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A special collections and ancient languages cataloger at Brigham Young University’s Harold B. Lee Library was recently awarded the prestigious 2014 ABC-CLIO Award for the Best Book in Library Literature from the American Library Association.

Robert Maxwell won for literally "writing the book" on organizing libraries. His book, “Maxwell’s Handbook for RDA: Resource Description and Access,” received the top book award in the library field from the ALA, with which he will receive $5,000 and special recognition at the ALA Annual Conference held in Las Vegas in June.

At more than 900 pages, “Maxwell’s Handbook” provides an in-depth guide to, and analysis of, the use of Resource Description and Access, the newly developed and adopted international cataloging rules. The book was selected as the award winner for its uniquely thorough, exhaustive approach not only as a manual, but as a detailed explanatory guide. The work captures the nature of the philosophical shift behind RDA as a forward looking vehicle reflecting a new age of cataloging.

His book has been described as a “landmark work,” particularly considering the shifting and challenging nature of the development of RDA. Maxwell’s integration of prose, examples of multiple types and extreme attention to detail make his book invaluable for library students and professionals as a RDA resource.

Maxwell holds a master’s degree in library sciences from the University of Arizona, a doctorate in classical languages and literatures from the University of Toronto and a law degree from BYU.

For more information contact Roger Layton at (801) 422-6687 or To learn more about the ABC-CLIO Award for the Best Book in Library Literature visit their website.

Writer: Brett Lee