Michelle Nielsen Ott Named 2022 Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year

Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries Forum (IACRL)

September 9, 2022

Michelle Nielsen Ott, Sciences/Health Sciences Librarian at Cullom-Davis Library at Bradley University, is the 2022 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.

Michelle joined the faculty of Cullom-Davis Library at Bradley University in 2021 as the subject librarian for Sciences and Health Sciences. In this role, she works closely with subject faculty in the planning, teaching, and assessing of the information literacy skills of both undergraduate and graduate students. As a liaison librarian, Michelle also develops online learning resources, participates in reference services, and does collection development. Previously, Michelle was the Director of Library Services at Methodist College in Peoria for five years. She served as the Outreach and Reference Librarian at Illinois Central College from 2009-2017.

Michelle’s service to ILA and IACRL is impressive. She was President of IACRL from 2019-2020. She served as chair of the IACRL Conference and Continuing Education Committee while President Elect and was chair of Awards and Nominations Committees as Past President. Additionally, Michelle was IACRL Secretary in 2015-2016 while also serving on the IACRL Membership Committee. Her service to ILA includes the Advocacy Committee from 2017-2020.

Her nominator comments, “Michelle Nielsen Ott has been a tireless advocate for academic librarians in the state of Illinois and has been a voice for academic librarians in rural and southern areas of Illinois. She has worked diligently on the IACRL Executive Board to deliver continuing education and professional development opportunities to academic librarians south of Chicago. Michelle has worked for more than a decade as an educator and an academic librarian in Illinois where she has contributed significantly to the academic library profession.”

In addition to her work at Bradley University, Michelle teaches a variety of courses in the Library Technical Assistant program at Illinois Central College and has been an instructor in the program since 2010. Courses she teaches include Introduction to Libraries, Introduction to Reference & Information Services, and Electronic Resources and Online Searching.

Michelle has received accolades for her work in academic libraries. She is currently a Research Training Institute Fellow for the Medical Library Association. She was also inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and won the Golden Gem Award from the American Association for Women in Community Colleges.

The Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year Award will be presented at an awards ceremony during the 2022 Illinois Library Association Conference. The conference will take place October 18-20, 2022.

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