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Library investment pays off

Lenn and Dixie Hannon Library wins top honor from government —

The Lenn and Dixie Hannon Library at Southern Oregon University — was chosen from more than 1,200 libraries nationwide to be named the Federal — Depository Library of the year by the U.S. Government Printing Office.

The award was presented at the Fall Depository Library — Council meeting in Washington D.C. on Sunday. This is the second year — GPO gave the award to a library participating in the Federal Depository — Library Program. Last year, the award went to the Tulsa City-County Library.

Bruce James, Public Printer of the Untied States, said — in a press release the SOU library was given the award for its public-service — driven commitment to innovative programs and their "amazing energy and — tireless passion for their work."

A key component of the library obtaining the award is — the Southern Oregon Digital Archives (SODA). The archives, begun in 2002, — provides a digital library of materials on regional ecology and on American — Indian tribes in the region that can be accessed by students, community — members and people around the world. The archive is funded by a grant — awarded in 2001 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

"It's always exciting when you have work recognized nationally," — said SOU Library Director Sue Burkholder. "It's an affirmation of what — we do. ... It shows what Southern can achieve and will achieve"

Normally, larger libraries have digital archives such — as SODA, which makes the SOU archives unique and forward thinking, giving — access to vital documents through the Internet, Burkholder said. This — has helped the library become a model project for other regional academic — libraries to establish a digital collection of regional and local materials, — she said.

Deborah Hollens, chair of government documents at the — SOU library, went to Washington to receive the honor.

Hollens, who has worked at the library for 33 years, said — it was exciting that the library and university were being awarded on — a national scale for the services they provide.

"It's amazing for the library and the university to receive — such accolades," she said. "This is certainty the high point of my academic — career."

Hollens was pleased to have Lenn Hannon, the former state — senator, and Oregon U.S. Rep. Greg Walden honor the library and university — at the ceremony.

The GPO is responsible for the production and distribution — of information products and services for all three branches of the Federal — Government. The GPO, though partnership with 1,250 libraries participating — in the Federal Depository Program, provides personal assistance in locating — and using government information.

On Thursday, the library hosted a public celebration of — receiving the award.