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Susan Brynteson awarded UD Medal of Distinction

Honoring success and service

Photo by Ambre Alexander Payne

Susan Brynteson awarded UD Medal of Distinction

Susan Brynteson, May Morris Librarian Emerita at the University of Delaware, has been awarded the University’s Medal of Distinction.

Established by the University’s Board of Trustees, the medal is presented to individuals who have made humanitarian, cultural, intellectual or scientific contributions to society, have achieved noteworthy success in their professions or have given service to the University, the state and the region.

John R. Cochran, chairman of the Board of Trustees, presented the medal to Brynteson at a May 17 ceremony at the President’s Residence, hosted by President Nancy Targett.

The resolution honoring Brynteson cited her “long and distinguished tenure of 35 years in service to the University of Delaware, its students, faculty and staff” and saluted her leadership and guidance in overseeing the University of Delaware Library, “a major academic resource for the University of Delaware, the surrounding community, the state of Delaware and the nation.”

Also noted were library accomplishments during her tenure, including the conversion from a card catalog system to the online DELCAT catalog system; the implementation of DELCAT Discovery, an online cloud-based service; the growth of the library’s collections; and membership in the Association of Research Libraries, as well as the acquisition of the senatorial papers of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Sen. Ted Kaufman.

The resolution concludes, “Ms. Brynteson has distinguished herself as a person who has achieved noteworthy success in her profession and has given significant service to the University.”

In accepting the medal, Brynteson said, “I am thrilled and overwhelmed to receive this medal. The University of Delaware Library is fundamental to the student experience – a sanctuary of engaged learning where students and scholars go to get things done. I have been honored to work with a highly capable and dedicated staff, and I thank you for paying tribute to the essential role of the library in the University’s teaching, learning and research mission.” She concluded her remarks by saying, “Libraries change lives.”

Additional honors

In June 2015, Brynteson announced her plans to step down as vice provost and May Morris University Librarian.

In honor of her service, the University created the Library Director Fund for Innovation and Creativity, after she retired Aug. 31, 2015. The fund will be available to support library innovation and creativity in the future.

Last fall, the University of Delaware Library Associates passed a resolution recognizing “the varied, numerous and outstanding contributions of Susan Brynteson to the Library Associates, to the University of Delaware Library, to the University of Delaware and to the field of scholarly librarianship.”

At its September 2015 meeting, the University Faculty Senate approved a resolution noting that Brynteson’s “35 years of commitment and leadership have been extremely beneficial to the University of Delaware Library.” The resolution expressed the senate’s gratitude “for her years of outstanding service” and congratulated her on her retirement.

In 2015, the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies, named Brynteson a Distinguished Alumna.

She has served since 1998 as a member of the Board of Directors of Yaddo, the prestigious artists' community in Saratoga Springs, New York, which has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Its mission is to nurture the creative process by providing an opportunity through residencies for artists to work without interruption in a supportive environment. Yaddo residencies are provided through a juried process to creative artists from all nations and backgrounds, including writers, painters, sculptors, composers, photographers, printmakers, choreographers, film- and video-makers and others. In 2006, she was elected to lifetime membership in the Corporation of Yaddo in recognition of her longtime association as the volunteer librarian and special adviser at Yaddo.

Brynteson has served as president of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services and as a member of its governing body, the American Library Association Council. She has chaired major American Library Association policy committees dealing with publishing, federal legislation and intellectual freedom. She was on the board of directors of the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago and is a member of the by-invitation-only Grolier Club in New York, America's oldest and largest society for bibliophiles and enthusiasts in the graphic arts.

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