Winner of 2015 Zora Neale Hurston Award for promoting African-American Literature announced

For Immediate Release
Sun, 02/01/2015


Leighann Wood

Membership and Awards Program Specialist

Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)

American Library Association

CHICAGO — Carolyn Garnes, founder and CEO of Aunt Lil’s Reading Room, is the 2015 recipient of the Zora Neale Hurston Award, an annual achievement award administered by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association and sponsored by HarperCollins.

The Zora Neale Hurston Award honors an ALA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African-American literature. Aunt Lil’s Reading Room brings together children, authors and illustrators to promote literacy. As a past-chair and member of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee and the BCALA Literary Awards jury, Garnes has shown a true commitment to promoting African American Literature. Carolyn Garnes will be presented with a plaque at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

Aunt Lil’s Reading Room serves as a platform for children, authors and illustrators of color and African descent. The project aims to promote the unique history and culture of African Americans through books, literature and storytelling. An even broader audience includes librarians, media specialists and teachers.

Carolyn Garnes was selected by the Zora Neale Hurston Award committee: Deborah Abston, chair, Janice Derr, Sue Dittmar, Rachel Ondine Jorgensen and Cynthia Sorell.

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