Nancy Bolt named the recipient of the Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award

For Immediate Release
Tue, 03/15/2016


Cheryl Malden
Program Officer

CHICAGO – Nancy Bolt, of Nancy Bolt & Associates and retired Colorado State Librarian, is the 2016 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award. This award is given biennially to an individual for making positive changes in the profession of librarianship and consists of a 24K gold-framed citation and $1,000 contributed by the Elizabeth Futas Memorial Fund of the American Library Association.

“The jury that selected Nancy Bolt as the recipient of the 2016 Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award was highly impressed with her wide range of accomplishments and contributions to the profession, all of which underscore her keen ability to bring about innovation and positive change in our field,” said Kevin Reynolds, award jury chair. “She challenges and inspires, and she repeatedly shepherds into reality programs that some might think difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.”

Throughout her distinguished career, she has been a thoughtful and effective leader whose work has been infused with creativity, calculated risk-taking and skilled strategic planning. Woven through all this are her natural talents for mentoring and collaboration. Among the vast array of truly groundbreaking efforts that Bolt has led is the co-creation of the ALA-APA Library Support Staff Certification Program, which provides a practical curriculum that has allowed numerous library support staff to advance in the workplace. Bolt also made significant contributions to the success of the E-Rate program when she chaired the first ALA E-Rate Task Force. Additionally, work that Bolt carried out ultimately contributed to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funding the Broadband Technology Opportunities Projects, which had a profound effect on libraries across the country.

As Colorado State Librarian, Bolt reorganized and improved the regional library system in the face of significant budget cuts. She also championed the Colorado Library Card, which centered on collaboration between public, academic and school libraries throughout the state. Knowing there would be great benefit to libraries and library users in Colorado, she succeeded in establishing the program despite initial hurdles. These examples, as with all her work, illustrate how she keeps the needs of library users in focus while bringing about change to improve their experiences and access to information.

“Thanks to her tireless efforts, Nancy’s reach truly has been global,” Reynolds reported. “Her extensive work with libraries in Bulgaria is a significant example. For almost a decade, she has helped librarians there improve services and resources for the public after the dissolution of the Soviet Union left them in dire need.” Reynolds added, “As one letter of support noted, in Bulgaria, ‘Nancy is a national hero.’”

She has held numerous prominent leadership positions in state, national, and international organizations. These include several roles in the Colorado Library Association, as well as president of PLA, president of ASCLA, service as an ALA Executive Board member, ALA Council service, and numerous roles in IFLA, including as a member of the IFLA Governing Board.  She has also authored a large number of influential publications. In all her work, we see her signature tireless effort to guide positive change thoughtfully and carefully.

Members of the 2016 Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award Jury are: Liz Bishoff, The Bishoff Group, LLC, Evergreen, Colorado; Karen E. Downing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Phyllis D. Fisher, Copiague, New York; J. Kevin Reynolds, Chair, Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Ann K. Symons, Douglas, Alaska.  The Futas Award will be presented on Sunday, June 26, at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.