Wirtz Labor Library receives John Sessions Memorial Award

Contact: Liz Markel
Marketing Specialist, RUSA/ASCLA
(312) 280-4398

For Immediate Release
March 3, 2009

CHICAGO—The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wirtz Labor Library is the recipient of the 2009 John Sessions Memorial Award, an honor presented by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) and named for John Sessions, former American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) co-chair of the AFL-CIO/ALA Joint Committee on Library Service to Labor Groups.

This annual award recognizes a library or library system that has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and has consequently brought recognition of the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. Wirtz Labor Library was selected for its efforts in supporting the history and contribution of the labor movement in the United States. In addition to maintaining unique and historically significant collections, including rare international material, the library particularly impressed the committee with its recent efforts to make its collection more accessible to a broader audience through digitization and to increase visibility of the library through the Wirtz Labor Library Lecture Series.

A statement issued by the library expressed gratitude and appreciation for the distinction: “The U.S. Department of Labor’s library, established in 1917, is one of the oldest Cabinet-level libraries.  As we plan for the library’s centennial, our recent efforts have been to strengthen and revitalize the library and its services – and to provide and promote the library’s resources to a wider universe of customers.  As we build upon our rich history, it is our great pleasure to accept the 2009 John Sessions Memorial Award.”

Richard V. French, director of the library’s Center for Program Planning and Review, will receive the winner’s plaque on behalf of the library at the RUSA Awards Ceremony and Reception, scheduled for 3:30-5:30 p.m., Monday, July 13, as a part of ALA’s Annual Conference events. The exact location of this event will be announced on the RUSA website and at the RUSA Blog in late spring.

A complete listing of RUSA events at this summer’s Annual Conference, Chicago, July 9-15, can be found at the RUSA website.

The Reference and User Services Association, 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. For more information, visit www.ala.org/rusa. Not a RUSA member, but interested in discounted registration rates on conference, RUSA preconferences and other RUSA events? Join, renew or add RUSA to your ALA membership at www.ala.org/membership.