Maureen Russell, head of cataloging and an archivist at the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive, has earned the 2021 Librarian of the Year Award, presented by the Librarians Association of the University of California-Los Angeles.
The award was created in 1994 to recognize excellence in librarianship for a 12- to 18-month period in one or more of the following areas: creativity, innovation, intellectual or moral courage, leadership and scholarship. Russell will receive $500 in professional development funds.
Russell is being celebrated for her recent collaboration with Adam Matthew Digital, an academic publisher based in the United Kingdom, on the publication of “Ethnomusicology: Global Field Recordings.” The website makes research materials — including 15,000 audio field recordings and interviews, film footage and more than 8,000 images of field notebooks, slides, correspondence and ephemera from around the world — available to anyone with an internet connection. Visitors to the global field recordings website also gain a view into the cultural and social lives of represented communities from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe/Caucasus, the Middle East, North America and Oceania.
The award also recognizes Russell’s collaborations with local communities, which have resulted in outside funding to process collections related to Ube Arte, a collective of Filipino and Filipina American artists, musicians and dancers; and Bette Cox, a notable figure in the Black music community in Los Angeles. Cox was a commissioner for the city of Los Angeles’ cultural affairs department and founded the BEEM (Black Experience as Expressed through Music) Foundation for the Advancement of Music in the 1970s.
“Maureen’s accomplishments, along with the leadership she has provided in planning for the Ethnomusicology Archive’s 60th anniversary, show dedication, creativity and innovation in advancing the mission of the UCLA Library and the field of ethnomusicology,” said Nora Avetyan, chair of the librarian of the year award committee, and Armenian and Persian catalog librarian.
In addition to stewarding the Ethnomusicology Archive, the largest and oldest ethnographic audiovisual archive in North America, Russell is an adjunct professor in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music’s ethnomusicology department, specializing in audiovisual archiving, oral history, and information literacy and research skills.
The committee also recognizes and honors all 2021 nominees for their work: Joseph Babi, Christopher Brennan, Su Chen, Kevin Gerson, Monica Hagan, Diana King, Bethany Myers, Renee Romero, Sylvia Page and Doug Worsham.
Founded in 1967, and formally recognized as an official unit of the University of California in 1975, the librarians association advises UC on professional and governance matters; makes recommendations concerning UC librarians’ rights, privileges and obligations; and promotes full utilization of UC librarians’ professional abilities.