The iSchool Alumni Association (ISAA) honored its 2019 award recipients at the ISAA annual meeting and reception, which was held on June 23 during the annual meeting of the American Library Association in Washington, DC.
Scott Burgh (MS '86) is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Each year this award is given to an alum who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of library and information science.
Burgh served as the chief law librarian for the city of Chicago for almost 28 years until his retirement in 2017. Throughout his career, he made important contributions to the Chicago and Illinois law library communities, including his efforts to standardize and improve state and local court rules and ordinances. He has also contributed to the field of historic legal document preservation, working on digitization projects to, among other things, scan the opinions of the Corporation Counsel of the City of Chicago and the 1974 House Judiciary Committee hearings on Richard Nixon's impeachment. His professional achievements include having his original primary research cited by Justice Breyer's dissent in the United States Supreme Court case of McDonald v. City of Chicago. Beyond his professional contributions, Burgh is a humanitarian who has worked with LexisNexis and Reed Cares to obtain books for Madagascar and has served as volunteer, board member, and president of the Gerber-Hart Library, a Midwest gay and lesbian resource center. He also has helped build a collection of government documents on the AIDS epidemic and anti-gay violence that marked the '80s.
Soraya Silverman-Montano (MS '11) is the recipient of the Leadership Award, which is given to an alum who has graduated in the past ten years and shown leadership in the field.
Silverman-Montano is head of Youth Services at the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District. Within two years of earning her master's degree, Silverman-Montano became one of the Joint Chiefs of Storytime Underground, a highly respected early literacy training resource for youth services librarians. Her honors include being selected as one of the 50 participants for ALA's Emerging Leaders in 2014 and being named the 2016 Nevada Librarian of the Year by the Nevada Library Association (NLA), of which she is a past president. Since 2013, she has served on six different Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) committees. She has mentored other youth services librarians through ALSC and NLA and participated in the Bill Morris Seminar, which prepares librarians to evaluate books in order to serve on book award committees. Silverman-Montano also serves on her library district's Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce.
Betty Bush is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Each year this award is given to an individual who has served ISAA or the School in an exceptional way.
Bush has served as a reviewer for The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books since 1993, an adjunct instructor for the iSchool since 2002, and a mentor for countless numbers of youth services students. As a teacher, she is nothing short of legendary. Year after year, Bush is included on the University’s List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent. Her pragmatism, irreverence, and years of frontline experience as a school librarian inspire her students not only about the course topics but also about the profession. One of her nominators, Deborah Stevenson, writes, "Her example and legacy will be with those students for their professional lives and will doubtless be passed on to their colleagues and staffers in turn."
Kevin Kelley (MS '19) is the recipient of the Student Award, which recognizes a student who "caught the spirit" of the library and information science profession while employed in a library setting and chose to enter the iSchool’s master’s program. This student must have a strong commitment to return to a professional position in a library setting.
Kelley worked as a young adult library assistant in the teen space in Evanston, Illinois, where, combined with his strong arts and social justice background, he found his motivation for working with young people "without there being a paywall for services." He is now a children's librarian at New York Public Library (NYPL), contributor to Public Libraries Online, and member of the NYPL's Best Books for Kids committee and the Stonewall Youth and YA awards committee. He "caught the spirit" working in a library setting and demonstrating a deep commitment to those he works with and serves.