1998 Recipients of the Library Excellence Award

David Flaxbart and Ernestine Potter

David Flaxbart, Head of the Chemistry Library

Flaxbart has served as Head of the Chemistry Library since 1992. He has been cited on several occasions for his outstanding attention to user services and for the creative use of the new information technologies to provide fresh sources of information to students and faculty.

A recipient of the Director's Special Staff Honors Award, Flaxbart has been commended for the development of an outstanding Chemistry Library Web Site, for assembling the consortial funding required to mount the Beilstein Crossfire database for electronic access by campus scholars, and for the creation of the Web-based ThermoDex reference tool. An enhanced combined index database to over 75 handbooks and data compilations on thermodynamics, ThermoDex has been recognized nationally as a "value-added" reference tool to fill a gap in chemical finding aids. "David's most recent successes are coming in the area of capital development for the Chemistry Library," Billings notes, "a responsibility that we will all be pursuing more vigorously with the need for special funding support."

Flaxbart served in the Chemistry and Engineering libraries at the University of Michigan prior to joining the General Libraries. He holds a B.A in history and French from the University of Tulsa, an M.A. in history from the University of Michigan, and an M.L.S. degree from the University of Arizona.

Ernestine Potter, Head Librarian
Cataloging Department

Potter is Head Librarian of the General Libraries Cataloging Department, a position she has held since 1974. She oversees the creation of original bibliographic records for monographs, journals, music, multimedia, Latin American serial publications, and completely new types of digital information objects, Billings explains. "The unusual thing about Ernestine's contributions," he says, "is that she has helped guide staff through the transformation from traditional cataloging practices to the introduction of metadata cataloging and other means of bibliographic control in a completely new digital information environment. At the same time, her staff describes her as a caring, sensitive and compassionate supervisor. This is the stuff of heroics in the library world."

Potter is also a recipient of the Director's Special Staff Honors Award, and has been recognized by her colleagues on numerous occasions by election to major committee assignments. She has served as local coordinator for the OCLC Internet Cataloging Project, as a consultant to Florida State University, and as a participant in numerous other projects to advance library information control and access. Prior to joining the General Libraries staff in 1966, she was senior cataloger at Louisiana State University. She holds a B.A. in history and the M.S.L.S. from LSU.