Two Southwestern Seminary librarians have been recognized for their achievements in the areas of indexing and cataloging. Beyond adding distinction to Southwestern’s libraries, this recognition of the librarians’ work affirms their efforts to provide students and researchers the most information possible so that they may be thoroughly prepared for the ministry to which God has called them.
Robert Burgess, digital resources librarian, received the “Indexer of the Year” award from the Association of Christian Librarians (ACL). The ACL is one of the oldest and most well-known evangelical academic library organizations, and this award is one of only seven awards given each year.
Indexing is a process by which a theological journal is read and analyzed according to title, author and subject matter. This information is then compiled into a database and sent to the Christian Periodical Index, the almost exclusive content provider for evangelical scholarly material. Through this process, students may access resources that would otherwise be unavailable to them. Because of his work in this field, Burgess was named “Indexer of the Year” for 2017.
“Mr. Burgess has distinguished Southwestern Libraries for the important contribution he makes to the discipline of theological librarianship,” says Craig Kubic, dean of libraries. “Robert works with enthusiasm and devotion to make religious resources discoverable by systematically and thoroughly categorizing materials for the databases that serve our students and faculty. We are grateful to acknowledge this distinct honor for him and our institution.”
“If librarians don’t do this indexing, then it’s not going to be done,” Burgess says of the importance of this work. “If we don’t read through our evangelical magazines and journals and all those publications, then they’re not going to be available for researchers to find.”
Technical Services Librarian Heather Hicks, meanwhile, has become a member of the Name Authority Cooperative Program (NACO). This means she completed training by the Library of Congress and is now approved to perform Name Authority Record cataloging. Name Authority Records—which contain information about people associated with publications, typically the author—are added to the global library database so that all other libraries and researchers may access the information.
For example, Hicks created a record for Matt Queen, Southwestern’s L.R. Scarborough Chair of Evangelism. This includes his publications, his association with Southwestern, and even his special emphasis on evangelism.
“This gives researchers and librarians a greater understanding of why an author’s work is unique and valuable in a world overrun with information,” Hicks says. “I am now able to make Southwestern’s esteemed institutional information available for libraries around the world.”
“Miss Heather Hicks is a tremendous asset to Southwestern Libraries as a skilled cataloger,” Kubic says. “She recently achieved the accomplishment of becoming certified by the Library of Congress in a skill that is earned by only a few professionals throughout the United States. We are proud of her elite status among very few librarians. … I have known very few to have the determination, stamina, and skill-level to achieve it.”