Cyril Oberlander recognized for library excellence, development

Cyril Oberlander, interim director of Milne Library, won the Virginia Boucher-OCLC Distinguished Interlibrary Loan Librarian Award.

Oberlander said this is a great honor for Geneseo, as he is the second winner from Geneseo in two consecutive years. Ed Rivenburgh, director of information delivery services for Milne Library, won the award last year.

According to Oberlander, Virginia Boucher, after whom the award is named, created a handbook for the ILL system in 1984 that provided basic knowledge of the system in an attempt to professionalize it.

The award was created by the Reference and User Services Association and is administered by its Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section to honor Boucher for her innovation and to promote the goals of training and services.

Oberlander was nominated for his many successes, the most recent being his work on the Information Delivery Services Project at Geneseo.

The IDS Project, run by Geneseo, includes 75 college libraries. The goal of the IDS project is to make the borrowing and purchasing of books more efficient both in processing and costs.

“It’s really the teams [Rivenburgh and I] have established that have made a significant impact on [the success of the project],” said Oberlander.

The IDS project team includes Oberlander, Head of Technical Services Kate Pitcher, IDS librarian Tim Bowersox and Chair of Library Information Technology Mark Sullivan.

The team compiled a Workflow Toolkit with 100 tips for the IDS program that was made available online. Bowersox turned the toolkit into a wiki as well as a WordPress site.

In addition to the Workflow Toolkit, the team created a Getting It System Toolkit. The GIST project gives students and faculty more options for receiving books including Amazon e-books. It also registers the data of a request to make sure at least one of the libraries in the system has the book or journal.

“It gives Geneseo a reputation of being innovative,” said Oberlander.

Other libraries on the university level, such as Harvard University’s, are using the toolkit and GIST Project as models for their own projects.

Oberlander said that hearing of the award reminded him of everyone who helped shape his career.

“The Milne Library at Geneseo is so great with the most amazing staff and librarians that I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” he said. “Next we definitely want to get [Bowersox] and [Sullivan] nominated.”

Along with the support of his colleagues at the library, Oberlander said he is grateful for the support of Computing and Information Technology and Provost Carol Long.

The American Library Association will present Oberlander with the award at its annual conference in June in Anaheim, Calif.