Sarah Thomas receives the Smith Medal at Rally Day

Convocation is at 1:30 pm. Sarah Thomas, past chair of the Friends of SC Libraries, is the first Smith alumna librarian to receive the SC medal.

For more information about the history of Rally Day and Rally Day traditions, please visit the Rally Day web page.

Rally Day Events 2010 - View the 2010 Rally Day Program

Monday, February 15
7:00 pm   Rally Day Tea - Nanci Young, College Archivist, Neilson Library Browsing Room
Tuesday, February 16
4:30 pm   Birth Control, Bookplates and the Bodleian Library: Odyssey of a Smith Woman from Northampton to Oxford - a lecture by Sarah Thomas, Neilson Library Browsing Room
7:30 pm   Rally Day Show
Campus Center Carroll Room
Wednesday, February 17
1:30 pm   Convocation - Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall
Reception - Smith College Club, following Convocation

Sarah Thomas

Several accomplished Smith alumnae will be presented with the Smith College medal at Convocation, including Sarah Thomas '70, who is Bodley’s Librarian & Director of the Oxford University Library Services. She is the first Smith alumna librarian to receive the SC medal. Ms. Thomas served on the Friends of the Smith College Libraries from 1994 to 2006, the last 4 years as chair.

In addition to her talk on Tuesday, February 16 at 4:30 p.m., entitled "Birth Control, Bookplates and the Bodleian Library: Odyssey of a Smith Woman from Northampton to Oxford," Ms. Thomas will return to campus on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 to give a talk "Shake It Up, Baby! The Future of Academic Libraries" at 4:30 p.m. in Neilson Library Browsing Room as part of the Libraries' Centennial Celebration.

In February 2007, Sarah Thomas became the first woman and the first non-British person to assume the post of Bodley’s Librarian and Director of Library Services at Oxford University. In this historic position, she is responsible for the operation of the largest university library system in the United Kingdom and one of the world’s premier research libraries.

Thomas’ interest in libraries began as a student working at Neilson Library. "Because of my experience at Smith, I went to Harvard and was hired in the library there and went to library school at Simmons," recalls Thomas. After graduating from Smith in 1970 with a major in German, Thomas earned a master’s in library science at Simmons and a doctorate in German literature at Johns Hopkins. In a career spanning nearly four decades, Thomas has catalogued books in Harvard’s Widener Library, taught German at Johns Hopkins, coordinated research libraries in California and directed a collaborative cataloguing initiative at the Library of Congress. From 1996 to 2006, she was University Librarian at Cornell with responsibility for 19 campus libraries. The American Library Association (ALA) recognized Thomas’ distinguished service to her profession in 2007 by awarding her its highest honor, the Melvil Dewey Medal. The ALA award committee cited her “extraordinary leadership in the advancement of research libraries in general, and cataloging and bibliographic practices and standards in particular, both nationally and internationally.”

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