An avid reader since childhood, Amy Elizabeth Morgan (MSLS ’08) devoted her career to supporting libraries and encouraging reading. She was a juvenile materials specialist and worked as a Metadata Librarian with NoveList for eight years prior to her death in October 2017. Inspired by her professional dedication and vibrant personality, her colleagues at NoveList have established an assistantship at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) to support outstanding master’s students. In addition to covering most educational expenses, the one-year renewable assistantship provides a generous stipend and experiential learning opportunity at NoveList.
On September 29, 2018, SILS hosted a gathering of family, friends, and NoveList colleagues to formally announce the Amy Elizabeth Morgan Assistantship. Several SILS faculty members and the first recipient of the assistantship, MSLS student Isabel Crevasse, also attended the luncheon held at the SILS Library.
Duncan Smith (MSLS ’80), founder of NoveList, explained why an assistantship at SILS felt like the right choice to honor Amy Morgan. “I suspect that what Amy learned here about her future vocation is that our profession is committed to the stewardship not just of the containers of our thoughts and imagination, but the preservation and curation of ideas and dreams themselves,” he said. “What she was signing up for was not just putting labels on books and putting them on the shelves, but ensuring that those items found their way into the hands of the individuals whose lives they will change. I believe that, like me, Amy was probably changed by her time here in Manning Hall. I certainly saw the evidence of that with the time that she spent with us at NoveList.”
Christy Cutts, Amy Morgan’s roommate while she was earning her undergraduate degree in art history at Carolina, spoke on behalf of family and friends. She shared stories about her friend, and expressed gratitude for this special tribute. “Sometimes when you lose someone, it helps to know how much they meant to other people,” she said. “So we would very much like to thank Duncan and everyone at NoveList for the environment that you created at work and for the assistantship today . . . This is really lovely.”
Assistantships are crucial to SILS’ mission to make education more accessible and affordable. About 50% of admitted students who do not enroll at SILS identify cost as the #1 barrier. Crevasse said the assistantship and the opportunity to work at NoveList factored into her decision to attend SILS, as well as the school’s excellent reputation for youth librarianship. Since starting the MSLS program in fall 2018, she has been working on metadata enhancement for juvenile materials on the Book Discovery team at NoveList.
“I absolutely love everything I am learning in the classroom and at work,” she said. “I can’t wait to experience everything the next year and a half has to hold.”