MRICD Employee Named 2011 Federal Library Technician of the Year

MRICD's Leanna Bush

MRICD's Leanna Bush has been named the 2011 Federal Library Technician of the Year by the Library of Congress's Federal Library and Information Center Committee. (Photo by Darrell Jesonis, MRICD)

Leanna Bush of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., has been recognized by the Library of Congress as its Federal Library and Information Network 2011 Federal Library Technician of the Year. Bush received her award at FEDLINK's two-day spring exposition, "Brave New World," in Washington, D.C. May 14.

"We all recognize Leanna as an invaluable asset to our library," said Col. Peter Schultheiss, MRICD commander. "Certainly no library technician is more deserving of this award."

Bush was nominated by Pamela Scheuermann, the librarian at MRICD's Wood Technical Library. The nomination by Scheuermann cited Bush's "outstanding customer service, in-depth knowledge of the collection, and understanding of researchers' information needs."

"Leanna has established herself as the go-to information resource at MRICD," said Scheuermann.

Among Bush's duties are preparing and administering the library budget, managing the journal subscription contract, copy cataloging, developing the collection, fulfilling interlibrary loans, tracking library use metrics, and maintaining the library's administrative files. In 2011, Bush initiated a project to scan the library's entire translation collection, which she saved to a shared network drive, making individual articles available to the institute's investigators from their desktops through links on the library's SharePoint site. Bush also collected or created PDF files of over 3700 articles, technical reports, proceedings papers, abstracts, and posters authored or co-authored by institute staff, thereby expediting the staff's access to past and current research in the medical chemical defense program.

"Leanna used EndNote, a type of bibliographic editing software, to create a database of the institute's bibliography," explained Scheuermann. "The EndNote format gives ICD researchers the added functionality to automatically format references in MS Word, and insert citations and endnotes using the 'Cite While You Write' feature. Author bibliographies can be generated quickly when needed for evaluations or other documentation of researchers' work."

Bush was "quite surprised" when she received an email from the Library of Congress notifying her of her selection for the award, and she is grateful to Scheuermann for nominating her. She also is thankful to Dr. Alfred Sciuto, Dr. Heidi Hoard-Fruchey, and Lt. Col. Shannon Stutler, who provided letters of recommendation to accompany the nomination package.

"I feel honored and humbled to be recognized by my library colleagues with this prestigious award," said Bush. "It is a very gratifying feeling to know that I have contributed in a small way to the research of my agency."

The letters of reference from Sciuto, Hoard-Fruchey and Stutler all praised Bush's proficiency, dedication, and customer service. Sciuto, a senior research physiologist at MRICD, noted her impressive ability to procure even hard-to-find documents.

"What is amazing to me," wrote Sciuto, "is that she knows the library so well that she is able to quickly pinpoint what is needed. This is not surprising in that for several years she handled every library operation without fail, alone, while the institute searched for a librarian."

Hoard-Fruchey, an MRICD research biologist, credited Bush with maintaining the crucial support the library provides the institute's researchers.

"She has advocated on behalf of our scientific staff to improve our book collection, keep a journal collection on site, and express the importance of access to electronic journals," wrote Hoard-Fruchey. "In addition, she is always looking for ways to improve services at the library."

Stutler, chief of MRICD's Research Support Division, cited Bush's digitization of the translations, which also freed up shelf space, allowing the institute's archived laboratory notebooks to come out of storage in a warehouse. Regarding her creation of the comprehensive interactive bibliography, Stutler wrote, "Ms. Bush continues to make a notable impact on our institute's ability to accomplish its mission."

Stutler also noted that Bush "quickly and cheerfully responds to all requests for assistance, and routinely offers suggestions for improving the outcomes."

Bush's competency and efficiency weren't her only qualities that impressed the staff.

"She always makes all patrons feel welcome," said Stutler.

Hoard-Fruchey wrote, "I have always found Ms. Bush to be helpful, friendly, and reliable."

In his nomination letter, Sciuto described Bush as "unassuming, mild-mannered, polite and a delight to work with."

Bush began her career in MRICD's library as a contract employee nearly twenty years ago, and she became a civilian employee in 2006.

MRICD is the nation's center of excellence for medical chemical defense research. Please visit the MRICD's website at and Facebook page at

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Last Modified Date: 26-Nov-2012