The Federal Library and Information Network (FEDLINK) announced the winners of its national awards for federal librarianship, which recognize the many innovative ways that federal libraries, librarians, and library technicians fulfill the information demands of government, business, scholarly communities, and the American public.
Derek McDowell, a reference assistant at the NIH Library, was named the FEDLINK 2018 Federal Library Technician of the Year. He was recognized for his innovation and dedication as a technical resource for NIH Library multimedia services and for his superior customer service to the NIH Library’s customers.
Derek McDowell (right) received his award at the Library of Congress on May 7, 2019, pictured here with Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress (left) and his fellow award winners.
You may know him as one of the faces of the NIH Library—McDowell can frequently be found at the NIH Library Information Desk, where he and his fellow reference assistants have consistently received high marks for their courtesy, timeliness, completeness, accuracy, and satisfaction. If you have visited the NIH Library in the evening or on the weekend, you will likely have interacted with McDowell, who regularly manages the NIH Library’s onsite services at those times.
As the primary point of contact and technical lead for the NIH Library’s Digital Production Studio (DPS), McDowell trains and assists NIH staff in their use of the Library’s high-quality audio and video recording and processing tools. In this role, he helped create a series of oral history videos profiling notable NIH staff scientists, training videos for the NIH Clinical Center Nursing Department, an interview video for the National Institute on Aging’s Alzheimer’s Disease Preclinical Efficacy Database, and many other multimedia projects for NIH Library customers. McDowell also developed and taught the NIH Library’s first Adobe Premier Pro class.
When he is not assisting a customer at the Information Desk or recording video, McDowell contributes to librarian-led projects. For example, he prepared over 450 items for analysis for the CounterACT Program, a trans-NIH initiative which identifies better therapeutic medical countermeasures against chemical threat agents. McDowell also supported the Indian Health Service’s 4,000 clinical and tribal staff from across the country by fulfilling document requests and facilitating online access. As part of the NIH Library's Tech Hub Team, he helps NIH Library customers create and troubleshoot account access to the bioinformatics analysis tools on the Library’s high-performance workstations.
These are just a few examples of the exceptional work McDowell does every day to help the NIH Library achieve its vision of being the premier provider of information solutions that enable discovery and improve health.
FEDLINK honored the 2018 award winners during the FEDLINK Spring Exposition on May 7, 2019, at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The names of the winners will remain on permanent display in the FEDLINK offices at the Library of Congress.
The NIH Library in Building 10 serves the information needs of NIH staff and select Department of Health and Human Services agencies. The NIH Library is part of the Office of Research Services in the Office of the Director. NIH Library classes, events, resources, and services, subscribe to our e-news.
Last modified date: Fri, 08/27/2021 - 4:45pm