University Libraries win collaboration award

Christopher Woods

 University Libraries won the “Most Collaborative Partner” award at the first Blackstone LaunchPad Entrepreneurial Awards and Expo on Tuesday morning.

Director of Marketing and Communication Karen Hillman said the University Libraries staff was excited to accept the award.

“It was such an honor,” Hillman said. “That’s part of our mission – to collaborate with every college and every department on campus.”

 Hillman said University Libraries was the only on-campus department to win an award at the event.

Student Multimedia Studio Manager Hillary Kennedy also accepted the award at the event and said she is currently partnering with the Blackstone LaunchPad on future ideas.

 “I’m partnering with the Blackstone LaunchPad and other units around campus on the Kent State Mini Maker Faire coming up later this month,” Kennedy said. “We’ve partnered with them before for some of the hackathons last year; I love working with them.”

Kennedy said the event had a keynote speaker and tables for entrepreneurial student to showcase their ideas to those who attended the event.

Both Hillman and Kennedy said they had no idea they were receiving an award prior to the event, although James Bracken, the dean of University Libraries, knew.

Hillman said she thought the event was for the students and was shocked by the award.

“We just wanted the dean to go up there and talk because he’s such a good representation of the library,” Kennedy said.  “I wanted to see him talk and then they’re like ‘Everybody from the library that’s here come up.’”

Zachary Mikrut, marketing and events manager for the Blackstone LaunchPad, said the event, aside from the awards, was designed to showcase the diverse businesses at Kent State.

Mikrut said the partnerships with the library have been beneficial to both parties. He said the event is likely to be an annual one that will continue in the future.

Contact Christopher Woods at [email protected].