Alita Charron and Phuong Nguyen are the spring 2021 recipients of the Robert and Rita Blair Memorial Award. This coveted award is presented to graduating students who show special promise in providing library services to children and youth. The LIS faculty select awardees based on high academic standing and strong evidence of professional leadership.
Completing a practicum at Aina Haina Elementary Library during the COVID-19 pandemic, Charron created engaging and informative materials for students and teachers on topics such as using eBooks and copyright. Throughout her time in LIS, she participated in sessions held by the Hawaii Association of School Librarians (HASL), the Hawaii Library Association (HLA), and the UH Information Literacy Committee. She also presented a poster titled “Collaborative Partnerships” at the fall 2017 joint HASL/HLA conference. Most recently, Charron designed school library advocacy materials for HASL’s National Library Week program.
Nguyen was actively involved in student leadership, serving on two LIS student organizations. As vice president of Hui Dui and secretary for the ALA Hawaii student chapter, she continued to build camaraderie during the pandemic by helping shift from in-person activities. In her capstone ePortfolio, Nguyen wrote, “Librarians are friends to the community, and I want to be on the other side of the desk at the library and help others start their own adventure and journey as their friend.” Most recently, Nguyen is getting experience in youth services, creating book talks and book trailers during her internship at Kaimuki Public Library.