News & Blog

Category: Celebrate UCF Libraries

Celebrate UCF Libraries, Excellence in Professional Service, Kristine Shrauger

Excellence in Professional Service 2024 – Kristine Shrauger

Congratulations to Kristine Shrauger for winning the 2023-24 Excellence in Professional Service Award!

This faculty award is to honor a member who demonstrates a record of excellence in service to the University of Central Florida and professional service. Besides contributions to the library profession, Kristine has served on the Faculty Senate for nine years, including several years as the Secretary.

Only one Professional Service Award is available each year for the entire university. We are so proud of Kristine to be the first librarian winning this award!

Celebrate UCF Libraries, Excellence in Librarianship, Lily Dubach

Lily Dubach Receives the 2024 Excellence in Librarianship Award

Congratulations to Lily Dubach who has been selected as the 2023-24 Excellence in Librarianship Award winner! The UCF Excellence Awards honor faculty teaching, research, service and advising achievements across campus each year. Lily has been a librarian at UCF since 2017 and is currently the Textbook Affordability Librarian. In this role, she uses her expertise to help faculty find and use free-to-student course materials to replace costly textbooks, so that every student in class has equal and affordable access to these resources.

Since 2016, UCF faculty have taught over 2,317 classes using library-sourced materials, in turn impacting over 107,072 students and potentially saving them over $7.9 million.


As Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Instructor Vicki Lewis stated in her letter of support for Lily’s award: “Ms. Lily Dubach has been a dedicated UCF employee for many years, and she consistently works tirelessly to serve the institution, its students, and faculty members. The work that she does in her role in the UCF Library system has had a significant impact on my work as an academic instructor and as a result, on my students’ learning.”

Lily’s contributions and work with her colleagues have indeed enhanced teaching and learning at UCF and enriched students’ lives by helping them attain their goals. This award is a solid acknowledgement of her innovation in librarianship and her ability to have an impact here at UCF!

For faculty interested in exploring affordable course materials, please reach out to Lily Dubach, or visit to get started. You can also see if your textbook is available as a library eBook by using the eTextbook Check/Request Form

Celebrate UCF Libraries 2024 Research Incentive Award Sara Duff

Sara Duff Granted 2024 UCF Research Incentive Award

The UCF Libraries is proud to share that Sara Duff was selected as a recipient for the 2024 UCF Research Incentive Award (RIA). This annual award recognizes the outstanding impact of UCF faculty’s research, creative and scholarly output. As part of UCF faculty, many UCF librarians engage in research, creative, or scholarly activities while striving for excellence in supporting the library mission. Two other librarians won the RIA in previous years.

Sara joined UCF Libraries in 2017 as the Acquisitions & Collection Assessment Librarian. She has consistently provided outstanding collection services in investigating and acquiring library resources, such as textbooks and streaming video for classes, to directly support UCF’s academic mission. In 2022, Sara was awarded the Excellence in Librarianship. Sara is an avid reader and passionate about sharing knowledge to the library profession. She conducts research informed by her library work. The research results have been turned into books, articles, and presentations. 

In 2020, Sara co-authored a Routledge book with another librarian Tina Buck, Guidance for Librarians Transitioning to a New Environment. They surveyed librarians from a few countries working at different types of libraries. Their research findings demystify the perceived barriers between various types and environments of librarianship and provide a roadmap for successful transitions across the library types. The book has received international accolades and already been added to over 127 libraries in 19 countries.

Two years later in 2022, Sara co-edited Zines in Libraries: Selecting, Purchasing, and Processing, a book published by the American Library Association. This title becomes one of the only two books sharing best practices in building library zines collections. It earned favorable reviews from Choice, Booklist, Library Resources & Technical Services, and Technicalities.

In addition to authorship in books, Sara has maintained a productive and consistent research record by contributing to articles to peer reviewed journals and presentations to conferences on library collection services. Several examples of her past research include evaluating different electronic acquisition models, acquiring textbooks to enable affordability, open access, analyses of new workflow. All topics represent current trends in libraries and have generated extensive interest.

Congratulations to Sara Duff!

Lee Dotson in front of the Hitt Library.

Lee Dotson Selected for 2024 Digital POWRR Peer Assessment Program

Lee Dotson, Digital Initiatives Librarian and manager of STARS (Showcase of Text, Archives, Research & Scholarship), UCF’s institutional digital repository, has been accepted into the prestigious Digital POWRR Peer Assessment Program for the year 2024. POWRR stands for Preserving (digital) Objects with Restricted Resources. This program is sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). 

The Digital POWRR Peer Assessment Program is an exclusive initiative that is designed to empower individuals to address the challenges of preserving digital assets, especially when faced with limited resources. Lee will engage with a cohort in a year-long comprehensive assessment process, collaborating to evaluate and improve digital preservation strategies and practices. Participants will work closely with peers and mentors, conduct an institutional case study, generate a longer peer assessment report, present findings through a final project showcase, and write a white paper that will be published.  

Participants also receive a participation stipend as well as a “Technology Start Up” award that can be provisioned towards helping to jump start digital preservation activities. 

Congratulations to Lee on this significant achievement! Her participation in this Program is an investment in both her personal and our organizational growth. The digital preservation skills acquired, coupled with her strengthened network and gained leadership capabilities, will contribute significantly to advancing the digital preservation efforts of the UCF Libraries and facilitate deeper collaboration with Special Collections and University Archives. 

Welcome new librarians, Rachel and Stephanie!

UCF Libraries is proud to welcome two new librarians to the Knighthood starting on August 8. Rachel Vacek is the new Associate Dean of Technology & Digital Strategies, and Stephanie Bertone is the new Monographs Cataloging librarian.

Rachel Vacek

The University of Central Florida (UCF) Libraries is excited to announce the appointment of the new Associate Dean of technology and digital strategies, Rachel Vacek, effective August 8, 2023. Vacek is currently head of design and discovery at the University of Michigan.

In her role at UCF, Vacek will lead the library’s re-envisioned technology and digital strategies division and build on its strong foundation to bolster technology lending services, library and institutional repositories, scholarly communication, web services, and public technologies. She’ll also work closely with campus partners and stakeholders to implement technology-enhanced spaces and services throughout the John C. Hitt Library.

“UCF is an amazing, diverse, innovative, and rapidly growing campus full of opportunities and a history of impact,” Vacek said. “The Libraries are equally as impressive and offer cutting-edge services and beautiful, functional spaces for faculty, staff, and students to learn, grow, and be inspired.”

“I am honored to join the UCF Libraries in this new role, and excited about the opportunity to lead and grow the division with a user-centered and inclusive approach in areas that support digital scholarship and the evolving technological needs of researchers, instructors, and students,” Vacek said.

As an accomplished and nationally recognized library leader, Vacek has experience in building collaborative partnerships, leading technology initiatives, and creating strategic plans. She has over 20 years of experience working in large academic libraries, including seven years in her current role at the University of Michigan where she works in partnership with library IT leadership to manage the highly complex and diverse library technology portfolio of the U-M Library. She also provides vision and direction for website and application development, user experience design and research, and digital accessibility across the library’s numerous platforms.

Prior to her work at the University of Michigan, Vacek served for nine years at the University of Houston Libraries as a web coordinator and then as the head of web services. She also worked at Vanderbilt University and Miami University of Ohio.

Vacek is a former president of the Library and Information Technology Association, a division of the American Library Association (ALA) that has since merged with two others to become ALA’s newest division, Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures.

Vacek is an accomplished scholar with a wide range of publications, and she speaks regularly at regional and national conferences on topics such as service design, user experience strategy, web technologies, digital accessibility, and the intersection of these with diversity, equity, and inclusion.

She holds a Master of Arts degree in library and information science from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Dayton.

Stephanie Bertone

The University of Central Florida (UCF) Libraries is pleased to welcome Stephanie Bertone ‘11 back to the Knight Nation. Stephanie will join the Libraries on August 8, 2023 as the Monograph Cataloging Librarian. 

Ms. Bertone earned a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Studies from UCF in 2011 before moving forward to compete a Master of Science in Library & Information Studies at Florida State University in 2012. She has worked for Barry University School of Law Library since 2015 where she gained experience as an Electronic Resources Librarian cataloging and managing access to online resources and print materials for students and staff. Her collaborative experience with projects involving the Florida Academic Repository (FLARE) and other collection management projects will be a great asset to the Libraries. 

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