Zabel named Mudge Award winner for excellence

March 29, 2011

Diane Zabel, the Louis and Virginia Benzak business librarian at Penn State University Libraries, has been selected the 2011 winner of the American Library Association (ALA) Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award.

The award, which is administered by Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) and generously supported by Gale Cengage Learning, recognizes distinguished contributions to reference librarianship. In choosing Zabel for this year’s honor, the selection committee cited her professional leadership both as a past president of RUSA and current editor of Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ), her extensive publication credentials in hospitality management and tourism and her key role in revitalizing reference librarianship. They also noted her local and national impact on the profession through her mentoring and as a teacher to thousands of business school students. A colleague describes Zabel as “the complete package of devotion to the cause; deep thinking about the practice and future of reference; and sheer productivity.”

Zabel received her master’s in library and information science and her master’s of urban planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has served as editor of RUSQ since 2006, and also edited "Reference Reborn: Breathing New Life into Public Services Librarianship" (Libraries Unlimited, 2011).

Zabel will receive her award, a citation and $5,000 cash prize, at the RUSA Awards Reception, in June, at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

RUSA, a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. For more information about the association, see

Last Updated March 29, 2011