Outstanding Service Award

Photo of Kay Shelton

Kay Shelton

For Kay Shelton – researcher, author, editor, adviser, teacher, student – there is no separation between work and life itself.

The program administrative assistant at University Libraries spent much of 2003 and 2004 at work on the book “Daw May Kyi Win and the Burmese Bibliographical Collection at Northern Illinois University: Homage to a Southeast Asian Librarian,” created in memory of May Kyi Win, a Burmese librarian at Founders Memorial Library.

Shelton worked countless hours of voluntary unpaid overtime to research articles on the collection and compile and edit the thoughts of May Kyi Win's colleagues. She arranged for imported, authentic handmade paper from Burma and Thailand to be used for the book's cover. Illness could not stop her.

Nor could problems with the press job – including a delay in processing the paperwork to pay the printers and a overrun in costs. Shelton wrote a check from her personal account to meet the deadline.

“The word ‘no' is not her vocabulary,” said Ging Smith, senior gift and estate planning officer at NIU Libraries.

Shelton also volunteers for the Illinois chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association, editing a quarterly newsletter and helping to develop a map book by visiting long-term members to collect old photos and stories.

Her volunteerism extends to NATIONS, where she advises the Native American student group, and to Creston-Dement Public Library. A doctoral student at NIU in the College of Education, she also teaches geography, anthropology and archaeology at Kishwaukee Community College.