Macalester Librarian wins award

By Tressa Versteeg

Jacki Betsworth, a Macalester library worker, has won the 2007 Una Lamb Outstanding Paraprofessional of the Year Award. The award, presented on Oct. 25 in Mankato, is given each year to celebrate the excellence of a library staff member who does not have a library science degree. “I felt disbelief at first, then I was very happy,” said Betsworth, who has worked at Macalester as a library office manager for four years.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to be acknowledged by your peers, especially in a field that is so service-directed and [where] people are so dedicated to their field,” Betsworth said.

She said she feels honored to be recognized for her work as a library employee without a degree in library science.

In the last decade, she said, there has been a push for a more integrated approach between library staff with degrees and those without.

“We’re all working together,” she said.

The Support Staff and Paraprofessional Interest Section, part of the Minnesota Library Association, started the award in 1996. Betsworth received five nominations from library association members.

In addition to her regular job responsibilities of tracking the library’s budget, maintaining the facilities and organizing student employment, Betsworth has taken on a large role in the library’s poster project promoting reading.

“Jacki was nominated because of her excellent and professional work. She is an excellent secretary and is able to record the fine points,” said Rita Schulz, the chair of SSPIS and 2006 recipient of the Una Lamb award.

Before coming to Macalester, Betsworth was a part-time music teacher. She has also held administrative positions for multiple organizations, including a family business.