The VIMS Outstanding Professionals and Professional Faculty Award honors a continuing record of excellence, a singular outstanding performance, or both. The 2010 inaugural award goes to Diane Walker.
Diane started at VIMS 30 years ago on a 2-year Sea Grant project and has kept going ever since.
She has a number of areas of responsibility in the Hargis Library: overseeing the journal collections, tracking the thousands of articles and reports written by members of the VIMS community, plus many other behind-the-scenes functions. But one of her most important activities is the one reflected in her official job title: Public Services Librarian.
“Public services” is library speak for client or customer service. And that Public has been primarily the VIMS community—all of the students, faculty, and staff Diane has interacted with during the past 30 years.
Diane is an unfailingly patient and polite responder to a myriad of questions and requests: the “How do I do this?” — “Where is …?” — “Can I?” — “I need…!” —“Can you show me,” and — “HELP!!!” She regularly manages to hunt down recalcitrant book borrowers and lives to tell the tale. And they come back to borrow more!
By the latest count, she has shepherded 668 frazzled students in the final step of their long dissertation or thesis journey—binding the opus into its final glory and checking title pages for errors that authors would not want to have staring out in perpetuity. The work of all of the current students and alumni sitting in this room has had—or will get—that final oversight.
Thanks in part to Diane's efforts, the Hargis Library has been able to provide a level of service that is much appreciated by all recipients. So, on this occasion of the inaugural award for Professionals and Professional Faculty, it is wonderful to have a category in which to recognize Diane for her many years of contributions and service to all of you.