By: Ingrid Montalvo

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has chosen Emily Drabinski G'03, as the winner of the 2015 Ilene F. Rockman Instruction Publication of the Year Award for her article “Toward a Kairos of Library Instruction.” The award honors an exceptional publication focused on library instruction.

Drabinski will be awarded with a plaque as well as a cash prize of $3,000 during this year’s ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

The article, published in the September 2014 issue of The Journal of Academic Librarianship, focuses on an alternative organizing heuristic for instruction in libraries.

Kairos is an ancient Greek theory of time married to measure. Used by both Plato and the Sophists to understand the emergence of truth from context, kairos has been deployed by composition studies to gain a critical perspective on teaching student writing. Used to understand the context that generated both the first set of standards and the newly approved Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, kairos can direct the energy of teaching librarians toward their particular students and classrooms. Drabinski hopes that her article will open up a conversation about standards in the library.

Drabinski earned her Masters of Science in Library and Information Science through the iSchool's distance learning program. She was attracted to the distance learning option because the program allowed her to earn her master’s degree and keep her job at the New York Public Library (NYPL). Distance learning granted Drabinski a unique experience that permitted her to apply the concepts she learned in classes to her job at the NYPL.

Although she was off-campus for a good portion of her studies, she was acclimated with Syracuse University spending occasional weekends at the iSchool completing her residency. She fostered relationships with her cohort and professors. When asked to recall a favorite memory about her time at the iSchool, she instantly mentioned Professor Barbara Kwasnik. Taking a classification course with Kwasnik changed the way Drabinski saw the library world and she attributes the way she now thinks about the library field to that course.

“Being a librarian just feels like who I am. Without my MLS I would not be able to work in libraries,” said Drabinski. “My degree has allowed me to live my dream, I would have never imagined to have a job that I love.”

Following her time at the iSchool, Drabinski worked at several different libraries in the metro New York area. She has published several articles in publications such as Library Quarterly, Radical Teacher and the Journal of Academic Librarianship, in which her award-winning article was published.

Currently, Drabinski serves as the coordinator of library instruction at Long Island University in Brooklyn.