Sept. 20, 2007 - Hollywood’s Emmy Awards had nothing on a special award ceremony in Chapel Hill, NC Monday evening that honored the best of the best in information and library science and information technology.
The black tie event, the second annual Knowledge TrustSM Honors award program, recognized eight who are making a significant difference in their fields. This year’s award categories included: Access, Education, Exploration, Innovation, Next-Generation Leadership, Preservation and two Lifetime Achievement awards.
The honorees are Thomas S. Blanton, director, National Security Archive, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.; Jeffrey Elkner, project leader, Open Book Project and teacher, Arlington County Public Schools, Arlington, VA; John Hanke, director, Google Earth and Maps, Mountain View, CA; Pamela Jones, founder and editor of Groklaw; Brewster Kahle, digital librarian, director and co-founder, the Internet Archive, San Francisco, CA; Ryan P. Allis, co-founder and chief executive officer, iContact, Durham, NC; Thomas Barnett, graphic designer, writer and digital artist, Chapel Hill, NC; and David P. Reed, information scientist, adjunct professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory, Cambridge, MA and HP Fellow at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories.
“Those honored tonight were selected from an extraordinary group of nominees and were, despite lengthy discussion and review, unanimously the choices of the judging committee,” said Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, dean of the UNC at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science and founding chair of The Knowledge TrustSM and the Louis Round Wilson Academy. “The winners are those who challenge the status quo. They represent what can happen when innovation, entrepreneurship and a willing spirit takes hold.”
Louis Round Wilson Academy members nominated candidates for each award. The Academy, formed in the fall of 2005 and based at the UNC School, includes world leaders in library and information science, technology management and other professions.
The honors program is designed to encourage students and other knowledge professionals entering or already working in information and library science and information technology to look to these models as they plan their own careers.
The 2007 Knowledge TrustSM Honors Awards and recipients are:
The Knowledge TrustSM Access Award for promoting, expanding and enhancing access to the world’s recorded knowledge
Winner: Thomas S. Blanton, director, National Security Archive, George Washington University
One of the first principles of the Trust and one of the first public statements adopted by the Louis Round Wilson Academy addressed the critical issue of access. As a great defender of access, Blanton directs the activities of the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Blanton won The Knowledge TrustSM Access Award in 2006. At the time of the celebration last year, he was meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev to receive the Reagan/Gorbachev summit talks, thereby making these papers accessible for the first time to the world.
According to the National Security Archive Web site, Blanton “filed his first Freedom of Information Act request in 1976 as a weekly newspaper reporter in Minnesota; and among many hundreds subsequently, he filed the FOIA request and subsequent lawsuit (with Public Citizen Litigation Group) that forced the release of Oliver North’s Iran-contra diaries in 1990. A decade later he signed on as the National Security Archive’s first Director of Planning & Research. He became Deputy Director in 1989 and Executive Director in 1992.
The Knowledge TrustSM Education Award for furthering the intelligence, integrity, responsibility and reliability of successive generations of knowledge professionals, creators and users.
Winner: Jeffrey Elkner, teacher, Arlington County Public Schools; project leader, Open Book Project
Elkner currently teaches mathematics and computer science in the Arlington County, Virginia, Public Schools. He also serves as co-Web master of the The Open Book Project, a site that “aims to cover projects that are connected with either open source hardware or software. The Open Book Project seeks to encourage and coordinate collaboration among students and teachers for the development of high quality, freely distributable textbooks and educational materials on a wide range of topics.”
Through the Open Book Project, Elkner writes educational material and places that material on the Web for others to use. He also involves his students in active and positive ways.
The Knowledge TrustSM Exploration Award for creating or compiling new knowledge, tools and services.
Winner: John Hanke, director, Google Earth and Maps
Hanke was the founder and CEO of Keyhole, Inc. that was acquired by Google in 2004. Keyhole’s flagship product was renamed Google Earth. The release of Google Earth caused a more than tenfold increase in media coverage on virtual globes, driving public interest in geospatial technologies and applications.
In August 2007, Google Earth added a tool for viewing stars and astronomical images. Google Sky is produced by Google through a partnership with the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, the science operations center for Hubble.
The Knowledge TrustSM Innovation Award for furthering the creative and innovative use of, and balanced access to, the world’s recorded knowledge.
Winner: Pamela Jones, founder and editor of Groklaw.
Groklaw is an award-winning Web site that covers legal news of special interest to the Free-and-Open-Source-Software community. Groklaw’s innovative purpose was to establish a site where the technical and the legal communities could pool their skills and collaborate. With some 12,000 volunteers, it also researches historical and technical information regarding evidence in specific cases and makes legal filings available in plain text for all cases covered by the site, so as to make the information easily accessible and searchable by the public and for the benefit of the disabled who depend on readers.
Jones’ articles have appeared in Linux Journal, the webzine LWN.net, Linux World, Linux Today and LinuxWorld.com. Jones was one of the contributing authors of O’Reilly Media’s well-received, Open Sources 2.0: The Continuing Evolution. Groklaw is in the top 1,000 most visited Web sites in the world, according to Netcraft figures.
The Knowledge TrustSM Next Generation Leadership Award is for young people whose study, innovation and independent thought shed new light on the world’s recorded knowledge.
Winner: Ryan P. Allis, co-founder and chief executive officer, iContact
In November 2005, Allis was named by BusinessWeek as one of the “Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25.” From iContact’s beginnings in July 2003, he managed the company to its current size, with more than 60 employees, over 14,000 customers, and over $6 million in annual sales.
At the age of 18, Ryan wrote a book, published by McGraw Hill, entitled, Zero to One Million: How to Build a Company to $1 Million in Sales. Today at age 23, he has been a keynote speaker and panel participant at conferences from Chicago to London, and featured on ABC News, CNBC’s Big Idea with Donny Deutsch and in Fortune Small Business, Success, Investors’ Business Daily, Entrepreneur Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal.
The Knowledge TrustSM Preservation Award recognizes those who archive, prioritize, defend and protect the Knowledge Trust.
Winner: Brewster Kahle, digital librarian, director and co-founder, the Internet Archive
Brewster Kahle recognized the potential and need for a worldwide digital library and developed tools that enabled the creation and maintenance of such a library. In addition, he has, in the words of his admirers, “built technologies, companies and institutions to advance the goal of universal access to all knowledge.”
Kahle currently oversees the non-profit Internet Archive as founder and digital librarian, which is now one of the largest digital archives in the world.
The Knowledge TrustSM Wilson Prize for Lifetime Achievement for a lifetime of accomplishment in knowledge exploration, compilation and stewardship in service to society
Winner: David P. Reed, Information Scientist, Adjunct Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory and HP Fellow at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories
Reed is a pioneer in the design and construction of the Internet protocols, distributed computer systems, and PC software systems and applications, co-developing both the Internet design principle known as the “end-to-end argument” and Reed’s Law, which describes the economics of group formation in networks.
At the MIT Media Lab, Reed currently co-leads work on viral communications, exploring adaptive, scalable and evolving radio network architectures. He is a recipient of the prestigious Public Knowledge IP3 Award and he has served on the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council and other groups, advising the U.S. government on issues related to future communications technologies. At HP Labs, Reed invents architecture to support large-scale human-centered communications communities.
The Knowledge TrustSM Special Award for Lifetime Achievement
Winner: Thomas Barnett, Graphic Designer, Writer, Digital Artist
Barnett served as consultant, and later as principal Web site designer prior to his death in June of 2007, of the University of North Carolina Access Project, a project to catalogue and compare the physical accessibility and student services of all 16 public University of North Carolina campuses to differently abled students. The Web site, launched in August 2006, incorporates the highest standards of user accessibility for visually and physically disabled users.
Barnett was an Honors Fellow, Presidential Scholar and recipient of the GlaxoSmithKline Opportunity scholarship at Elon University. He was inducted into the Phi Kapa Phi Honors society in 2006. He actively alerted and engaged the Elon community to recognize, correct and provide universal physical access to public spaces and community activities.
About The Knowledge TrustSM
The Knowledge TrustSM is a commitment made in October 2005 by the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to shape a critical role for 21st-century knowledge professionals—those who are trusted to seek out, organize, preserve, protect and contribute to the knowledge needed to support human endeavor and innovation.
For more information about The Knowledge TrustSM, the Louis Round Wilson Academy or the Honors Program, please visit: www.theknowledgetrust.org