iSchool alumna to receive 2014 Beta Phi Mu Award

Dr. Beth M. Paskoff (Ph.D. '89)
Dr. Beth M. Paskoff (Ph.D. ’89)

Florida State University School of Information alumna Beth M. Paskoff will receive the 2014 Beta Phi Mu Award, given annually to a library school faculty member or to an individual for distinguished service to education for librarianship, on June 29 at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Paskoff, who earned her doctorate from Florida State in 1989, has served as the director of Louisiana State University School of Library & Information Science since 2000 and will retire on July 1. She will receive a 24 karat gold-framed citation and $1,000 contributed by Beta Phi Mu, the library and information studies honor society.

“I am very honored, and especially pleased that it will be my last recognition as I prepare to retire on July 1,” Paskoff said.  “I have worked in libraries for almost 50 years.  Many thanks to the FSU faculty who helped to prepare me for this part of my career.”

“The 2014 Beta Phi Mu Award Jury chose to honor Beth M. Paskoff for her leadership of the LSU School of Library and Information Science during times of challenge and adversity and her longtime commitment to education in librarianship,” said John A. Moorman, jury chair.

Throughout her career, Paskoff maintained a service agenda connected to library education, recruitment for the profession and professional associations. She is a past president of the Louisiana Library Association; served Beta Phi Mu as a director, vice-president, president and past president; been named as a Distinguished Member of the Academy of Health Professionals by the Medical Library Association; was awarded the Dorothy B. Skau Award for Excellence; received the Special Achievement Citation by the Louisiana/Southern Mississippi Chapter of the Special Libraries Association, the Lucy B. Foote Award by the Louisiana Library Association and recently received a special award from the Louisiana Library Association “for service and dedication to libraries and the Louisiana Library Association.”

During her career at LSU, Paskoff taught more than nine different courses on the graduate level, developing six of them; served on more than 100 graduate committees and chaired 149; and published numerous book chapters, refereed articles and reports.

Paskoff’s biggest challenge at LSU was the proposed closure of the LSU School of Information and Library Science in 2009. Adroitly navigating the politics of the university, she negotiated firmly insisting that the school not be disbanded. With her calm leadership and the assistance of alumni, students and the Louisiana library community the school was saved and is now a part of the College of Human Sciences and Education.