Libraries' Gilley to receive highest career award in women and gender studies

CHICAGO — Jennifer Gilley, head librarian at Penn State University Libraries’ Elisabeth S. Blissell Library at Penn State New Kensington, has been selected as the 2017 winner of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Women and Gender Studies Section (WGSS) Career Achievement Award. The award honors significant longstanding contributions to women’s studies in the field of librarianship over the course of a career.

“We at the University Libraries applaud the selection of Jennifer Gilley for the highest honor in her field, as recognized by her scholarly peers. Jennifer’s outstanding accomplishments benefiting the fields of women’s studies and librarianship are multiplied not only through the intersections of those fields but also through her example as a scholar and volunteer — for Penn State, the New Kensington community and for national organizations in her areas of specialization,” Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, said. “It’s evident her impact has extended to the national level for nearly the entirety of her library career and demonstrates the breadth and scope of her academic and public service contributions.”

A tenured Penn State faculty member since 2007 who holds the rank of associate librarian, Gilley has worked at the University Libraries for 18 years and has served as head librarian at the New Kensington campus since 2001. At Penn State, she most recently served as the chair of the Libraries’ Promotion and Tenure Committee in 2015-16 and currently serves on the Libraries Faculty Organization Research Committee. Across the University, she has served as the New Kensington campus liaison to Penn State’s Commission for Women for the past decade and is currently working on its Assessment Committee. Nationally, she serves as the National Women’s Studies Association’s (NWSA) co-chair of its Librarians Task Force and as ACRL’s official liaison to the association.

Gilley previously was recognized by WGSS for significant achievement in women’s studies librarianship in 2007, and the following year served as the WGSS chair. 

“Jennifer’s reputation and work has attracted attention for most of her career,” said Kevin Snider, chancellor of the New Kensington campus. “While those of us here recognize the talent she brings to our world, we are glad to see that colleagues across her discipline hold her in such high esteem. We are very proud that she hails from Penn State New Kensington and excited to see what her future work will bring.”

Gilley’s research interests include feminist publishing, third wave feminism, women's studies librarianship, popular culture, and gender and technology issues. She received a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a master’s degree in women’s studies from The Ohio State University.

WGSS award chair Stacy Russo, librarian and associate professor at Santa Ana College, elaborated on Gilley’s selection for the Career Achievement Award. “Gilley has an international reputation in women’s studies for her work on feminist publishing and information-seeking behavior in women’s studies,” Russo said. “She has presented at numerous conferences in addition to ALA, ACRL, and NWSA, including the Fifteenth International Conference on Books in London and Publishing Feminisms Symposium in Canada.

“She has received numerous awards for research development from Penn State University, the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and other organizations,” Russo added. “Her career accomplishments in women and gender studies librarianship are inspiring, exceptional and unwavering.”

Gilley will be presented a plaque at a WGSS event in late June during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

The ACRL Women & Gender Studies Section Award for Career Achievement in Women & Gender Studies Librarianship was established in 1999.