The Public Library Association (P.L.A.), a division of the American Library Association (A.L.A.), will celebrate its annual award winners and offer a special President’s Program featuring author Barry Lopez from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 29, 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center–N249, during the 2014 A.L.A. Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The P.L.A. President’s Program and Awards Presentation begins with recognition of the thirteen individuals and libraries that received P.L.A. awards this year.
P.L.A. President Carolyn Anthony will welcome keynote speaker Barry Lopez. Best known as the author of Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book Award, his other non-fiction books include About This Life and Of Wolves and Men, which was a National Book Award finalist.
He is also the author of several award-winning works of fiction, including Field Notes, Winter Count, and a novella-length fable, Crow and Weasel. His most recent book is a short story collaboration with artist Barry Moser titled Outside.
He has also written for The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, The Paris Review, Orion, and National Geographic, among others. According to the P.L.A., “His books, along with his magazine work, reflect a life of travel and cultural inquiry that has taken him to nearly seventy countries.”
Once a landscape photographer, Barry Lopez continues to maintain close contact with a diverse community of artists, sitting on theater advisory boards and collaborating with composers. In another arena of work, he recently collaborated with E.O. Wilson in the design of a university curriculum that combines the sciences and humanities in a new undergraduate major.
Lopez has received numerous awards and prizes, including the Honorary Geographer 2011 Award from the Association of American Geographers, as well as the Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the John Burroughs and John Hay Medals, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, five National Science Foundation Fellowships, and a Lannan Founda¬tion Fellowship, as well as Pushcart Prizes in fiction and non-fiction.
Rollie James Welch, Collection Manager at the Cleveland Public Library is the 2014 Recipient of the Allie Beth Martin Award. This honors a librarian who, in a public library setting, has demonstrated extraordinary range and depth of knowledge about books or other library materials and has distinguished ability to share that knowledge.
A plaque and a $3,000 honorarium are presented annually at the A.L.A. Annual Conference. Sponsored by the Baker & Taylor Company, this award was established in 1977 in honor of Allie Beth Martin.
The Broadview Public Library District in Broadview, Illinois is the 2014 Recipient of the Baker & Taylor Entertainment Audio Music / Video Product Award. This award comes in the form of a grant designed to provide a public library the opportunity to build or expand a collection of either or both formats in whatever proportion the library chooses. Sponsored by Baker & Taylor, the grant consists of $2,500 of audio music or video products.
The P.L.A. has not yet announced the winner of the Charlie Robinson Award, which honors a public library director who, over a period of seven years, “has been a risk taker, an innovator and/or a change agent in a public library. The recipient should have been active in national and other professional associations and be known for developing and implementing programs which are responsive to the needs of community residents.”
Established in 1997 and sponsored by Baker & Taylor, the award consists of $1,000 and a gift. The public library director will be honored at the A.L.A. Annual Conference.
Andrea Hirsh, Electronic Services/Community Outreach Librarian at the Juneau Public Libraries; Zac Paul Matthews, Digital Services Librarian at the Everett Public Library; Emery M. Ortiz, Assistant Director of the Onslow County Public Library; and Michelle A. Moore, Librarian and Director of the Missaukee District Library are the 2014 Recipients of the Demco New Leaders Travel Grant. Designed to enhance the professional development and improve the expertise of public librarians new to the field by making possible their attendance at major professional development activities.
Plaques and travel grants of up to $1,500 per applicant are presented annually at the A.L.A. Annual Conference. Established in 1993, the name of this grant was changed in October 2004. Demco, Inc. sponsors this grant.
The Bertha Voyer Memorial Library in Honey Grove, Texas is the 2014 Recipient of the EBSCO Excellence in Small and/or Rural Public Library Service Award. The P.L.A. stated this award honors “a public library serving a population of 10,000 or less that demonstrates excellence of service to its community as exemplified by an overall service program or a special program of significant accomplishment.”
A plaque and a $1,000 honorarium are presented annually at the A.L.A. Annual Conference. Established in 1991, EBSCO Information Services sponsors this award.
The Smithville Public Library in Smithville, Texas is the 2014 Recipient of the Gordon M. Conable Award. The P.L.A. stated this award honors “a public library staff member, a library trustee, or a public library, that has demonstrated a commitment to intellectual freedom and the Library Bill of Rights.” Sponsored by LSSI, the award consists of $1,500 and a plaque presented annually at the A.L.A. Annual Conference.
The Edmonton Public Library, Alberta, Canada is the 2014 Recipient of the Polaris Innovation in Technology John Iliff Award. The P.L.A. stated this award honors “the life and accomplishments of John Iliff, early adopter and champion of technology in public libraries, and recognizes the contributions of a library worker, librarian, or library that has used technology and innovative thinking as a tool to improve services to public library users.” Sponsored by Polaris, the award provides a $1,000 honorarium, a plaque and a bouquet of roses for the workplace.
The Red Wing Public Library in Red Wing, Minnesota is the 2014 Recipient of the Romance Writers of America Library Grant. According to the P.L.A., this award is designed “to provide a public library the opportunity to build or expand its romance fiction collection and/or host romance fiction programming.” Sponsored by the Romance Writers of America, the grant consists of $4,500 to be used toward the purchase of books in print and/or audio format, author honorariums and travel expenses, and other applicable program expenses.
The Terrebonne Parish Library System in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana is the 2014 Recipient of the Upstart Innovation Award. [Louisiana has civil parishes instead of counties.] The P.L.A. stated this award recognizes “a public library’s innovative and creative service program to the community.” Sponsored by Upstart, a Demco company, this award consists of a plaque and a $2,000 honorarium presented annually at the A.L.A. Annual Conference.
Jasmina Jusic won First Place for the Public Libraries Feature Article Contest for the article “Entrepreneurial Leadership in Public Libraries,” in the July/August 2013 issue of Public Libraries magazine. Nicholas Higgins received the Honorable Mention in the Public Libraries Feature Article Contest for the article “Family Literacy on the Inside,” in the January/February 2013 issue.
Awards cash prizes to the authors of the best feature articles written by public librarians and published in the previous year’s issues of Public Libraries.
The P.L.A. stated, “These award winners demonstrate the best in public library service, innovation and outreach.” The President’s Program & Awards Presentation is one part of the P.L.A.’s line-up of conference programming at the A.L.A. Annual Conference. Three pre-conferences and nearly twenty programs sponsored by P.L.A. “offer valuable and timely education for public library professionals.”