Milstead Distinguished Librarian Award
Lawrence Schmidt, head of the Brinkerhoff Geology Library, is the recipient of the University of Wyoming’s 2014 Agnes Milstead Distinguished Librarianship Award.
The late Agnes Milstead, a former professor of education and library science at UW, established the annual award in 1993 to recognize significant contributions to University Libraries in scholarships, program development, teaching, fundraising and professional achievements.
Schmidt’s most notable contribution to UW Libraries is with the Digital Herbarium Collection. The Herbarium Collection consists of fragile and unique plant specimens collected from numerous locations from around the Rocky Mountain Region. Under Schmidt’s guidance, the collection has been photographed and high-resolution digitized images and documents made available online to researchers around the world. He worked with numerous individuals to help secure grants and with organizing this unique digital collection.
“I have really enjoyed my time at UW as I have been allowed to focus on areas that I am interested in,” said Schmidt. “I never really expected that I would be able to practice science through helping build digital collections and online databases.”
As head of the Brinkerhoff Geology Library, Schmidt oversees the daily planning, organizing, staffing and budget for the library. In his areas of expertise, science and engineering, Schmidt works to integrate library instruction in university courses in these areas. Melissa Bowles-Terry, former instruction and assessment coordinator for UW libraries, wrote in her nomination letter, “the work Larry has done to integrate library instruction in these and other science classes demonstrates his noteworthy efforts in information literacy instruction and development of course materials.”
Schmidt, who has a master of library science degree from the School of Library and Information Management Distance Education Program in Portland, Oregon, also earned a master of science, in environmental engineering from Montana State University. When asked what he does in his free time, Schmidt said, “since moving to Wyoming I have enjoyed getting back into skiing both downhill and cross country. Now that my kids are older and have started to race in junior high and high school races I enjoy watching and skiing with them.”