We are pleased to announce the launch of the Louis Vagianos Medal gallery on the SIM website. This Medal, named for the first Director of the School (1969-70), is presented annually to the graduating student who “combines the capacity for blending originality with practical thinking and the courage to seek solutions to professional problems outside the mainstream”. Louis Vagianos emulated these characteristics in all his endeavours.
The gallery features profiles of award winners from 1990 to present. We encourage you to explore these profiles, as they contain some fantastic advice and insights, as well as illustrate the breadth of opportunities available to graduates of the MLIS program.
The purpose of this gallery is to celebrate Vagianos’ legacy (more on that below), and the accomplishments of the medal winners, who not only were successful as students but have gone on to forge strong paths in the profession after graduation.
In fact, the first winner was none other than Dalhousie University Librarian, Donna Bourne-Tyson. She says: “I didn’t know Louis personally, but I am in awe of his many accomplishments and talents, and also his generosity in creating this award. It is interesting to be serving as University Librarian, a post he also held, and working in the Killam Library, a building that he helped to design and build. When I was informed that I was to receive the Medal, it was very affirming for me to know that out-of-the-box thinking was valued in the profession. I am honoured to be a Vagianos Medal recipient.”
During his career at Dalhousie, Dr. Louis Vagianos held the senior positions of University Librarian and Vice-President (Administration). He returned to a leadership role in the School in 1994-1995 when he served as Interim Director. He was instrumental in establishing the innovative vision of the Master of Library Service (now Master of Library and Information Studies), which emphasized systems thinking and the broad relevance of professional information work across organizational types. Forty years on, his vision also influenced the design of the mid-career Master of Information Management program as a complement to the MLIS. He was an inspirational instructor who advocated and encouraged “outside the box” thinking. Unfortunately, Louis Vagianos passed away in 2014 (you can read the full obituary here), but the School continues to be indebted to his vision for the fields of information management and librarianship .