CLIR Distinguished Service Award

2018 Recipient

June Pachuta Farris

The ASEEES Committee on Libraries and Information Resources Distinguished Service Award, which was established in 2010, honors ASEEES member librarians, archivists, or curators whose contributions to the field of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies librarianship have been especially noteworthy or influential. The effect of these contributions may be the result of continuous or distinguished service to the profession, but may also be the result of extraordinarily active, innovative, or collaborative work that deserves national recognition.

Honoree: June Pachuta Farris

It is with a mixture of joy and sadness that the ASEEES Committee on Libraries and Information Resources (CLIR) presents this year’s Distinguished Service Award to the late June Pachuta Farris, who passed away suddenly on July 27, 2018, at the age of 70. Farris was overjoyed upon being notified of this honor and was planning to attend the 2018 ASEEES convention to accept the award. In her memory and with a profound sense of respect for her extraordinary contributions to the field of librarianship in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian studies, the committee honors Farris with this award.

June Farris’ service to the profession spanned more than forty-five years. She began her career in 1973 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she spent twelve years as a member of the Slavic Reference Service, honing her legendary detective-like reference skills. In 1986 Farris headed north to the Windy City, embarking on a new adventure in Slavic bibliography at the University of Chicago. In the stacks of Hyde Park, Farris forged her reputation as an exceptional bibliographer, compiling bibliographies on Pushkin, Dostoevsky, and Women and Gender in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. Farris joins Stephen Horak, Murlin Croucher, and others among the Pantheon of modern Slavic bibliographers whose work continues to impact the profession.

June Farris spent nearly three decades building Chicago’s Slavic collection and striving to make it accessible to the world. She supplemented institutional resources through external grant-funded projects, created specialized finding aids, and curated dozens of book exhibits at Chicago’s Regenstein Library. Ever ready to answer a reference question that popped up on the Slavic Librarians email discussion list, Farris was almost always a first responder. She had a special knack for finding the needle in the book stack and providing in-depth answers to complex reference questions.

Within ASEEES Farris participated over many years in numerous panels, roundtables, and committee service and served in many leadership capacities. She was a devoted advocate for the Association for Women in Slavic Studies and the Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession. Farris was also known for mentoring students and new Slavic librarians. Tributes on Slavlibs were replete with memories from colleagues who expressed their appreciation for Farris’ gentle, unassuming manner in welcoming them to the ASEEES community and offering guidance as they embarked on their own adventures in Slavic librarianship. The ASEEES community will sorely miss our dear colleague, June Pachuta Farris.