April 21, 2009

The Texas Library Association (TLA) awarded its Distinguished Service Award to Dana Rooks, University of Houston dean of libraries.

The award is given annually to a librarian who is a TLA member who has substantially demonstrated leadership and has contributed outstanding and continuing service in one or more areas of the library profession. 

Rooks has served the libraries of Texas for 30 years, serving as co-principal investigator for a state-wide resource sharing project that came to be known as Texshare.  As president of TLA, she led thousands of librarians in a rally to ask for more funding at the state Capitol in Austin in 2005.

According to Karen Wielhorski of UH-Clear Lake, who presented the award, Rooks also "mastered the fine art of fundraising and raised money for the major expansion of her library at a time when no one thought it could be done." 

Rooks also worked with the University of North Texas to establish a library school degree program in Houston and served as a mentor for three classes of the Tall Texans leadership program. She has been a member on the board of directors of the Association of Research Libraries, the Greater Western Library Alliance, the Online Computer Library Center Research Libraries Advisory Council and the Amigos Board of Trustees. 

Pat Smith, TLA executive director, said one of Rooks’ most important contributions is her mentorship of young librarians.

"She is a great cheerleader who helps put people together for projects, listens and is quite willing to use her experiences to help others succeed," Smith said.

Staff reports



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