Robert Newlen receives the Melvil Dewey Medal

For Immediate Release
Tue, 03/15/2016


Cheryl Malden
Program Officer

CHICAGO — Robert R. Newlen, chief of staff at the Library of Congress, has been awarded the 2016 Melvil Dewey Medal. This annual award, presented by the American Library Association (ALA) and sponsored by OCLC, recognizes “creative leadership of high order, particularly in those fields in which Melvil Dewey was actively interested: library management, library training, cataloging and classification, and the tools and techniques of librarianship.”

“Mr. Newlen has had a long and impressive career at the Library of Congress, evidenced by his recent appointment to the position of chief of staff,” said Ben Hunter, chair of the Dewey Medal jury. “His influence on the profession as a whole has been enormous. As one of his nominators stated, his ‘accomplishments are legion and legendary,’ due in part to how he has ‘helped influence the careers of countless co-workers and other practitioners.’”

Among the achievements noted by the Dewey Medal jury and the colleagues who wrote in support of this award are Newlen’s long and impressive career at the Library of Congress, including positions at the Congressional Research Office, the Law Library of Congress, and now his appointment as chief of staff; his crucial role in the Library of Congress’ “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor” exhibition; his service to the American Library Association as a member of ALA Council, Executive Board, and as an Endowment Trustee; and his work in mentoring new librarians through his book Resume Writing And Interviewing Techniques That Work!: A How-to-do-it Manual for Librarians, his presentations, and his continuing role as an inspirational figure to new professionals.

The 2016 Melvil Dewey Medal will be presented at the ALA President’s program, Sunday, June 26, during the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando.

In addition to Chair Ben Hunter, Associate Dean of University Libraries at the University of Idaho, the members of the 2016 Melvil Dewey Medal jury are:  Emily Bergman, University of Southern California; Susan Epstein, Susan Baerg Epstein Ltd.; William Schultz, Eastern Illinois University; and Julia Warga, Kenyon College.

The deadline for submission of applications for the 2017 Melvil Dewey Award is Dec. 1, 2016.

Guidelines and forms are available on the ALA website.