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Alum Receives Kansas Library Award

May 7, 2010

Heather Braum, a 2005 Oklahoma Baptist University graduate, received the 2010 Kansas Library Association Presidential Award of New Professions at the association's annual conference in Wichita, Kan., in April. Braum is the Northeast Kansas Library System technology librarian and a mentor in the 23 Things Kansas program. She was cited for her work on 23 Things Kansas and a host of other work she has done for Kansas libraries.

"It is a humbling award to receive, especially when I reflect on the road traveled over the past five years since graduating from OBU," Braum said. "I love the library profession more than ever, especially as I've started taking on more roles and duties."

The Presidential Award of New Professions is given to a Kansas Library Association member within the first five years of earning a professional degree who has made a positive impact on the quality of library service and/or the role of library personnel in Kansas.

"One of the reasons I was nominated for this award was because I helped lead a very successful online continuing education program for librarians across Kansas, called 23 Things Kansas, which is currently wrapping up," Braum said.

Braum is also a part of the NExpress Koha ILS project team, working on cataloging, training and data migration. The NExpress automation service enables libraries of all types and sizes to provide rapid and direct access to shared library resources through a technically advanced library automation system at a reduced cost, with training, technical support and software enhancements provided by the Northeast Kansas Library System.

Braum has presented information on a variety of topics, including social media use in libraries, tiny tech in small libraries, Google Apps, open source applications, free Web applications and cloud computing. She has taught the course, "Information Technology for Library and Information Professionals," for Emporia State University's School of Library and Information Management. Braum earned her master's degree in library science from Emporia State University in 2008.

As a tech librarian, Braum provides technology training of various kinds, most often one-on-one tailored training with member librarians. She also is helping plan for future technology training.

While on Bison Hill, Braum studied political science and English. She was also a student worker in the OBU Computer Center, fixing and installing computers across the OBU campus and assisting fellow students with computer problems.

"During my time at OBU, I had the wonderful opportunity to not only discover the joy of lifelong learning through my courses and through discussions with various professors outside of class, but also discovered that my spiritual gift is in serving others, especially when it comes to answering and explaining the fuzzy world that is technology," Braum said.

Braum said that desire to serve others has carried on as she embarked on her professional career.

"I enjoy serving the librarians I work with each day," she said. "Through the training and support that I provide and that Northeast Kansas Library System provides, we make their lives easier."

For information about the NExpress Koha ILS project, go to