University of Hawai‘i wins John Sessions Memorial Award for efforts to labor community

Thu, 03/03/2016


Leighann Wood
Membership and Awards Program Specialist
Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)
American Library Association

CHICAGO—The Center for Labor Education and Research, University of Hawai‘i - West O‘ahu was selected as the 2016 winner of RUSA’s John Sessions Memorial Award.

“The mission of the labor archive at the Center for Labor Education and Research (CLEAR) is to preserve labor history materials for future generations, protect the artifacts and make them accessible for public use, and defend the importance of working class history,” said award committee chair, Kate Kosturski.

“Located at the crossroads of the Pacific and Asia, Hawai’i labor history exemplifies cross-cultural organization and is a wealth of examples of solidarity across ethnic lines. CLEAR collections are organized into three “banks” of information: 1) the AV “Rice and Roses” collection dating back to the 1950’s and is heavily utilized by labor educators locally, nationally and internationally; 2) rare books and texts unique to Hawai’i labor history such as the Nā Lula Hālāwai text translating 1854 pre-territorial parliamentary procedures from Native Hawaiian to English; 3) an extensive clip archive of local union activities, publications, news, interviews, in addition to the papers of local labor historians and Hawai’i plantation artifacts.”

The award consists of a plaque sponsored by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO, and recognizes a library or library system which has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and by doing so has brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. The Center for Labor Education and Research will be honored at the RUSA Achievement Awards Ceremony and Reception in June.

The RUSA Achievement Awards Ceremony and Reception will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 26 at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando. All conference attendees are invited to the event. Additional event details will be available on the conference website in April.

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a Division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more about the association at