Engineering librarian wins library research award

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William H. Mischo has won the 2009 Kilgour Award. Mischo is head of the Grainger Engineering Library and Information Center at the University of Illinois, USA.

This award is given by the Library & Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and OCLC for research relevant to the development of information technologies. This especially includes work that shows promise of having a positive and substantive impact on any aspect(s) of the publication, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information, or the processes by which information and data is manipulated and managed.

The award committee praised William Mischo for his three-decades-long work on the design of user-centered information retrieval tools and services. It also commented on his efforts to take on the complex challenges of search query formulation using various database syntaxes and the presentation of search results from different sources through a user interface in a manner that is comprehensible to various user audiences. His translation of user information discovery needs into software programs and new information protocols that have served as models for commercial services and community standards was also noted.

In addition, Mischo has made significant contributions to the areas of subject access in online catalogues; end-user interface design to enable searching of online abstracting and indexing databases; full-text search and discovery systems and the challenges of publishers and libraries providing access to this content; federated search of multiple full-text repositories; and the use of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) and OpenURLs as unique methods for identifying journal articles.