2008 Recipient - Walter Zimmerman
Mr. Google! The simple yet identifiable moniker of Walter Zimmerman.
As a Senior Reference Librarian in The D.B. Weldon Library, and a staff member since 1971, Zimmerman has joyfully provided ongoing research assistance to the entire campus community and significantly contributed to Western's international reputation as a technologically advanced research institution.
In holding the distinction of bringing Google and Turnitin.com to Western, Zimmerman has changed the technological and research landscape. Zimmerman is lauded for his encyclopedic knowledge, cutting-edge computer/research skills, and enthusiasm.
"He’s the man with all the answers," says Monda Halpern, Assistant Professor in the Department of History. “He simply loves helping others discover the endless possibilities of effective research. Walter is all about combining personal growth with serving others through his technological talents and vision.”
Professor Emeritus Peter Neary agrees, calling Zimmerman “the most knowledgeable, the most able, and the most helpful of the very distinguished group of library professionals.”
“Walter is a pioneer in his field and a practitioner who has gone from strength to strength in a period of revolutionary change for his profession. He is admired by his library colleagues and is celebrated by readers and researchers far and wide. He is at the top of his form and at the top of his profession.”
Zimmerman describes helping one student in particular as his “most satisfying experience” when for four consecutive years he assisted Alexandra Papaiconomou, who is blind. He was instrumental in familiarizing her with the locations and uses of Weldon's wide-ranging research, assisted her to complete her undergraduate and Master’s degrees at Western.
“I can most assuredly say that I would not have completed my studies as promptly and as academically successfully if it were not for the integral support which I received from Walter,” says Papaiconomou. “He treated me with dignity and respect as a person with a disability and also as a student. He worked with my technological limitations, and was able to break down barriers for me that were insurmountable otherwise.”
by Paul Mayne
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