Joining the Honor Roll: ALA Award Winners, 2003

American Libraries, September 2003 | Go to article overview

Joining the Honor Roll: ALA Award Winners, 2003

The American Library Association annually honors the best and brightest in the profession through its divisions, offices, and round tables with more than 250 awards, scholarships, and grants. Fueled by a variety of donors and sponsors, recognition is given for individual and collective achievement in the various areas of librarianship. The winners are selected by award juries who work tirelessly to select from thousands of dedicated and qualified librarians nationwide.

American Libraries salutes all of the 2003 award recipients, the donors for making the awards possible, and the committee members for donating their time.

The following not only contains information on 2003 award recipients, but also lists information on all ALA, division, and round table awards as well as on new awards for 2004. The nomination or application deadline for most awards is December 1, unless otherwise noted.


Barbara Gittings was awarded ALA's highest honor "for her lifelong commitment to developing positive images of gays and lesbians in the literature and on library shelves, and for ensuring equal access to information for all people."

As the principal force behind the growth of the former ALA Gay Task Force (now the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table), Gittings developed programs to highlight the availability of gay materials for use in libraries. In 1971, she helped to establish the Gay Book Award, leading to new critical evaluation for gay and lesbian fiction and nonfiction. Gittings also initiated the development of lists, directories, and policy guides that, for many years, were the only models available to support the work of gay library workers and clients.

Gittings has been an activist since 1958, when she established the first East Coast chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis, the first known lesbian organization in the United States. In 1970, she became involved with ALA's Task Force on Gay Liberation and served as the group's coordinator from 1971 to 1986. Gittings is a past member of San Francisco Public Library's Hormel Center Gay and Lesbian Library Endowment Committee and a member of a number of gay, lesbian, and human-rights organizations.

Gittings's pioneering efforts regarding gay and lesbian librarianship and intellectual freedom have been featured in several books, including Daring to Find Our Names (Greenwood, 1998) and Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context (Haworth, 2002), as well as documentary films, including Before Stonewall and its sequel After Stonewall, Out of the Past, and PBS's Gay Pioneers.

Her accomplishments have been recognized through the creation of the ALA Stonewall-Barbara Gittings Book Award for Literature and through the dedication of the Barbara Gittings Gay/Lesbian Collection of circulating materials at the Independence Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia in 2001 (AL, Aug. 2001, p. 28).

SAMUEL F. MORRISON Honorary Member

Samuel F. Morrison, former director of the Broward County (Fla.) Library System, received ALA's highest honor "for his long and distinguished career in librarianship, his tireless and unflagging promotion of library services, his vision in establishing landmark partnerships between libraries and other community organizations, and his commitment to developing the next generation of librarians as a mentor and supporter of library education."

In addition to nearly 30 years of service at the Broward County Library, which was named Library Journal's Library of the Year in 1996, Morrison was also instrumental in the establishment of the Broward County's new African-American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale, which opened in 2002 (AL, Oct. 2002, p. 26). He is recognized for initiating innovative partnerships to create joint-use facilities with Florida area colleges, universities, and schools. …

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