St. Kate's Research & Instruction Librarian Amy Mars, MLIS '12, has received the 2017 Minnesota Academic Innovators Award. Sponsored by the Academic & Research Libraries Division of the Minnesota Library Association, the yearly award recognizes academic librarians who have made outstanding contributions to advance the missions of academic libraries in Minnesota through innovative projects, programs, or services.
Mars' award is in recognition of One Read for Racial Justice, the year-long initiative she organized in response to the death of Philando Castile. Centering on the book A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, she partnered with St. Kate's departments and faculty to create discussions around racial justice, encourage faculty to use it in their classes, design events, and bring in author speakers. Programs included in the initiative have covered topics including diversity in the publishing industry, racism in the criminal justice system, Black Lives Matter, stand your ground culture, and healing justice. Ultimately, more than 40 events were held as part of this year-long initiative.
Most recently, Mars organized an on-campus panel discussion featuring six authors from A Good Time for the Truth. Speaking to a standing-room-only crowd, they received a standing ovation and accolades from President Roloff. Thanks to Mars' efforts in reaching out to faculty, staff, and students, the One Read initiative showcased the library as a strong advocate for racial justice and an active partner in educating students.
About the Minnesota Academic Innovators Award
The award is sponsored by the Academic & Research Libraries Division (ARLD) of the Minnesota Library Association. ARLD is a division of the Minnesota Library Association and is also the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) chapter in Minnesota. ARLD’s purpose is to identify and seek solutions to mutual problems on the academic and research library level of librarianship, to improve services, to encourage development of librarians, and to stimulate cooperation among libraries.
Mars also received an Administrative Staff Award at the 2017 end-of-the-year awards ceremony for staff and faculty. See below for more information.