Michigan State University

MSU Librarian Receives Emerging Leader Award from the Society of American Archivists

Cindy Hunter Morgan


MSU Special Collections Archivist and Librarian Lydia Tang has received the 2020 Mark A. Greene Emerging Leader Award from the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award celebrates and encourages early career archivists who have completed archival work of broad merit, demonstrated significant promise of leadership, and performed commendable service to the archives profession. Dean of Libraries Joseph A. Salem, Jr. said the award reflects Tang’s experience, knowledge, leadership, and achievements as well as her commitment to preserving and understanding material of lasting importance.


 “This is a significant honor for Tang and for our Libraries,” Salem said. “Tang is a strong advocate for accessibility and inclusion, and I’m delighted her work is being recognized by the Society of American Archivists,” Salem said. “The attributes Tang shares with colleagues and campus partners – dedication, enthusiasm, organization, and encouragement – are part of the culture of MSU Libraries, and in that way this award also honors not just Tang but the culture our MSU community.”


Tang joined MSU Libraries Special Collections in 2015 to oversee the archives and manuscript collections.  Prior to coming to MSU, she was an archivist for the Music Division of the Library of Congress and the American Library Association Archives and served in a variety of positions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University Archives, Music and Performing Arts Library, and the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music.  She received her MLIS degree with a Certificate in Archives and Special Collections from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she also completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 2016.  


“The spirit of the award is rooted in service,” Tang said. “I hope to honor that spirit by continuing to advance practices of inclusion and accessibility. Those practices are at the core of MSU Libraries and they are part of what define the goals of my larger community of archivists. I appreciate this recognition very much, and I’m looking forward to continuing important work.” 


Tang has served in various leadership positions within the Society of American Archivists and was part of the Task Force to Revise Best Practices on Accessibility. She spearheaded the founding of the Accessibility and Disability Section and with this group led the effort to create the “Archivists at Home” document. She chairs the ArchivesSpace User Advisory Council, is co-leader of the ArchivesSpace Development Prioritization sub-team, and leads the Usability sub-team.


Founded in 1936, the Society of American Archivists is North America's oldest and largest national professional association dedicated to the needs and interests of archives and archivists. SAA represents more than 6,200 professional archivists employed by governments, universities, businesses, libraries, and historical organizations nationally. All of the work undertaken by SAA on behalf of its members and archives users is guided by a commitment to promoting the value and diversity of archives and archivists.


The MSU Libraries are partners in the teaching, learning, research, and engagement missions of Michigan State University. As the information environment has become more complex, the MSU Libraries have emerged as a revitalized intellectual center on campus. The leading principles of the Libraries are to promote equal access to information and to create an inclusive environment that encourages intellectual discovery.


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