Sue Franzen named 2021 Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year

Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries Forum (IACRL)

July 14, 2021
Susan R. Franzen, 2021 Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year

Susan R. Franzen, Nursing Librarian at Milner Library at Illinois State University, is the 2021 recipient of the Illinois Library Association (ILA) Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year Award. The award, presented by the ILA Illinois Association of College and Research Libraries (IACRL) Forum, recognizes an Illinois librarian who is making an outstanding statewide contribution to academic or research librarianship and to library development. The award is sponsored by Library Juice Academy.

Sue Franzen joined the faculty of Milner Library at Illinois State University in 2015 as the subject librarian for nursing. In this role, she practices embedded librarianship where she co-teaches with nursing faculty for baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate courses. She also serves on the reference desk and performs collection development for nursing. Starting June 1, she is serving as Interim Associate Dean of Public Services and Organizational Development at Milner Library. As of July 1, 2021, she will become a tenured associate professor.

Her nominator writes, “Sue’s service record to the library profession is exceptional. She is the current president of IACRL and has served as the past vice president. As president-elect, she chaired the conference and continuing education committee and spearheaded the inaugural online Spark professional development event that brought together over 100 librarians from across the state at a time when people felt alone and overwhelmed by the pandemic.

In addition to her service to IACRL, Sue was a member of the Health Sciences Librarians of Illinois conference planning committee, a member of ACRL’s Health Sciences Librarianship Interest Group’s membership recruitment and retention committee, and ACRL’s Distance and Online Learning mentoring and networking committee. Although all of this service was in 2020, Sue’s service record extends much further, with extensive involvement in ILA, ACRL, and the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries of Illinois (CARLI).

At Illinois State University, Sue conceived and facilitated a mentoring program for new librarians this past year. Additionally, she assembled a series of speakers and learning experiences for Milner Library faculty and staff as part of the University’s College GROWTH initiative. The initiative is designed to integrate inclusion, diversity, equity, and access concerns into our teaching philosophies and practices.”

Sue’s research agenda focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning. She has recently published in the Journal of the Medical Library Association, the Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice, and Nurse Educator and has presented at the Illinois Library Association Conference.

The Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year Award will be presented at an awards ceremony during the 2021 Illinois Library Association Annual Conference. The conference will take place October 12-14, 2021.

Congratulations, Sue! For further information, contact the Illinois Library Association or see

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