Linda Crowe receives 2018 Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award

For Immediate Release
Tue, 05/15/2018


Cheryl Malden

Program Officer


American Library Associationb


CHICAGO – Linda Crowe, retired Executive Director of  the Peninsula Library System and the
Califa Group as well as Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Library Partnership (PLP), is the 2018 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award. This biennial award recognizes librarians as leaders and innovators making individual groundbreaking efforts to improve the field and exhibiting commitment to the library community. It consists of a 24K gold-framed citation and $1,000 contributed by the Elizabeth Futas Memorial Fund of the American Library Association.


“Linda has truly invested her time and talent to make large-scale, positive changes in the profession of librarianship,” said Becca Worthington, award jury chair. “Her innovative and powerful contributions to the field, the significant change that she has boldly helmed within her system and her state of California, and her long and impressive career as a fearless risk taker all make her an exemplary candidate for this award.”


Throughout her distinguished career, Linda is best known for co-founding the Califa Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, to enable libraries to purchase services and products cooperatively, saving its 220 member libraries (both public and community college libraries) in excess of four million dollars a year. Califa serves as the aggregator of the CENIC broadband project that provides high speed broadband to public libraries throughout California. Califa also serves as the project manager for a National Science Foundation Grant that brings STEM programming to rural public libraries across the country. In 2014, Linda was named a Broadband Champion by the California Emerging Technology Fund for her tireless work and advocacy in helping increase availability of broadband opportunities for libraries.


Linda continued her professional devotion to making the impossible possible by serving as CEO of the Pacific Library Partnership, where she oversaw the merger of four cooperative library systems in the San Francisco Bay Area, including all public libraries in Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties. In this role, she provided not only administrative oversight but also vision and leadership.


As one letter of support noted, “Linda is a great model for our field, a big picture thinker, entrepreneur, and risk-taker who made a huge contribution to moving the library field forward in California and nationally.”


Linda has held numerous prominent leadership positions in state and national library organizations, including several roles in the California Library Association, namely serving as the Treasurer from 1988-94; Chair of the Legislative Committee from 1996-98; Co-Chair of the Task Force on the Future of the Library Profession, 1994-95; CLA President in 2001; CLA Member of the Year award in 1995; CLA Technology Professional Award in 2014, and induction into the California Library Hall of Fame in 2016. In addition, she has been a member of ALA since 1968, has served as an active member of ALA’s Office of Information Technology Policy Advisory, and received the Association of State and Cooperative Library Systems (ASCLA) Leadership Award in 1995 for her contributions to ALA. In these roles and more, she has served as a tireless mentor and counselor to others in the field, inspiring colleagues to grow, excel, and achieve.


“I always admired and respected Liz Futas,” said Linda, “and I am honored to be chosen to accept this award that bears her name and describes her achievements.”


Members of the 2018 Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award Jury are: Marlinda Karo, Houston Community College, Houston, TX; Kevin Reynolds, Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC; Patricia Glass Schuman, Past President of the American Library Association, Long Beach, NY; Julia M. Warga, Olin and Chalmers Libraries, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH; and Becca Worthington, ImaginOn/Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC. The Futas Award will be presented on Sunday, June 24 at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA.


More information about the Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award, including how to submit a nomination is available on the ALA website.