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UI Library Associate Dean and Alum Ben Hunter Named Librarian of the Year

August 28, 2017

Ben Hunter, associate dean of University Libraries at the University of Idaho, has been named the 2017 Idaho Library Association (ILA) Librarian of the Year. The annual award recognizes an outstanding member of the library profession who has made significant contributions to their library and communities.

Hunter has served as a librarian for 12 years — 11 of those at UI. He was named UI Library associate dean in 2014. He also served as the head of technical services and as a reference and instruction librarian. A Moscow native, Hunter is a third-generation Vandal. He first worked at the UI Library as an undergraduate student in the 1990s.

“Librarianship is a profession dedicated to helping, educating and assisting people as they navigate an increasingly complex world of data, information and media,” Hunter said. “I love being able to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Hunter said he was extremely surprised to be selected for this award from among all of Idaho's qualified librarians.

“There are so many incredible, dedicated people working in Idaho’s libraries, it was hard for me to believe that I could have been selected for this award,” he said. “Now that it has sunk in a little, I can only say that it’s an incredible honor to be recognized by my peers in this way.”

To qualify for ILA’s Librarian of the Year, nominees must have a strong commitment to Idaho libraries; demonstrate leadership qualities in librarianship values, cooperative and collaborative activities; participate in mentoring and in-service training for librarians; and participate in a special library service project.

Recent UI Library-specific projects that Hunter participated in include co-managing the library’s $1.3 million first-floor remodel, developing a comprehensive library student worker training program, and the reorganization of library services to support researchers and increase the impact on overall student success at the university.

Hunter received his Bachelor of Music in music composition from UI’s Lionel Hampton School of Music in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences in 2000. He also has a Master of Music in music composition from the University of Oregon and a Master of Science in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Simmons College in Boston. Hunter was named a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, served as the 2010-11 Idaho Library Association president and participated in the 2011 American Library Association Emerging Leaders program.

2017 ILA librarian honorees will receive their awards at the ILA Annual Conference Ceremony and Banquet on Oct. 5 at the Boise Riverside Hotel. The Idaho Library Association (ILA) is the Idaho state chapter of the American Library Association (ALA). The ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world with approximately 60,000 members in 50 states.

Media Contacts:
Lisa Ormond
Marketing and Communications Manager
University of Idaho Division of Infrastructure and University of Idaho Library

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, a research and Extension center in Twin Falls, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to more than 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more: