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Donna Nixon (MSLS ‘01) Named 2023 SILS Distinguished Alum

The UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) presented the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award to Donna Nixon (MSLS ‘01) on April 1 during the 2023 SILS Dean’s Luncheon.

Established in 1981, the Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have demonstrated outstanding professional library or information science achievements at national, state, or local levels, or who have provided outstanding service to SILS. Recipients are selected by the SILS Alumni Association board each year.

“I am so touched by SILS honoring me in this way. This is amazing,” Nixon said. “Hard to believe that my career has been long enough and with enough milestones to warrant this honor. But I am thrilled by it. I’m especially honored to be in the company of my classmate, Susan Brown and so many greats, including Larry Alford. I thank you so very much.”

Nixon is a Clinical Professor of Law and Electronic Resources Librarian at the UNC School of Law. Through these roles, she teaches Advanced Legal Research and Introduction to Law of the U.S. She manages the library’s databases of journals, electronic books and other resources and provides reference and research assistance to students, faculty and other patrons.

“Donna has been a leader in legal research techniques and practices and an exceptional mentor and teacher for SILS students preparing to work in law libraries,” Gary Marchionini, SILS dean and Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor, said. “She serves as an exceptional role model for students who want to integrate legal research and library practice and especially for students in our dual MSLS-JD program. Her expertise and welcoming smile make the UNC Law Library and SILS great. Her impact on the field of library science is invaluable.”

Nixon received her law degree from Stanford Law School and her MSLS degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001. Upon graduating law school, she practiced law in the licensing division of Pillsbury, Madison, Sutro. After obtaining her MSLS, she served as a Reference/Access Services Librarian at UNC Law. She later served as Head of Reference Services at Duke University Law Library where she taught 1st year legal research. Upon returning to Carolina Law, Professor Nixon served as Assistant Director for Public Services for the UNC Law Library and then as Electronic Resources & Access Services Librarian.