2011 Library Research Prize

Submitted by Carolyn Arnold, Associate Director, Marketing & Communications on May 20, 2011

The results are in and Kristina St. Cyr ’11, an international studies student in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Deborah Boyhen and Anika Walker, students in the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions program, were awarded the 2011 Library Research Prizes for Undergraduates and Graduate Students. The award, a joint initiative between the DiMenna Nyselius Library and the Faculty Library Committee, recognizes research papers for their excellence and extensive use of library services, resources, and collections, and significant knowledge in the methods of research and the information-gathering process.

Joan Overfield, University Librarian and Director of Library Services, said, “It’s such a joy to see students make deliberate and extensive use of our library’s wide array of resources and services in their academic work. The selection committee, comprised of faculty and librarians, chose these projects as they demonstrated sophisticated library research skills and growth as researchers.”

St. Cyr submitted “Forced prostitution: The influence of a machismo society on the well being of women and girls in Nicaragua” for her International Studies capstone project. After studying abroad in Nicaragua where she worked with at risk children, St. Cyr chose to do her project on sex trafficking. She noted that during her research she became very grateful for the library’s stellar Inter-Library loan process because there was not a lot of information on sex trafficking in Nicaragua at just one library.

Dr. Janie Leatherman, professor of politics and Director of International Studies, wrote in her letter of support:

“Kristina’s paper draws from a wide-variety of source materials. She uses secondary literature to conceptualize the challenges and issues associated with sex trafficking in general, while an array of other source materials allow her to contextualize this for Nicaragua, and particularly, her cultural interpretation of this in terms of ‘machismo.’”

Boyhen and Walker noted that “Best Bets became our best friend” when it came to researching their graduate project on educational technology entitled “Interactive Stories: Below Grade Level Readers.” Best Bets, created by reference librarians, offers the most likely sources of information when a student begins research. Organized by subject, the links offer articles, books, background sources, websites, and citation information. Their project “was both original and in a very important area worthy of exploration,” said Dr. Elizabeth Langran, associate professor in GSEAP. “These two certainly show potential for further work in this area of action research in educational technology.

The Library Research Prize is a joint initiative by the DiMenna-Nyselius Library staff and the FLC. It started in 2006 and replaced the Bibliophiles’ Award, a FLC initiative from 2000 to 2005. Initially awarded to undergraduate students, this is the second year that graduate students can submit proposals for a separate award.

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