Tracy Drake and Kate Adler named inaugural recipients of SRRT Herb Biblo Travel Grants

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/19/2019


Briana Jarnagin

Member Services Assistant

Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS)

CHICAGO - The American Library Association's Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) is pleased to announced that it has awarded its first annual conference travel grants to Tracy Drake, archivist/librarian at Chicago Public Library and to Kate Adler, director of library services at the Metropolitan College of New York. The Herb Biblo Conference Travel Grants sponsored by SRRT help finance attendance at the ALA Annual Conference. The $1000 award covers limited fees related to airfare, lodging, and conference registration. SRRT funds up to two applicants per year.

Tracy Drake is an archivist in the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection located at the Chicago Public Library. As an information professional, Tracy strives to provide equitable access to the stories of Black Chicago. Her latest exhibit, opening in February 2019 and entitled "All Power to the People," celebrates the impact and radicalism of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party. She believes in confronting difficult topics in our collective historical narrative while encouraging community archival practice. In addition to her work in the archives, Tracy writes on anti-racism in society and information. She is the proud mother of a radical 10-year old and burgeoning poet. As a native Chicagoan, she enjoys exploring new places in the city of Chicago, traveling and reading. She holds a MSLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an M.A. in History from Roosevelt University in Chicago, and a B.S. in African American Studies from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

Kate Adler is the director of library services at Metropolitan College of New York, where, among other responsibilities, she oversees the information literacy and reference programs and has developed special collections that focus on a critical history of poverty and on community organizing. Her professional research interests pivot around the intersection of libraries, social justice and community empowerment and engage critical theories of race, gender, class, disability, geography, affect and biopower, and histories of poverty, labor and social movements. She has written and presented on these topics and on Critical Reference. She is a co-editor of Reference Librarianship & Justice: History, Practice & Praxis, and her chapter examining the library services, immigration and poverty during the War on Poverty and the Progressive era in New York city will appear in the forthcoming Borders & belonging: Critical examinations of LIS approaches toward immigrants. Kate has an MA in American Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center and an MLIS from Queens College, CUNY. She lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York.

The travel grant is named after Herb Biblo, a stalwart member of SRRT who influenced the round table's policies and activities. Biblo brought his activism to the ALA Council, serving as a councilor for 24 years, beginning in 1977 with some gaps until 2002, including as ALA Treasurer from 1980 to 1984. He was very active in his local library association, the Nassau County Library Association, and in the New York Library Association, winning distinguished awards in both organizations. Herb Biblo touched the lives of many through his encouragement and mentoring. The grant aims to carry on his work by giving a chance to new librarians to participate in SRRT activities.

The ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) is a unit within the American Library Association. It works to make ALA more democratic and to establish progressive priorities not only for the association, but also for the entire profession. Concern for human and economic rights was an important element in the founding of SRRT and remains an urgent concern today. SRRT believes that libraries and librarians must recognize and help solve social problems and inequities to carry out their mandate to work for the common good and bolster democracy.