W. J. Shepherd named 2023 Belanger Awardee

W. John Shepherd, University Archivist & Head of Special Collections, has been selected as the recipient of the Edward J. Belanger Jr. Staff Award for Excellence in Service for 2023.

John was recognized by his colleagues for his “highest level of professionalism, competence, and dedication to ensuring the preservation of and access to the intellectual and cultural heritage of the Catholic University of America and, as such, the Catholic Church in the U.S.”

One co-worker shared:

John Shepherd has served in multiple roles over his career in the University Libraries, but throughout it all, he has been a force for change, professionalism, and good stories (and Churchillian wisdom) in Special Collections and archives. John brings to each task an expertise and in-depth knowledge. During his tenure, he has supervised generations of emerging LIS professionals, navigated the archives through the transition into the digital age, and weathered (with humor and patience) challenges as varied as the archival move to Aquinas Hall to the COVID pandemic. He is a supportive and friendly colleague and strong advocate for the well-being of his staff, patrons, and the collections he curates.

Ed Belanger worked for the university for over 40 years before retiring in 2002 as the Libraries’ business manager. His service and dedication to his fellow staff was extraordinary, and he was one of the most positive, up-beat, and good natured people you will ever meet. After his retirement, his children made a donation to the Libraries for the creation of an award in his honor. Each year the Libraries select a staff member of the year who not only contributes outstanding service to the library but also shares Ed’s good nature. Past honorees serve as the award committee, selecting from among nominations submitted by library staff.

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