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WHSLA 2009 Librarian of the Year – Barbara Benisch Sisolak

GMR BlueEileen Severson
MLIS Supervisor
Library and Health Information Services
Health Sciences Library
Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center
La Crosse, WI

At the WHSLA 2009 Annual Meeting in La Crosse, WI, the board was honored to award the Librarian of the Year award to Barbara Benisch Sisolak, Senior Special Librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Department of Surgery Library.

Barb has demonstrated many times her qualifications for this award.  Since becoming the Senior Special Librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Department of Surgery, she has been an active participant in our many library professional organizations.  She has participated in WHSLA as member of the Communications Committee, President-Elect, and subsequently President and Past-President.  Barb is a participant in surgery society conferences as well.  In all of her roles in library and health-related organizations, Barb is the consummate professional and serves as a mentor to others new to the organization, the profession, or outside the profession.

Beyond her mentorship and professionalism, Barb’s nomination mentioned her attention to detail, persistence, energy, flexibility, and knowledge.  Her colleagues mentioned the joy she is to work and collaborate with and her unending sense of humor.

She has an enthusiasm for teaching; she especially has a talent for translating technical information in to the language of the masses.  Not only does she have an enthusiasm for teaching, but the same enthusiasm for learning.  She persists in her education by asking many questions and taking risks to tackle projects that may be out of her scope of experience.

Overall, Barb has an unwavering commitment to and passion for her profession and the people she serves.  I look forward to seeing where Barb’s path takes her, she will certainly excel.  One of her nominators said it best, “The WHSLA Librarian of the Year should be endlessly competent, caring and professional; they don’t get much better than Barb Sisolak.”

Please extend your congratulations to Barb on this well-deserved award.

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