ALA honors Patricia Tarin’s lifetime of leadership with 2010 Equality Award

Contact: Cheryl Malden
Program Officer

For Immediate Release
April 1, 2009  



Patricia Tarin will receive the 2010 Equality Award. The award, donated by Scarecrow Press., a member of the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, is bestowed on an individual or group that has made an outstanding contribution toward promoting equality in the library profession.

Tarin has held a number of leadership positions in academic, public and government agencies throughout her career.  Her vision for the development of initiatives to advance participation by minorities and women in librarianship has garnered recognition through organizations such as REFORMA, who selected Tarin as their 1991 Hispanic Librarian of the Year and ALA’s 2008 Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award. 

The Equality Award jury noted Patricia Tarin’s outstanding and continuing efforts to provide venues where librarians from traditionally under-represented groups can contribute to the profession.  Currently training officer at the San Francisco Public Library, Tarin previously initiated and directed Knowledge River at the University of Arizona’ School of Information Resources and Library Science.  Knowledge River, now in its eighth year, was designed to recruit Hispanics and Native Americans to librarianship.  While she was there, more than 90 percent of Knowledge River students completed the program, many of whom went on to prestigious placements such as the National Library of Medicine, Yale University, the Library of Congress and the American Library Association.  Past ALA President and nominator Betty Turock calls Tarin’s work “amazing.” 

In addition to her work with Knowledge River, Tarin worked with ALA leadership on crafting its Spectrum Initiative into a thriving program that has funded more than 500 scholars.  Early in her career, Tarin articulated the concerns of minorities within the profession through her research and publications.  She collaborated with Yolanda Cuesta in 1978 to create “Guidelines for Library Service to the Spanish-Speaking” that would later become part of the ALA platform for service to diverse communities.  Tarin’s 1988 article, “Rand Misses the Point: A Minority Report,” highlighted what she believed were oversights in the Rand report on California’ ethnic and racial diversity. 

Patricia Tarin’s leadership on issues of diversity and outreach to cultural communities has broadened the services of ALA while providing a framework for inclusion within the library profession.

The annual award, consisting of $1,000 and a citation of achievement, will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. in June.

Members of the 2010 Equality Award committee are: Chair, Angela A. Williams, Syracuse University, N.Y.; Nancy M. Bolt, Nancy Bolt & Associates, Golden Colo.; Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Jane H. Tuten, University of South Carolina at Aiken, Aiken S.C.; Annie Zeidman-Karpinski, University of Oregon Science Library, Eugene, Ore.

The deadline for submission of nominations for the 2011 Equality is Dec. 1.  Guidelines and application forms are available on the ALA Web site:, in the Professional Recognition section under Awards & Grants.