The Athens-Limestone Public Library in Athens, AL wins the 2019 Loleta D. Fyan Award

For Immediate Release
Tue, 05/14/2019


Kathy Rosa

Director, Library & Research Center


American Library Association


CHICAGO — The American Library Association has awarded the 2019 Loleta D. Fyan Award to Athens-Limestone Public Library in Athens, AL. for the proposal "Socializing on the Spectrum".

Loleta Fyan, 1951-52 ALA President, bequeathed funds to ALA with the intent that "these funds be used for the development and improvement of public libraries and the services they provide." Fyan, who was the State Librarian of Michigan for 20 years, believed that every individual, regardless of residence, is equally entitled to high quality library service and that librarians must be adept in using the political process to acquire this "right of citizenship". A pioneer in extending library service to rural areas and small communities and a proponent of library cooperation, Fyan was a driving force behind Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) funding.

Stephen Wiberley, Chair of the Loleta D. Fyan Award Jury, noted the Athens-Limestone (Alabama) Public Libraries "Socializing on the Spectrum" will provide resources and training for librarians from two states to learn how to help young people on the autism spectrum develop social skills. All communities have people on the spectrum, and the Athens-Limestone effort will serve as a model for other public libraries. "Socializing on the Spectrum" addresses the needs of an underserved population and builds on Athens-Limestone's Spectrum Storytime program and on its relationship with their area's chapter of the Autism Society of Alabama. The proposal has thoughtful plans of action, evaluation, and sharing results.

Staff Liaison
Kathy Rosa, Director
Library & Research Center
American Library Association