University of South Florida St. Petersburg Campus



Associate dean of Nelson Poynter Memorial Library receives national award

Kaya van Beynen

Kaya van Beynen, the associate dean of the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library and USF Libraries Research and Instruction, has been named the 2021 Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian Award winner.

The prestigious national award is given each year by the Education and Behavioral Sciences Section (EBSS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries to an academic librarian who has made an outstanding contribution through accomplishments and service to the profession

Van Beynen was selected for her decade-long service to EBSS, her strong record of scholarship and successful implementation of exemplary programs. She has served as Chair of the EBSS Section, as a member of the JSTOR Advisory Committee for Education Journals and helped to reinvigorate the EBSS research forum so that education, psychology and other behavioral science librarians have a national forum to showcase their scholarly work.

On campus, she has led innovative initiatives that have supported curriculum and research.

“Kaya has been instrumental in leading numerous initiatives at our library, from mentoring early career faculty to conducting meaningful assessments to improve our library’s impact on teaching, learning and research,” said Cathi Cardwell, dean of the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library.

Connecting the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library collection to the USF College of Education curriculum, van Beynen has steadily built up an extensive collection of diverse, multi-cultural children’s literature. Working closely with USF St. Petersburg campus Education Professor AnnMarie Gunn, she helped ensure student access to both print and electronic award-winning children’s literature.

Van Beynen’s research focuses on student engagement with library services and children’s engagement at public science festivals. More recently, she has collaborated with Gunn and USF St. Petersburg Education Professor Susan Bennett on religiously diverse children’s literature. 

“As honored as I am by this recognition, its working with our great librarians and faculty at our university that gives me the most satisfaction, developing research and partnerships that lead to interesting and innovative work,” said van Beynen.

EBSS exists to serve the common interests of education and behavioral sciences librarians. Formed in 1968, EBSS boasts around 1,000 members focused on issues in library instruction, applications of technology, collection development, library management and communication of research findings in education and behavioral sciences librarianship.

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