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Thursday, May 23, 2013 - OU alumna named 2012 federal librarian of the year

For her excellent leadership, innovative techniques and longstanding dedication, Oakland University alumna Joyce Greene has been named the 2012 Library of Congress Federal Librarian of the Year. Greene, an employee of the Defense Department’s George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, received her award this May.

The Library of Congress award is designed to recognize active and innovative leadership, promotion and development of library and information services, along with exceptional professional competency, according to the website.

Greene earned her bachelor’s degree from Oakland, and her Master’s of Library Science from Syracuse University. She graduated from the Army's Sustaining Base Leadership and Management program in 2005 and was awarded a Lean Six Sigma green belt in 2007.

“Joyce is the most impressive librarian I have worked with in my 35-plus years of federal service,” said Marcy Hampton, Greene’s supervisor and director of the Marshall Center Research Library said in a recent press release.

“Joyce has spearheaded many projects designed to resolve ongoing problems within the library and the center as a whole. Joyce has positioned herself to be of maximal use to both, providing visionary leadership and innovative solutions.”

A 1975 Oakland graduate, Greene has been a federal employee for more than 15 years, and stationed at the Marshall Center since 2009. The Marshall Center is one of five security studies institutes run by the Department of Defense and is responsible for a region that includes Europe, Russia and much of Eurasia. In 2006, it was named the federal library of the year and in 2007, one of its employees was named library technician of the year.

In 2011, the Marshall Center radically transformed its internal processes, shifting operations and changing levels of supervision, altering how the faculty managed course materials. That transformation led to the creation of a content management office that handles myriad issues, including ensuring copyrights are upheld, translations are performed, readings are archived, and course materials are provided to the webmaster for timely posting.

Greene spearheaded the development of the new office and, using her Lean Six Sigma training, mapped the flow of content across organizational divisions from beginning to end. The new office is now a vital cog in Marshall Center operations, centrally positioning the library, as a part of information support, in the workflow.

Additionally, Greene created the Marshall Center digital library. Still in early stages, the digital library will eventually house unique historical materials reflecting the Marshall Center’s legacy, student theses and reports, course e-reserves, and more. Much of this information has been stored in basement rooms, burned to compact discs and shelved, and saved to multiple folders on the Center’s servers, making it inaccessible for study and re-use.

“Her awareness of the potential value in the development of a digital library motivated Joyce to dig in and build on,” said John Crawford, a reference librarian and colleague. “It didn’t matter that she didn’t know how; she simply sought the necessary training and proceeded to create what is now a library with six unique collections. Joyce has helped ensure that the library remains a capable and valued part of the center.”

Greene called the award a pat on the back for the work she did throughout 2012, but gave much of the credit to her coworkers and supervisors. “I’m very grateful to my boss and the people I work with. I wouldn’t be here without them,” she said.

As digital and technologic innovations continue to change the way information is shared, many librarians look to the future with uncertainty. However, Greene feels confident that libraries and librarians will always have a place.

“There’s a lot of angst in the library community about “What is the future? And “Where are we going?” Keep learning. Keep growing with the changes. Find a place where you are needed and speak up.”

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 260 degree and certificate programs. To learn more about academics, achievements, and events at OU, visit the news site at oakland.edu/newsatou and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News.