The Gerald J. Oppenheimer Cornerstone Award



The Gerald J. Oppenheimer Cornerstone Award, named in honor of Gerald J. Oppenheimer, the inaugural president of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL), is given to an individual, group, or institution selected by the association's Board of Directors. The award is given for a notable or important contribution that has assisted AAHSL in achieving its mission or had a significant impact on the profession of academic health sciences librarianship.


  • 2023: Osteopathic Membership Task Force - Lori Fitterling, Sandra Franklin, Joanne Muellenbach, Stephanie Ferretti
  • 2022: Sandra Franklin
  • 2021: Kathryn Deiss
  • 2021: Gerald Perry
  • 2019: Ruth Riley
  • 2018: Steve Squires, Rod MacNeil, Jim Shedlock
  • 2017: Patricia Thibodeau
  • 2016: Gerald J. Oppenheimer (Posthumously)
  • 2014: Mary Langman
  • 2013: Carolyn Lipscomb
  • 2012: Dr. Donald A. Lindberg
  • 2011: Gary Byrd, PhD
  • 2010: Carol Jenkins
  • 2009: Tony Mazzaschi
  • 2007: Wayne Peay
  • 2006: Betsy Humphreys


Both AAHSL members and non-members may be considered for the award.

The award may be given to:

  • An individual (member or non-member),
  • A  group (e.g., committee, task force, ad hoc working group, team, etc), or
  • An institution (e.g., a library or university) or association

To be recognized for this award, contributions must:

  • Have had a significant impact on the achievement of AAHSL goals or the implementation of AAHSL initiatives, or
  • Furthered the field of academic health sciences librarianship. [Examples: advocacy on a national level, contributing to the knowledge-base, developing innovative programs, or influencing information policies and trends]


The award is given at the discretion of the Board and is given only when there is evidence of a significant contribution and not necessarily on an annual basis.

The Board may determine that no award should be given during a year.

This is a lifetime achievement award. Each individual, group, or institution may only receive the award once.

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The following steps are followed for nomination, review, and selection of recipients:

  • An annual notice is sent to AAHSL members after the annual meeting calling for nominations. Reminders are sent out in late February or March.
  • AAHSL members and the Board members submit nominations for the award by letter stating the person's name, affiliation, description of the contribution and its relevance or importance to AAHSL, and why this contribution justifies recognition through this award. Self-nominations are welcome.
  • All nominations are due by May 15. Nominations should be sent to the Association office for redistribution to the Board.
  • Nominations will be reviewed by the Board to determine whether an award should be granted and to select the recipient. The Board will review the nominations and select a recipient during the summer Board meeting.
  • The AAHSL President will notify the recipient(s) by the end of June. A letter announcing the award will also be sent to relevant officials of the recipient’s institution.
  • The official announcement of the award will be made at the AAHSL Annual Meeting during the reception.

If you require assistance or have questions regarding submissions contact the AAHSL Office.

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The Award

Recipients will receive a distinctive award chosen by the Board inscribed with:

  • Name of recipient/group name
  • Name of the award
  • Year presented

Publicity about the award recipient will be sent to the various library associations and posted on the AAHSL website.

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