Special Libraries Association Recognizes Dr. Eileen Abels with 2007 Rose L. Vormelker Award for Library Education


Alexandria, Virginia, USA – 14 November 2007— According to the numerous letters of support that came in from her students, “The impact of Dr. Abels’ mentoring can be seen in any cross section of her graduates, she has influenced countless students who are now successfully and happily working in the field,” said one nominator. Another student wrote, “While Dr. Abels often taught large classes, it seemed like she knew every student personally. She is a professor that remains close to her students; supporting and encouraging us in many ways even beyond graduate school.” 

These statements certainly proved to be accurate assessments of the admiration that Dr. Eileen Abels’ students and colleagues, an ever large and always growing fan-base, have for her and the impact she has had on lives and careers. This was more than apparent in Denver during the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Awards Ceremony at the 2007 Annual Conference and INFO-EXPO in June. 

Professor Abels could not be there in person to receive her award, however her absence at the ceremony didn’t stop the thousands of librarians and information professionals in the room from giving the well-known Abels a round of applause expressing their appreciation for her 20 years of mentorship to library students and her dedication to the future of the profession.

Abels, who is the 2007 recipient of the Rose L. Vormelker award for beyond exceptional services in area of mentoring students, was on the other side of the country in Silver Spring, Maryland, attending the high school graduation of her most important “student,” her daughter. She accepted the award “virtually” at the end of a video which featured former students discussing how Abels made an impact on their lives and careers. 

(Podcast of award video: http://www.sla.org/content/SLA/awardsrecognition/vormelkeraward/index.cfm)

“Watching young people and professionals reach important milestones, grow, learn, and enjoy the prospects presented to them as they build their careers is one of the reasons I do what I do. My own daughter is no exception, and I couldn’t have missed such a huge step in her life and mine,” said Abels. 

She continued, “I was so sorry that I couldn’t be there to accept this award, but it means so much to know that my work, which I love, has had an effect on so many librarians and information professionals working in the field today. I hope that I will continue to have opportunities to help others be successful in their careers. Thank you to my students and to SLA for continuing to provide me with inspiration and motivation to be the best I can on a daily basis!”

About the Recipient: 2007 SLA Rose L. Vormelker Award

Described by her nominators as "a keystone of the library science program, functioning as a bridge between coursework and the real world, between students and faculty, and between the academic world and professional organizations," Abels is Master’s Program Director and associate professor in the College of Information Science and Technology at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

For more than 15 years, Abels was a faculty member at the University of Maryland College of Information Studies, as well as an affiliate associate professor at the Robert H. Smith Business School's Department of Decision and Information Technologies for three years, because of the connections she built between the two schools. 

At Maryland, Abels proposed and developed the Virtual Business Information Center, administered jointly by University of Maryland College of Information Studies, the Smith School, and the University Libraries. VBIC is a collection of electronic and print business resources intended to provide research assistance to the faculty and students at the Smith School of Business and general users seeking authoritative business information.Prior to joining the faculty at Maryland, Abels held positions with Price Waterhouse, Boston Consulting Group, and the Instituto de Investigaciones Eléctricas. 

She is a frequent presenter at national conferences on user needs and information-seeking behavior. Abels received a bachelor's degree in French from Clark University, a master of library science from the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. from UCLA.

About SLA
The Special Libraries Association is a nonprofit global organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves more than 11,000 members in 75 countries in the information profession, including corporate, academic, and government information specialists. SLA promotes and strengthens its members through learning, advocacy, and networking initiatives. For more information, visit us on the Web at www.sla.org