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Library Professional Development


The "You Rock Box" is a peer to peer recognition program that allows library staff to recognize and reward each other for both small and large accomplishments.  The program began in January, 2017. This page features 2017 Honorees.

First Honoree: Stephanie Blankenship

 Photo of Stephanie Blankenship, Jennifer Bazele

Stephanie Blankenship -- Access and Borrow (Nominated by Jennifer Bazeley)

Stephanie has been working in technical services since May 2016 and has been a wonderful addition to the department. She learned department policies and procedures quickly and has a great work ethic and positive attitude. She has cataloged 2,018 items since her start date in May--an impressive number in under a year. Her collegiality with library staff was evident from her first day. She's a pleasure to work with!

Honoree: Ross Mallaley


Ross Mallaley -- Steward and Sustain (Nominated by Brad Nichol)

I nominated Ross because he is my partner in the cage who is always ready for whatever comes his way in the cage or jail as others refer it to.  He is always upbeat no matter work orders or complaints come his way.  He is also my back up when I'm off work and he is always eager to give a lending hand or help someone in  time of need.  Thanks Ross for all your help. 

Honoree: Tricia Zeiser


Tricia Zeiser -- Access and Borrow (Nominated by Susan Gray)

When choosing the next Library Rock Star, one person stands out: Tricia Zeiser! Tricia is ideal when it comes to exceptional customer service. She is always willing to go above an beyond to help patrons and other people in the library. Tricia is always involved with some committee, tours, or generally helping out. She always has a smile on her face and a contagious positive attitude! Tricia, thanks for being you!

Honoree: Tiffany Dogan

 photo of tiffany dogan

Tiffany Dogan -- Access and Borrow (Nominated by Thomas Tully)

Tiffany is invaluable resource and my go-to person when it comes to working with Sierra.  She is constantly called on to modify records, add the newest gadget we have for checkout, and fetch usage stats for me. She has also taken over and modernized our course reserve system.  Tiffany even demonstrates unfathomable patience when dealing with procrastinating professors.  I am still unsure how she retains her sanity in this endeavor.

Her greatest attribute and the thing that makes her a rock star is her flexibility.  Tiffany is always willing to help out - be it covering circulation shifts, jumping in on reference desk, or covering last minute lunches at Art/Arch, I know who I can count on to volunteer.

Honoree: Nate Floyd


Nate Floyd -- Advise and Instruct (Nominated by Kris Abney)

Nate seems to always be over at the Information Desk, eagerly waiting with a positive attitude to help patrons.  He is willing to jump in and do whatever he has to, in order to make sure the patron gets what they need.  If he isn't sure about the answer, Nate doesn't hesitate to ask questions.    He has a great sense of humor, and regularly takes the time to engage with circulation staff and student workers.   Circulation really appreciates the easy back and forth when he is working.  Congratulations Nate- YOU ROCK!

Honoree: Regina Garcia


Regina Garcia -- Steward and Sustain (Nominated by Justin Bridges)

Tucked away in King Library’s Preservation Department is one of the hardest workers in the library… Regina Garcia. Regina works tirelessly to insure that all library materials are in tip-top condition, and is always willing to lend a helping hand with special preservation projects as they arise. Whether she be encapsulating posters, drilling & sewing book covers, creating boxes for the rare gems in Special Collections, or any of the other multitude of things she does… she takes on every task with a smile. In addition, her infectious laugh is contagious and makes everyone on King’s 3rd floor a bit happier upon hearing it. Regina is a Rock Star in every sense of the word, and I consider it a true privilege to have her as one of my coworkers.  Kudos for a job well done, Regina!!!

Honoree: Laura Sheppard


Laura Sheppard -- Access and Borrow (Nominated by Stephanie Blankenship)

I first met Laura when I started working at Miami in May 2016. She was extremely welcoming with a contagious smile on her face. She gave me my first tour of the Amos Library and showed me the intricate workings of the library as well as her daily duties. I’ve known her to be helpful, kind, and generous. I can tell she takes great pleasure in helping students from the heartfelt way she talks about her job. 

Honoree: Mary Hubbard


Mary Hubbard -- Access and Borrow (Nominated by Ross Mallaley)

Because this is the “You Rock Box,” I really have no option but to nominate Mary Hubbard. Mary is a hard worker and a great friend. She is one of a kind and I enjoy stopping by the IMC to pick her brain and hear her stories. Mary brings out the best in everyone and is a great listener.  I am thankful that I get to come in everyday and work alongside such a truly wonderful person. 

Honoree: Susan Hurst


Susan Hurst-- Advise and Instruct (Nominated by Tricia Zeiser)

When I think of a Library Rock Star, it has to be Susan Hurst.  Each and every time I have the pleasure of seeing/speaking with Susan, she is always friendly, thoughtful and has a positive, upbeat attitude!  She has a kind heart, and you can’t help but feeling happy when you’re around her!  Even the smallest thing – what you did over the holidays or a vacation you went on – Susan remembers those things and always asks about it – that means so much!  Susan, you’re a FANTASTIC person and you totally ROCK!!!  

Honoree: Sandy Burwell

 photo of sandy burwell

Sandy Burwell -- Access and Borrow (Nominated by Tiffany Dogan)

While King was sharing our space at B.E.S.T., she was instrumental to helping our King colleagues get adjusted to their new space. She also helped with developing procedures when it came to King returns and helped King circulation staff feel more at home with doing circulation duties at the desk. I heard so many compliments about her assistance that too much time shouldn't pass without thanking her for her help.

Honoree: Don Morner


Don Morner -- Access and Borrow (Nominated by Nate Floyd)

They say you ought to keep your friends close and your enemies even closer. With that in mind, I watch Don Morner like a hawk. As mortal enemies, each of us prays for the other's downfall. Since I arrived at Miami, I have learned his routines, his habits. I have sought to discover some weakness that I might exploit. But, Mr. Morner has no weakness, unless you believe sarcasm and a sardonic smile to be a weakness. He is well-liked among his peers and his reputation for helping others is well-deserved. 

I will not give up the fight, but I will acknowledge that Mr. Morner is a worthy adversary. He has my respect, and he deserves to wear the crown for a while.

You Rock Mr. Morner! Until we meet again. 

Honoree: Heather Barbour


Heather Barbour -- Access and Borrow (Nominated by Regina Garcia)

Heather was one of the first people I met when I started at King. It didn’t take long to realize she was a great colleague, as well as an awesome person. Although we don’t work in the same room, our departments interact all the time. Every time I had a question or needed anything, Heather was very helpful and in a courteous manner.  She is dependable, thoughtful, a multitasker and a team player -- qualities that make her an exceptional employee. Not to mention her friendly smile!  

Heather is also very creative. Examples of that are her really scary zombies -- fortunately, these are only virtual!  

Guess who is wearing a crown instead of a Santa’s hat this Holiday season?? Heather Barbour, the Great!! 

Honoree: Brad Nichol

 Photo of Brad Nichol

Brad Nichol -- Steward and Sustain (Nominated by Laura Sheppard)

It's difficult to choose one person because I have had such positive experiences with all my colleagues---everyone is always generous with knowledge and willing to help. 
But in this case, I would like to nominate Brad Nichol, who unfailingly and cheerfully delivers our tubs and supplies no matter if it's raining, snowing, or hotter than blazes. 
And sometimes he'll remember the Amos staff if there are treats in King, stashing cookies in the tub amongst the books and CDs. Brad is an unseen hero to our patrons, too, since he brings their eagerly-awaited requests from libraries far and wide. When he's here, nobody realizes what he does, but when he's gone, everybody knows about it!

Honoree: Susan Gray


Susan Gray -- Access and Borrow (Nominated by Mary Hubbard)

I nominated Susan because she is a great “cubby” buddy and is a marvelous addition to the ground floor crew in her new role as GIL materials processor. I have seen that she truly cares about the library and its patrons. Her ability to analyze shelf-space requirements for library materials is matched by no one, which made her a great asset in the move of the IMC collections.  She is great to work with and has insightful ideas on all projects.  Susan, you ROCK!! 

Honoree: Thomas Tully


Thomas Tully -- Access and Borrow (Nominated by Susan Hurst)

He is the glue that holds BEST together.  He is always helpful and really knows how to fix stuff, including the printers, the iPads in the stacks, even knows how to put staples in the copy machine! He fills in for everyone and does a great job whether it’s hiring student workers, staffing the Circ desk, or serving on search committees for new librarians.

Whenever I have a tough Circ or technology question at the desk, I know I can go to Thomas and he will take care of it – and he always does. He did SO much work on the Hughes project.  He was constantly over there, measuring, moving books, organizing the materials, and supervising everyone so it all worked out. PLUS he is always taking university classes and working on his house in his “spare” time.  He even makes wine.  What a multitasker!

Truly a Renaissance man and a Library Rock Star. Thanks for bailing me out of a million jams, Thomas – you ROCK!!!

Honoree: Kris Abney

 photo of Kris Abney

Kris Abney -- Access and Borrow (Nominated by Sandy Burwell)

Kris is always my go to person. If she does not know the answer she will make sure she directs you to who does. She will even follow up to find out if your question or concern was cleared up. She always makes sure that when you come to her for a question or concern that you do not feel like the question or concern was unimportant or trivial. I am always hearing good things from people who interact with her. She has a hard job to do and she does it very gracefully!

Honoree: Justin Bridges


Justin Bridges -- Steward and Sustain (Nominated by Don Morner)

Justin works in Special Collections. There are a number of interesting meanings for "special"- I should leave it to others to determine which is appropriate for Justin. Although he's been In his current position for a relatively short time (he's been around the library a lot longer,) Justin seems to already be thoroughly integrated in to that system, knows the ins-and-outs of their procedures. He's always helpful to me on behalf of remote patrons' requests (which can sometimes be a little odd,) always willing to commit time and effort to scan material that may not be readily available elsewhere -that IS Special Collections, after all.

As in fine dining, "presentation matters" and Justin seems to be a good part of the the display and event presentations for the Special Collections area. Just as Justin's namesake Justinian I oversaw construction of the magnificent Hagia Sophia (also the devastating 540's plague -- Just sayln' ,) Justin oversees the sartorial splendor of Special Collections (as long as that splendor is black.) I'm pretty sure one of the admonishments of Justinian's Code was: "nigra tunic cum arco torque".