Kimberly Leaman in the stacks

Kimberly Leaman receives President's Achievement Award

April 17, 2017 10:30 a.m.

Six Princeton staff members were recognized for their commitment to excellence and exceptional performance during the University's annual Service Recognition Luncheon on March 28 in Jadwin Gymnasium. Below are excerpts of remarks by President Christopher L. Eisgruber on one of the honorees, Kimberly Leaman, a special collections assistant at the Library.

When we talk about the Princeton University Library, we usually speak in terms of collections and numbers — over 8 million books, 49,000 linear feet of manuscripts, more than 25 special collections, and so on. But talking about numbers misses something essential.  

Behind every book, or periodical, or manuscript, is the story of someone who recognized that we needed to acquire it, who tracked it down, who cataloged it, and who made sure that scholars, teachers and students would be able to find it and use it. Kimberly Leaman is one of those people.

As a special collections assistant in the Near East studies section of the Collection Development Department, she is responsible for maintaining and expanding a world-renowned collection of serial publications in all the languages of the Middle East.

With extraordinary initiative, and what Associate University Librarian David Magier describes as "refreshing enthusiasm and can-do attitude," Kimberly takes on whatever challenges come her way in making sure that a complex collection is complete and available to those who need it.

Whether developing more effective workflows to manage daily logistics, "sleuthing sources hidden away in Firestone," tracking down needed Persian texts from a vendor in Teheran, or leading tours for students in a Persian class, Kimberly brings energy, creativity and a spirit of collaboration to everything she does. She can be counted on not only to do her own job well, but to lend her skills and expertise wherever they are needed, designing the department's website, for example, or helping get a complicated grant proposal out the door.

"Intellectually voracious," with a "warm heart" and generous style, Kimberly takes delight in learning and in fostering the learning of the Library's patrons. She is, in the words of David Magier, "a unique gem providing unique value to the total enterprise of the Library and the University."