- School of Library and Information Science Distinguished Alumni Award (1979)
Margaret Regina Sheviak was an associate professor emeritus of library and information science at Indiana University - Bloomington. From September 1959, when she was appointed to the faculty of the Graduate Library School, until her retirement in June 1980, Sheviak focused her attention on the development of a strong program in library materials and services for children and young adults. The curriculum expanded from the one course offered in 1959 to five solid courses by the 1980s. Her careful coordination of these courses with other courses offered in the curriculum is one of many indications of the breadth of Sheviak's professional vision. Her vision extended also to the School of Education, as many future teachers, through the courses they took from her, became acquainted with her compassionate respect for children and her concern about the issues affecting the quality of their literature. She served on a large number of doctoral committees in both the School of Education and the School of Library and Information Science, assignments she consistently undertook with energy and enthusiasm. She frequently presented guest lectures in the School of Education. She pioneered in teaching library science courses via closed circuit television, and she lectured regularly at various IU regional campuses from 1960 to 1967. In all activities related to the classroom, Sheviak's willingness to work with students, individually, was a special gift to them. International students received attention and counsel, and years later, as she neared the end of her teaching career and traveled to Southeast Asia on a leave of absence, enthusiastic alumni, who remembered her interest in them, overwhelmed her with their affectionate greetings and hospitality.
Sheviak engaged in many activities on the state and national levels to advance her belief in the value of services for children and young adults. A native of Wanatah, Indiana, Miss Sheviak was graduated with high honors from Indiana University with an A.B. in 1957 and with an A.M. in 1958. Prior to her admission to IU, she served eighteen years, 1937-1955, as children's librarian at the LaPorte Public Library, and as coordinator of children's work at the Louisville, Kentucky, Public Library for two years before returning to IU as a teacher in the School of Education's Division of Library Science, now the School of Library and Information Science. In Louisville, as she worked with disadvantaged minority children, she began to explore areas of library services which could be deigned for minority groups; this interest was to continue as a top priority throughout her library career and formed a portion of the content of each of her courses.
She served as a member of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Foundation Board, 1976-1977 and the Monroe County Public Library Foundation Board, 1978-1979. She directed many conferences and workshops on services to children and young adults. One of her favorite themes for these occasions centered on the art and the importance of storytelling to library audiences of all ages. She was an accomplished storyteller, and the total absorption of her listeners at these demonstrations of her technique affirmed that she conveyed her message eloquently. She served as a library consultant to many public and school libraries interested in improving children's services; for many years she was an active organizer and program
presenter for the Small Libraries Division of the Indiana Library Association.
For eight years she was an esteemed member of the American Library Association's Subscription Books Bulletin Committee, noted for its lengthy critical reviews of the literature, and the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees, committees for two of the most prestigious book awards made by the American Library Association. A number of organizations benefited from her active participation and contributions: Phi Beta Kappa, Beta Phi Mu, international library and information science honorary, Pi Lambda Theta and Delta Kappa Gamma, both education honoraries. Sheviak was a member of AAUP and AAUW, the American Library Association, the Association for Library and Information Science Education and the Indiana Library Association, participating on numerous committees and attending state and national conferences. In the school, she filled a variety of committee assignments. She chaired the Committee on Improvement of Instruction for a number of years, finding its work especially tailored to her interests.
In recognition of her outstanding teaching career, Sheviak received one of the coveted Indiana University Distinguished Teaching Awards in 1974. At its commencement celebration in May, 1979, the School of Library and Information Science Alumni Association honored Sheviak with the Louise Maxwell Award, an award presented annually to an alumni for distinguished achievement in library science. Following her retirement in 1980, Sheviak maintained close ties with the faculty at the school, visiting regularly, expressing interest in professional activities, attending conferences, lending support.