The Profession's Shining Stars: ALA Award Winners, 2004

Article excerpt

The American Library Association annually honors its own "Academy Award-winning" stars--those women and men in the library profession who have gone beyond what was expected. They have been recognized by their peers as shining examples of a rare category of achievers through the Association's divisions, offices, and round tables, which bestow more than 250 awards, scholarships, and grants. Jury panels work throughout the year wading through hundreds of applications in order to make the hard choices of selecting the honorees.

American Libraries salutes all of the 2004 award recipients, the donors for making the prizes available, and the committee members for contributing their time and expertise.

This annual roundup contains information on award recipients, lists brief descriptions of each award, and announces new awards. Awards were presented at ceremonies at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando.


Honorary Member

Sanford Berman was awarded ALA's highest honor "for his accomplishments as a cataloging theorist and practitioner and for his commitment to making catalog records accessible to library users. Using subject headings as a tool for social awareness, Berman has had a profound influence on the way librarians think and work."

Throughout his career, Berman has sought ways to bring the message of social responsibility to the forefront of thinking about libraries. A proponent of alternative literature in libraries, he coedited Alternative Library Literature: A Biennial Anthology for 20 years. Berman is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Joy of Cataloging: Essays, Letters, Reviews, and Other Explosions (Oryx, 1981), Prejudices and Antipathies: A Tract on the LC Subject Heads Concerning People (Scarecrow, 1971 and 1993), and Worth Noting: Editorials, Letters, Essays, an Interview, and Bibliography (McFarland, 1988).

After receiving his MLS from Catholic University, Berman worked as a librarian in the U.S. Army Special Services Libraries in West Germany for four years and as an assistant librarian at the University of Zambia and Makerere University in Uganda.

In 1999, Berman retired as head cataloger at Hennepin County (Minn.) Library, where he had served since 1973. He advocated the reform or creation of hundreds of Library of Congress subject headings, promoted more extensive note-making as a general practice, rendered data more comprehensible by eliminating bewildering punctuation and abbreviations, and encouraged full and equitable cataloging for all formats and genres.


He has been a member of ALA's Social Responsibilities Round Table since 1973, and has served as SRRT's newsletter editor and founded the SRRT Hunger, Homelessness, and Poverty Task Force in 1990. Berman is currently a contributing editor/advisor for Counterpoise, Journal of Information Ethics, The Unabashed Librarian, and MultiCultural Review.

Berman was named Minnesota Librarian of the Year in 1977 and received the Honeywell Project Anniversary Award for Peace and Justice in 1988. He also garnered many national library honors, including the Margaret Mann Citation for outstanding professional achievement in cataloging or classification (1981), the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award (1996), the ALA Equality Award (1989) recognizing contributions for promoting equality in the library profession, and the Gale/Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Multicultural Award (2000). He received the initial Sanford Berman Award for Social Responsibility in Library Services in 1999, which was named in his honor by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Locals 2822 and 2864 representing nonsupervisory and support librarians as well as support staff at Hennepin County Library.


Honorary Member

Norman Horrocks, professor emeritus at the School of Library and Information Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, editorial consultant for Scarecrow Press, and Library Journal contributing editor, received ALA's highest honor "for his long and distinguished career in librarianship that spans several countries and six decades; his contributions as a library educator, parliamentarian, writer, and publisher; and his influence as a mentor to generations of librarians. …


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