CLIR Distinguished Service Award

2023 Recipient

Sandra Levy

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: Sandra Levy

The Committee on Libraries and Information Resources is honored to grant this year’s Distinguished Service Award to Sandra Levy, a beloved colleague sadly lost to us far too soon. Working alongside our equally brilliant and much-missed colleague June Pachuta Farris (1947-2018), Levy’s extensive subject knowledge, dedication to service, and irrepressible personality not only enhanced the collections and working environment at the University of Chicago, but also served as a model of how to be a welcoming and enthusiastic representative of our profession.

Sandra Levy (1950-2023) was a lifelong Midwesterner, earning her graduate degrees at Indiana University Bloomington and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and moving from a position in their Slavic Reference Service straight into the role she would occupy for most of her professional life at the University of Chicago. While assisting Farris with building and maintaining a world-class Slavic collection, Levy was also deeply active in many professional organizations including ASEEES, the 18th- Century Russian Studies Association, and the Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS). She was also active in ACRL’s Section for East European Studies, serving as the managing editor (1994-1995) and editor (1996-2001; 2018) of the SEES Newsletter in addition to chairing the organization from 2001-2002. Many librarians coming into the profession came to know Levy, even if they had never met her, through her role as moderator of the Slavic librarians’ listserv (slavlib). Throughout her professional life, she was deeply committed to cultivating a community for all of us.

Despite retiring in 2018, Levy generously spent an extra year in the role of Acting Slavic Librarian after Farris’s untimely passing, even though she had recently received her own diagnosis of ALS. When remembering Levy, those who were close to her never fail to mention her sparkling personality and unwavering generosity of spirit. To quote a colleague, “I associate Sandra with life, her robust laugh and keen intelligence put a smile on my face.” One and all who remember her associate her with warmth, kindness, intelligence, and wit. She enhanced our profession immensely by simply being a part of it, and she is deeply missed.