Otterbein Library Director Receives Service Award for Dedication to Improving Student Experience

Posted Oct 14, 2021

Tiffany Lipstreu, the director of Otterbein University’s Courtright Memorial Library, has received the Ohio Private Academic Libraries (OPAL) 2021 Service Award. The annual award is given to OPAL members who have shown dedication to the organization’s mission “to strengthen and promote member libraries through financially responsible collaboration and innovation.” 

OPAL is a group of 27 academic libraries that work together to develop and provide expanded collections and services at collectively negotiated prices. All OPAL members are also members of OhioLINK, a statewide initiative offering a shared union database and the reciprocal borrowing of over 46 million items among 120 libraries in the state.  

Tiffany Lipstreu
Tiffany Lipstreu

For students, this vastly expands their access to academic materials beyond what Otterbein’s library could offer on its own. Otterbein has been a member of OPAL since its founding in 1998.  

“When I started at Otterbein in 2015, by nature of my position, I became a member of the OPAL Director’s Council which puts me in the room with library leaders across the state,” said Lipstreu. “It is an extreme honor to work with leaders across OPAL directors and their library staff.” 

Lipstreu has served director of the Otterbein University Courtright Memorial Library since 2015. Her nearly 20 years of experience in libraries encompass public, academic, and special libraries, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.  

At Otterbein, she has been at the forefront and spearheaded many library improvements aimed at enhancing the student experience. Under her direction with campus input, the library has added a second-floor open-air computer lab to increase the number of computers and printers students can access, more available electric outlets per student requests, and new carpet and paint needed to make the building a more welcoming and inviting space on campus.  

Assistant to the Library Kirsten Peninger describes Lipstreu as a partner for students and employees. “While some students may not have met Tiffany personally, her impact has certainly been felt. She is very receptive to hearing from students about their needs and wants for the library,” said Peninger.  

“Tiffany is fiercely passionate about helping the Library remain and continue being a resource for all campus into the future,” Peninger added. 

“Receiving this award has been extremely humbling,” Lipstreu said. “What I always hope to do is demonstrate the value of libraries to society. I appreciate working with library movers and shakers as we continue the democratic work we do.” 

For more on the Otterbein University Courtright Memorial Library, visit their website