Jade Kastel was selected as the 2023 Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year by the Illinois Library Association (ILA). She is currently the Music Librarian, Assistant Professor, and Libraries Diversity Officer at Western Illinois University. Kastel is a member of the MLA Big Band, and is completing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in jazz performance with a minor in Queer Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Kastel has worked at academic libraries in Indiana and Florida, and prior to librarianship, she was a director of music, organist, and jazz saxophonist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Kastel is an active commentator in the “Women’s Voices” series on Tri States Public Radio.
Kastel is grateful for the support and encouragement of her library and music colleagues at the state and national level. “My colleagues in MLA have been extremely generous, supportive, and encouraging to me in my career. This award recognizes the important role libraries and library workers play in promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, justice and antiracism,” said Kastel. “It is wonderful that through this award, we are also celebrating the work and accomplishments found in libraries that serve music, theater, dance, and performing arts.”
More information about the award and a full press release can be found on the Illinois Library Association website.