CHICAGO — Dr. Camila Alire, dean emerita at the University of New Mexico and Colorado State University, is this year’s recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Joseph W. Lippincott Award. The award, founded in 1938, is given annually to an individual for distinguished service to the profession of librarianship and is made possible by the award founder’s grandson, Joseph W. Lippincott, III.
“The jury for the 2011 Joseph W. Lippincott Award is pleased to honor Dr. Camila Alire for her many achievements during a vibrant and dynamic career,” said Robert Newlen, chair of the committee and assistant law librarian for collections, outreach and services at the Law Library of Congress. “She far exceeds the criteria and richly deserves this honor."
Alire is an active and long-standing member/leader of several associations. She is past–president of the American Library Association (ALA), ALA/APA, Association of College and Research Libraries and REFORMA (National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to the Spanish-Speaking). In 2005 she served as chair of the ACRL National Conference. Among her contributions at the committee level is her service as chair of the following ALA committees: Committee on Legislation, the Nominating Committee and the Committee on Education. In addition, she sat on four ALA presidents’ special advisory task forces. She also served on and/or chaired various ACRL and Reforma committees.
She served on the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Board and on the Greater Western Library Alliance Board and was the conference chair for the GWLA National Diversity Conference. She also chaired the Colorado Alliance Research Libraries Board. She was active in several professional groups in New Mexico (Association of Research Libraries of New Mexico and the New Mexico Consortium of Academic Libraries) and in Colorado, where she chaired the Colorado Association of Libraries Legislative Committee, Education Committee and Local Arrangements Committee. She also chaired the Colorado State Library Advisory Board and its Committee on Library Services to Ethnic Populations. The committee established a scholarship for LIS students serving minority populations and a statewide mentoring program.
Her writing focuses on leadership development; library services to Latinos and other minorities; library disaster recovery; academic library marketing and advocacy; and recruitment and retention of minorities in the library profession and in higher education. She recently co-authored "Academic Librarianship" (2010), "Academic Librarians as Emotionally Intelligent Leaders" (2007 ) and edited "Serving Latino Communities" (2007) and "Library Disaster Planning and Recovery Handbook" (2000). She has presented workshops nationally and internationally on library advocacy, marketing, leadership development, disaster recovery and service to Latinos as well as on other topics.
Camila serves as professor of practice in the Simmons College PhD program in managerial leadership; she has also served as part-time faculty in the Executive MLIS program in managerial leadership at San Jose State University. She will be teaching at the University of Denver’s LIS program this summer.
Her contributions to library services have not gone unnoticed. She was chosen for inclusion in the ALA/ALTAFF National Advocacy Honor Roll for her work advocating for library services to Latino communities. She was named scholar-in-residence for the Chicago Public Library System. She was awarded the first ALA Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change award and the National REFORMA’s Librarian of the Year award. Twice she was selected by the Colorado Library Association (CLA) to receive the CLA Exemplary Library Services to Ethnic Populations Award. Camila also received the Mountain Plains Library Association’s Legislative Leadership Award. She has also been named by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the country. As an alumna, Camila was also awarded the University of Denver’s Morehouse College of Education’s Leader in Learning Award.
During her 2010 Presidency at ALA she launched Family Literacy Focus, an initiative to encourage families in ethnically diverse communities to read and learn together. Working closely with the five ethnic affiliates, librarians were able to work through these culturally focused family literacy programs to bring generations together through innovative literacy activities that emphasize oral and written traditions and explore new literacies. She also launched her Frontline Library Advocacy initiative, which concentrates on preparing librarians and library support staff, in cooperation with library administrators, to serve as frontline advocates for their respective libraries.
Members of the 2011 Joseph W. Lippincott Award Jury are: Robert Newlen, Law Library of Congress (Chair); Dora Ho, Los Angeles Public Library; Pat Schafer, Cornell University; Dorothy Persson, University of Iowa; and Joyce Wright, University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign.
The Lippincott Award will be presented at the ALA Award Ceremony and Reception, prior to the Inaugural Banquet, on June 28th during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.
The deadline for submission of applications for the 2012 Joseph W. Lippincott Award is December 1st 2011. Guidelines and application forms are available on the ALA website.