ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award to Oklahoma State University Library

For Immediate Release
Mon, 04/20/2015


Cheryl Malden

Program Officer



CHICAGO — The Oklahoma State University Library, (Stillwater, Oklahoma) has been named the 2015 winner of the ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award. The award, supported by ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund, recognizes a library that demonstrates excellence by providing programs that have community impact and respond to community needs.

The OSU Library and its campus and community partners created “Science Café at OSU: Potential Impacts of Oil and Gas Exploration,” a series to highlight interesting, relevant and current science-related research presented by scientists. Altogether, six programs were held on the topic of oil and gas exploration, including hydraulic fracturing. 

In Oklahoma hydraulic fracturing is prevalent; the oil and gas industry is important to the state’s economy. However, fracturing is controversial. Some oppose it for safety and environmental reasons. Some research has shown a correlation of earthquakes to the oil and gas activity related to hydraulic fracturing.

Programs held at the OSU Library and Stillwater Public Library included “Hydraulic Fracturing: Implications for Land, Water and Communities,” “Drilling Basics,” “Communities and Housing,” “Costs and Benefits” and a forum. Presentations were delivered by OSU scientists and speakers from various cities in Oklahoma. The OSU Library created an online guide for the series with program information and frequently asked questions and answers. Total attendance was 521 for the six programs.

“Not a week goes by in Oklahoma without news stories related to earthquakes, hydraulic fracturing, and the oil and gas industry,” Karen Neurohr, OSU librarian and Science Café coordinator, said. “The Science Café programs creatively used existing resources and partnerships to reach new audiences in addressing the community’s need for information.”

Attendees reported that their knowledge had increased and they planned to use the information to help inform others about the facts. Most responded that they would continue to study the subject further.

The annual award, consisting of $5,000 and a citation of achievement, will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco in June. 

Members of the 2014 ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award committee are: Chair Andrea R. Lapsley, Colorado State University, Colorado; Paul M. Anderson, University of Delaware, Delaware; Cynthia Harbeson, Appalachian State University, North Carolina; Heather Jo Ketron, Loudoun County Public Library, Virginia; Natalie Caroline Donoso, Kent County Public Library, Maryland.

More information about the ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award, including how to submit a nomination, is available on the ALA website (