first row, from left, Olivia Tsistinas, who was named Academic Library Staff All Star of 2016, and Cristina Pope, director. Second row, from left: Devin Kerr, Ilhan Gowdha, Mike Curtis, Mike Colella. Third row, from left: Kim Nolan, Deidre Brennan, Nancy Burtis, Amy Slutzky, Cara Howe.  Fourth row, from left: Tim Nett, Rebecca Kindon, Liliana Barros. Fifth row, from left: Ishmael Hawkins, Laura Schlueler, Sherry Wlodarski, Wendi Ackerman