Happy 75th anniversary of the Library Bill of Rights!

Today we are pleased to commemorate the 75th anniversary of ALA’s adoption of the Library Bill of Rights on June 19, 1939 at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. The document – which is the basis for the work of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom – was created in the wake of several incidents of banning The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck in the late 1930s. It also was inspired by the rising tide of totalitarianism around the world.

The first iteration of  the Library Bill of Rights was a statement by the head of the Des Moines, Iowa, Public Library, Forrest Spaulding. It was adopted as policy by that library on November 21, 1938. Much of the wording remained the same for ALA’s version, although it was more universal.

Since its initial adoption, the Library Bill of Rights has been amended four times.  There are also over 20 official interpretations on issues ranging from Meeting Rooms to Labeling and Ratings Systems.  Many of these interpretations have Q&As associated with them to assist library boards and administrators adapt the policies to their specific circumstances.

To honor the Library Bill of Rights, take some time to read it and consider its meaning and relevance lo these many decades later.

Call for nominations: John Sessions Memorial Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 John Sessions Memorial Award offered by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).

The John Sessions Memorial Award recognizes a library or library system which has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and by doing so has brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement of the United States.

Such efforts may include outreach projects to local labor unions; establishment of, or significant expansion of, special labor collections; initiation of programs of special interest to the labor community; or other library activities that serve the labor community.

To nominate a library or organization, download and complete the nomination form (PDF format), and follow the submission instructions therein. Questions should be directed to the committee chair, Laura Carscaddon, lcarscaddon1@gsu.edu, 404-413-2804.

The deadline for nominations is December 15.

The 2014 award will presented at the RUSA Awards Reception during the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, June 26-July 1, 2014.

The Labor Archives of Washington was the 2013 recipient of the award.  The Labor Archives are notable for their work with the labor, university and local community. Work with local schools has helped encourage the teaching of labor history in the classroom. The Labor Archives also host online and traveling exhibits that focus on labor history, particularly that of the Pacific Northwest.

The award committee selected the Center for its efforts to educate the community on the accomplishments of labor through its public programs, publications, exhibitions, and oral history project.  These resources and the Center’s outreach efforts illustrate their commitment to preserving and highlighting the history of labor.

RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more about the association at www.ala.org/rusa.

Zora Neale Hurston Award: RUSA seeks librarians demonstrating leadership in promoting African American literature

Do you know someone(s) who should be recognized for their work in promoting African American literature? Could it be you? We encourage you to submit a nomination for the 2013 Zora Neale Hurston Award. The deadline for all nominations is Dec. 15, 2012.

The Zora Neale Hurston Award recognizes any ALA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African American literature. The winner receives funds to attend the ALA Annual Conference, tickets to the FOLUSA Author tea, and a set of the Zora Neale Hurston books published by Harper Perennial at the time the award is made.

Recent past winners include:
2012  Vanessa Irvin Morris, Assistant Teaching Professor, Drexel University

2011  Theresa Venable, Librarian for Children’s Defense Fund Haley Farm’s Langston Hughes Library
Venable was chosen for her work in library programming designed to promote African American authors and African American illustrators of children’s picture books.  Examples of Venable’s programming include directing the 2009 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture sponsored by the Association of Library Service to Children and coordinating the 2010 Big Read Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.

2010  Anthony Loum, Coordinator of Adult Library Services, Brooklyn Public Library
For his work planning and ensuring the quality of programs delivered by the Brooklyn Public Library in the 2009 Big Read for which Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” was the chosen book.

2009  Miriam Rodriguez, Assistant Director, Public Services, Community Integration of the Dallas Public Library

Don’t delay! You can download the nomination form (PDF) here.

Questions? Contact Jannie R. Cobb, Zora Neale Hurston Award Committee Chair at jcobb@nlc.edu.

Submit now for 2013 John Sessions Award honoring libraries serving labor community

Consider submitting a nomination today for the John Sessions Memorial Award–an annual award presented by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA). The nomination period for the 2013 award is open through Dec. 15, 2012.

The John Sessions Memorial Award recognizes a library or library system that has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and by doing so has brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. Such efforts may include outreach projects to local labor unions; establishment of, or significant expansion of, special labor collections; initiation of programs of special interest to the labor community; or other library activities that serve the labor community.

Last year’s winner, the Labor Archives and Research Center at San Francisco State University, was recognized for its notable contributions to the field of Labor Studies including the book “San Francisco Labor Landmarks Guide Book”; several online exhibits, including one entitled “Look for the Union Label: A Celebration of Union Logos and Emblems”; and a 25th anniversary celebration that included the program “Sympathetic”, which honored the experience of those who witnessed and participated in the funeral march for two workers killed during the 1934 Pacific Maritime Strike.

The award committee selected the Center for its efforts to educate the community on the accomplishments of labor through its public programs, publications, exhibitions, and oral history project.  These resources and the Center’s outreach efforts illustrate their commitment to preserving and highlighting the history of labor.

The 2013 award will presented at the RUSA Awards Reception during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, IL, June 27- July 2, 2013.  To nominate a library or organization, download and complete the nomination form (PDF format), and follow the submission instructions therein.

Questions should be directed to the committee chair, Susan Hurst, hurstsj@miamiOH.edu, 513-529-4144.