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Library & Information Science Success Stories

Hagar Shirman '08LS

Title: Kenneth R. Shaffer Award Winner


Hagar Shirman was the 2008 recipient of the Kenneth R. Shaffer Award.  The award is given each year to a student whom the faculty has identified as outstanding and possessing great leadership potential. It was established in 1981 to honor Dr. Shaffer, the longtime director of GSLIS.

Hagar was born in central Israel. At the age of ten, her family moved to Long Island, NY for three years. She spent 2 years in Southeastern Kentucky, 12 years in Seattle, 6 months in France, and 1 year in Havana, Cuba before she moved to Boston in 2006. She is fluent in Spanish and Hebrew and has a reading knowledge of French. She began at GSLIS in February 2006 and finished classes in December 2007.

While at Simmons, Hagar worked with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. As a Certified Trainer for "Outreach to Spanish Speakers," funded by Gates Foundation and Webjunction, she presented training to librarians and library trustees across MA. Webjunction featured her in the November 2007 "Trainer Spotlight." Hagar also worked as a Reference Assistant in the Beatley & Career Resource Libraries. She additionally served as an assistant to Professor Patricia Oyler on the Vietnamese Librarian Program, helping Professor Oyler hire student mentors and plan activities for the Vietnamese students while they were in Boston.

Hagar co-chaired the Simmons International Relations (SIR) student group from June 2006-June 2007 and served as the group's Wiki Gardener from June -December 2007. She was LISSA's faculty-student liaison in 2007 and the Simmons College Josephine Riss-Fang Scholar for 2006-2007. She presented at the Massachusetts Library Association Annual Conference in 2008 and blogged the ALA Annual Conferences in 2006 and 2007 for PLAblog. She is also a member of the American Library Association, REFORMA, and the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking.

Hagar currently works for Libraries for the Future, a nonprofit organization that helps libraries to become more community responsive through training, grants, and advocacy. As Program Manager, Hagar manages an LSTA grant through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. This grant is part of LFF's EqualAccess Libraries professional development program. In the next year, she will also develop a new grant in Massachusetts, which will focus on providing consumer health information in libraries.