Mabee Librarian Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Kansas Libraries

For students stopping by Mabee Library and Learning Commons, finding the right academic resources and technology to help bring about success in the classroom has become noticeably easier thanks to professional librarians like Lauren Hays. A library science major and graduate of Emporia State University, Hays found a home in the Pioneer community after being hired by MNU in 2010. Less than two years later, the young graduate’s talents had already become apparent, as she was soon advanced to librarian faculty status, with the title of instructional and research librarian. In the almost six years since she accepted the position, Mabee has experienced a significant increase in the number of students making daily use of Library services, and Hays has continued her professional advancement by earning a MA in technology in 2014. 


Now Hays’ talents are being recognized outside the Pioneer community, as the librarian was awarded the Kansas Library Association’s (KLA) Presidential Award for New Professional this October. Those whom KLA selects for the award are outstanding professionals who make strong contributions to the quality of staff, support and services provided by libraries in Kansas.

In selecting her for the distinction, KLA largely considered Hays’ extensive portfolio of work at Mabee Library, which includes research and writing workshops she designed, her coordination of copyright licensing, and her work with MNU’s grant writer to jumpstart library-related writing initiatives. Additionally, KLA noted Hays’ co-authorship of several scholarly articles, which have been published in several peer reviewed journals. 

Like the board at KLA, Hays’ colleagues are impressed by her performance. Bruce Flanders, director of Mabee Library and Learning Commons, believes her exceptional character will ensure both continued success at the Library and Hays' continued advancement in the field.

“She is a force of nature,” Flanders says. “She keeps all of us reaching for opportunities to expand service, and she is an impatient destroyer of the status quo. Yet, she somehow manages to do all of this in a graceful and collegial manner.”

Most recently, Hays’ was essential in organizing “Late Night Against Procrastination”— Mabee’s first-ever study marathon. The event is intended to connect students—particularly those who struggle with putting off assignments—with a variety of academic resources and professional help, and is scheduled for November 30 from 7 p.m. to midnight. Hays plans to work that evening and offer her support to students tackling big projects or studying for finals week. More information about the evet can be found at the MNU newsroom.