BANGOR, Maine — Charlie Campo, the former chief librarian for the Bangor Daily News, was awarded the highest recognition from the News Division of the Special Libraries Association Monday night during the SLA 2012 Conference in Chicago.
“I was humbled and honored because it’s my peers and many of them work at much larger markets,” such as The Washington Post, Campo said Tuesday. “I was particularly honored to represent the small papers here.”
Campo, who retired last October after 31 years with the company, received the Joseph F. Kwapil Memorial Award in the form of a plaque and a $500 grant to recognize his career as a news librarian. According to the SLA News Division’s website, the award is “given for major achievement in the field of news librarianship and outstanding service to the News Division.”
This was not a difficult decision, said Leigh Montgomery, a news librarian for the Christian Science Monitor and the current director of awards for the SLA News Division. Montgomery said Campo received multiple nominations, calling him the “ultimate professional.”
“It’s so wonderful to read what people had to say about him,” the director said.
Campo has been a member of the SLA News Division since 1981, and he served as the organization’s chairman in 1995-1996. In addition, he was awarded the Ralph J. Shoemaker Award of Merit in 1996 and the Agnes Henebry Roll of Honor Award in 2001.
“The BDN was very fortunate to have Charlie,” said Editor-in-Chief Michael Dowd, who worked with Campo for three decades. “[He] was invaluable to editors, reporters and photographers, assisting them with the research necessary to do great journalism.”
Because of the time Campo spent archiving the newspaper’s daily news stories, Dowd said, “he almost had instant recall of facts and incidents dating back years.”
The former news librarian started his career in library science in 1974 as a clerk at the Fogler Library at the University of Maine. He eventually became a clerk-typist after a short-lived career as a middle school teacher and then became head of the serials department for Fogler.
During his time at Fogler, Campo compiled and edited the first edition of the Maine Union List of Serials, an organization system for journals, magazines and newspapers for the state’s libraries.
The former news librarian also serves on the Maine State Library Commission, a board that “establishes the policies and operations of the State Library, gives advice and makes recommendations on the expenditure of state and federal funds and establishes guidelines and policies for statewide library programs,” according to its website.
Linda Lord, the state librarian, said that for Maine libraries, Campo is “just a rock.”
“He’s not just a good librarian, he’s also an outstanding human being,” Lord said.