Late UB archivist Amy Vilz receives NYS Outstanding Librarian Award

Amy Vilz standing in room next to stored boxes behind open door.

A lover of history and historical research, Amy Vilz joined UB as the university archivist in 2013. Photo: Douglas Levere

Release Date: April 20, 2021

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“Amy’s commitment to the profession and her collaborative, creative spirit brought a thoughtful and forward-thinking perspective to her leadership of the University Archives. ”
Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, vice provost for UB Libraries

BUFFALO, N.Y. — University at Buffalo archivist Amy Vilz posthumously received the New York State Outstanding Librarian Award.

The award — presented in celebration of National Library Week, held from April 4-10 — recognizes New York librarians “who go above and beyond to serve their communities.” Vilz was among 11 librarians to receive the honor from New York State Senator Sean Ryan, chair of the State Senate Libraries Committee. Winners will receive a framed New York State Senate Proclamation.

“To mark National Library Week, I wanted to take time to honor our outstanding librarians from across New York State. Libraries are pillars of our communities and our librarians are dedicated public servants who work every day to keep all of us informed, educate young people, and ensure our libraries are centers of knowledge and learning,” said Ryan.

He continued, “During the past year, being a librarian has been especially difficult. Our Outstanding Librarian Award winners have gone above and beyond to serve their communities. I congratulate our outstanding librarians and thank them for all they have done to make our state a better place.”

“We are very pleased to learn that Amy has received this well-deserved recognition,” said Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, vice provost for UB Libraries. “Amy’s commitment to the profession and her collaborative, creative spirit brought a thoughtful and forward-thinking perspective to her leadership of the University Archives.”

Vilz, who died on March 4, joined UB as the university archivist in 2013. She worked tirelessly to make the UB Libraries a more effective service organization, and demonstrated leadership, guidance and innovative efforts that will have a lasting impact on the university, particularly her work to digitize UB’s vast audiovisual holdings.

A lover of history and historical research, she held previous archival positions at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, D’Youville College and the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library Rare Book Room. Vilz also served as co-editor-in-chief of the open access journal The Reading Room, and was a member of the Western New York/Ontario Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries.

She received a Master of Library Science degree and a bachelor’s degree in history from UB. The Amy J. Vilz Fund was established at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, and provides endowed support for the Buffalo Garden Walk.

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