Best of ALA 2009: American Libraries Magazine Presents

Article excerpt

There is no prouder moment for those who have dedicated their lives to a career in librarianship than being recognized by colleagues and friends for achievement above and beyond the ordinary. From the top award of Honorary Membership to the late Judith F. Krug to the New York City Department of Education's Office for Library Services, winners of the H.W. Wilson Company award for its battle to assist middle school readers, these honors represent the American Library Association's best of the best. Showcased here is only a fraction of the 200+ awards presented annually by ALA, its divisions, round tables, offices, and other units. Meet more winners at www.ala.org.

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C. JAMES SCHMIDT

Promoter of the Free Exchange of Ideas

Beta Phi Mu Award of $1,000 for distinguished service to education in librarianship.

Donor. Beta Phi Mu International Honor Society.

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C. James Schmidt, professor in the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose (Calif.) State University, was commended for his excellence in the classroom, support of colleagues through collaboration on research, leadership in promoting intellectual freedom, and his advancement of knowledge and promotion of the free exchange of ideas.

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Schmidt's efforts on ALA's Intellectual Freedom Committee were recognized in 1991 when he was awarded the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award from the University of Illinois.

In 2001, he received the Norwin S. Yoffie Career Achievement Award from the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

NASHVILLE (TENN.) PUBLIC LIBRARY

Offering a Head Start to At-Risk Children

Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award of $2,000 to a school or public library that demonstrates excellence in library programming by providing programs that have community impact and respond to community needs.

Donor: Marshall Cavendish.

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Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library's "Bringing Books to Life" preschool literacy initiative is a perfect marriage of a resource to a need in the community.

It brings the library's award-winning literature-based puppet shows together with at-risk young children, educators, and parents. The whole-child approach to learning is designed to equip teachers with strategies for implementing developmentally appropriate practices in their classrooms and to introduce children to literature and library resources.

At the core of NPL's mission is the commitment to extending the benefits and joys of reading, lifelong learning, and discovery to all people through collections and services.

JAMES G. NEAL

Intellectual Property/Open Access Expert

Melvil Dewey Medal of $2,000 for creative professional achievement in library management, training, cataloging and classification, and the tools and techniques of librarianship.

Donor: OCLC/Forest Press.

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The library career of James G. Neal, vice president for information services and university librarian at Columbia University in New York City, spans more than 35 years, including stops at both Johns Hopkins and Indiana Universities. Described as one of the most well-known and widely respected leaders in the library world today, he is an advocate for sensible and supportive intellectual property policy and for effective open access to scholarly research.

Neal has helped shape the national debate on these topics, influenced the direction of government policy, and served as a respected, effective voice for the library profession. He has a long-standing role in promoting changes in scholarly communication, most notably as a leader in the development of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) as well as his vision and leadership in his work with numerous American library organizations, including ALA, the Association of Research Libraries, the National Information Standards Organization, and the Research Libraries Group. …