2022 RUSA Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award

Melissa A. Wong awarded Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award

Melissa A. Wong, Adjunct Lecturer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was selected as the 2022 winner of the Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award, the Reference and User Services Association’s highest honor.

Melissa A. Wong

Melissa Wong has been helping to shape reference librarians and influencing the reference librarianship field for years. After serving as a librarian and library director, her focus shifted from direct reference service in a library setting to preparing emerging professionals, thus magnifying the effect of her positive impact. She has been teaching in the top-ranked University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s School of Information program for over two decades, beginning with a Reference & Information course and expanding to include courses on Instructional Strategies, Administration and Management of Libraries and E-Learning, to name a few. Her teaching receives stellar reviews and her name is consistently on the UIUC list of “Teachers Ranked as Excellent.”

Her work as an author and editor is another area where her impact has had and will continue to have lasting significance. After contributing to the 4th edition of the notable and fundamental textbook Reference & Information Services, she was asked to serve as coeditor of the 5th and was the lead editor of the most recent 6th edition. Under her leadership, critical changes were made to the textbook including expanding its scope and weaving diversity, equity and inclusion throughout. Melissa has also co-authored an openaccess textbook called Instruction in Libraries and Information Centers and authored a book on instructional design as well as many book chapters and journal articles.

Melissa is a supportive mentor, colleague, instructor, and collaborator and her contributions to the field of reference librarianship are many.

The Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award selection committee was Chaired by Chris LeBeau.

Portrait, Isadore Gilbert Mudge, dated April 1897 and “circa 1932”, Historical Photograph Collection, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.

During her career, which started in 1903 and concluded in 1941, Isadore Gilbert Mudge increased student independence in research and improved reference collections with several specific types of sources, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, and atlases, among others. A pioneer in reference librarianship, she coined the phrase “material, mind, and method” to describe her reference philosophy when she began teaching the class “Bibliography and Bibliographic Methods” as an associate professor at Columbia’s School of Library Services.

Sponsored by EBSCO, the award consists of $5,000 and a citation to an individual (or individuals) that has made a distinguished contribution to reference librarianship.

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