NEW YORK CITY, November 15, 2009 – A leader and “scholar who learns with
and from her students,” Rebecca Knuth, a tenured professor in the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa (UHM), is this year’s recipient of the LJ Teaching Award. The award, cosponsored by ProQuest, recognizes one outstanding educator who excels at educating the next generation of librarians. Knuth is notable for her ongoing engagement with and mentorship of her students and her commitment to the profession’s core principles through course development and scholarly research.
Nominated by her students, Knuth was selected by the editors of Library Journal, the profession’s leading trade magazine, from a competitive group of nominations from across the United States. Knuth began her work at UHM in 2004 as chair of the LIS program, part of UH’s Department of Information and Computer Science. Her professional accomplishments at the university include building courses in the LIS program and creating its popular elective course in intellectual freedom, a topic on which much of her research focuses. She teaches courses in Traditional Literature and Oral Narration, International Librarianship, and Information Policy. Knuth holds an MA in Special Education and an MLIS. She has authored two books on intellectual freedom and libraries, as well as peer-reviewed scholarly articles and more popular writings.
It is the meaningful content used in her classrooms, her educator-as-learner approach, and her student-centered thinking that prompted LIS student Karen Brown to nominate Knuth for the honor. “Not only is the subject matter fascinating and relevant, but Dr. Knuth seems to enjoy her time with us in each and every class,” says Brown.
Knuth credits much of her success to crafting a syllabus that provokes thought and discussion. “I try to build excitement about librarianship and learning in general. I think many students are interested in ethics, social responsibility, the profession, the broader social climate, and in standing for something,” Knuth says.
“Rebecca Knuth is an inspirational teacher,” noted Library Journal’s Editor-in-Chief Francine Fialkoff. “Her student-centered thinking marries theory and practice to create a challenging environment that pushes both her students and her own research.”
The award comes with a $5000 honorarium from ProQuest and a celebration at the 2010 American Library Association Midwinter meeting in Boston. Read about Knuth in the November 15th issue of Library Journal (www.libraryjournal.com).