APA Award for Excellence Winner, 2011

Dr. David Baker, Margaret Clark Morgan Executive Director of the Center for the History of Psychology at the University of Akron wins the 2011 APA Award for Excellence in Librarianship.

Susan Hillson, Dave Baker, and Linda BeebeWith great pleasure we announce the winner of the 2011 APA Award for Excellence in Librarianship (drum roll please): Dr. David Baker, Margaret Clark Morgan Executive Director of the Center for the History of Psychology at the University of Akron.

After deliberating over another strong field of candidates, the Award Committee chose Dave (as he prefers to be called) in recognition of his significant contributions in outreach and promotion, service to students and scholars, and collection and preservation efforts in support of the history of psychology.

Dave became Director of the Archives of the History of American Psychology in 1999. The Archives collections include the papers of over 740 psychologists, the Child Development Film Archives, and famous psychology artifacts including apparatus, equipment, testing materials, and all forms of media. During his tenure, Dave has provided leadership in developing the Archives into the world's largest collection of primary source historical materials related to the development of psychology in the United States. His leadership and fundraising efforts have been instrumental in doubling the size of both the collection and staff. Dave even successfully convinced a local corporate donor to provide the impressive building currently housing the growing archival collection, as well as a museum of significant psychological studies and psychological equipment. That building, located on the campus of the University of Akron, in Ohio, has become home to the new Center for the History of Psychology.

Under Dave's leadership, the Center assumed a vital education mission, serving both as an APA-Accredited Continuing Education Provider and a sponsor for a summer internship program for graduate students in the History & Theory of Psychology Program at York University. Dave's own expertise in the history of psychology, extensive knowledge of the collection, and his familiarity with scholars in the field have been an invaluable support to the researchers he has assisted. An indication of the importance and value of the archival collection is that it is now an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute.

Dave has spearheaded efforts in outreach and promotion. The Center supports three endowments, an annual monograph series, and a colloquium series, and it has hosted five national conferences in recent years, which have enhanced the reputation of the archives. It has a strong presence in social media such as YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook. In addition, its webpage's use of encoded archival description has made it easy for researchers to locate and retrieve finding aids describing the collection's content.

APA is especially pleased with the Award Committee's choice this year, as we have a particular reason to be grateful to Dave. The Center for the History of Psychology has played a crucial role in contributing to the expansion of our own PsycBOOKS® database — a source of digitized classic books in psychology — by making their resources available. In addition, APA's gray literature database, PsycEXTRA®, has been able to draw on Archive resources. Thanks to Dave and the Center, we have been able to add journals, notes, and personal writings from many of the most important figures in psychology, as well videos; apparatus plans; and other treasures available nowhere else.

In addition to his role as Executive Director of the Center, Dave has made extraordinary contributions to the field of psychology. Since earning his doctorate in counseling psychology in 1988 from Texas A&M, he has been an outstanding teacher; a selfless contributor to professional organizations, including four Divisions and a Society of the APA; a dedicated member of numerous editorial boards; a generous community activist; a tireless and very successful fundraiser, a prolific author, with more than 50 publications to his credit at last count; and a presenter at an astonishing number of professional gatherings.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. David Baker!