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Special Collections' librarian receives Rutgers' 2013 Presidential Service Award

Bonita Grant

The Rutgers University Libraries congratulate Bonita Grant, public services coordinator and New Jersey bibliographer in Special Collections and University Archives, who will be awarded the Rutgers College Class of 1962 Presidential Public Service Award for 2013.

The award is one of the 2012-2013 Year-end Faculty Awards presented by Rutgers University President Robert Barchi at the end of the spring semester. Grant will receive her award at a ceremony with other award winners on Wednesday May 8th.

In his letter nominating Bonita for the award, Special Collections head Ronald Becker noted: "As a librarian, she has built a collection documenting New Jersey history that is second to none. It is now ranked among the top regional history collections in the nation ... She conducts workshops for teachers on how to teach with primary sources and invites students and teachers alike to visit for orientations and to use the collections."

"She assists with National History Day and has served as an adviser and a judge at the competitions for years. She also provides welcoming orientations for groups doing genealogy and has been known to spend hours assisting individuals and groups in tracing their New Jersey roots ... As a founding member and officer of the Advocates for New Jersey History, she has been instrumental in establishing and maintaining the annual New Jersey History Issues Convention which is a major statewide advocacy event which teaches the public the importance of history and culture to every citizen's life. "

In a letter supporting the nomination, Vice President for Information Services and University Services Marianne Gaunt noted: "Throughout all these years she has been a tireless advocate for the study and teaching of our State's history and as a result was instrumental in the development of, advocating for, and eventual passing of the Hotel/Motel tax to support New Jersey history and the arts by the State Legislature. This legislation saved the New Jersey Historical Commission, the State Council on the Arts, and the Historic Trust from huge budget cuts and possible extinction and resulted in general operating support grants to hundreds of small, medium, and large non-profit libraries, theaters, and museums that serve hundreds of thousands of New Jersey's citizens."

In a letter supporting the nomination, Seton Hall University History Professor Emeritus Maxine Lurie noted: "For a number of years Bonita served as the chair of the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance book award committee. She advertised the awards, solicited submissions, and rode herd over the members reading and evaluating the books, pushed them to make decisions, and then notified the winners. The number of categories for the awards expended overtime, submissions increased, as did the prestige with which the award was viewed. It has also served to highlight and encourage further writing about New Jersey."

The Libraries take great pride in Bonita's many noted accomplishments and commend her on receiving this illustrious award. Her 43 years of service in the Rutgers University Libraries is a testament to our highest ideals.

Posted April 30, 2013