August 17, 2010

Carlson named top academic librarian in Illinois

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- David H. Carlson, dean of Library Affairs at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is the 2010 Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year.

The Illinois Association of College and Research Libraries (IACRL), a division of the Illinois Library Association, is honoring Carlson for his outstanding contributions to Illinois academic and research librarianship.

“I am genuinely humbled and honored by this selection. I did not know I was even being considered for the award so I am as surprised as I am pleased. Needless to say, the award speaks well of the high regard throughout the state for SIUC’s Morris Library as well,” Carlson said.

A native of Guilford, Conn., Carlson came to SIUC in 2001 and has led Morris Library through a $60 million renovation and expansion during his tenure. The project added 50,000 square feet to the library and included a substantial remodeling as well.

In announcing the recognition, the IACRL Awards Committee noted Carlson’s leadership on that project as well as his activities and efforts in a number of arenas. Carlson led the IACRL Vision and Leadership Team during the 2005 creation of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois by a partnering of three existing library organizations.

He has worked with the Illinois State Library on a variety of projects and is actively involved with the Council of Directors of State University Libraries in Illinois. He has served leadership roles in the Association of Research Libraries and chaired the scholarly communication steering committee of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. Carlson also serves on the board of directors for the Greater Western Library Alliance and for BioOne.

He’s a vocal proponent on behalf of open access to research publications and he created the SIUC open access institutional repository. He led a successful campaign that convinced the American Association for the Advancement of Science to reverse a previous decision and continuing storing the journal “Science” in the nonprofit digital online database JSTOR, thus keeping the valued journal accessible for researchers and others through the global library.

Prior to serving as dean at SIUC, Carlson was director of libraries at Bridgewater State College (Massachusetts) from 1994 to 2001. He was also executive director of the Triangle Research Libraries Network in Chapel Hill, N.C., from 1991 to 1994.

Carlson holds a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Evansville, a master’s in library science from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Connecticut.

Carlson will receive the Academic Librarian of the Year award during the IACRL luncheon Sept. 29 at the Illinois Librarian Association’s Annual Conference in Chicago.