Guidelines For Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award

For significant contribution to international librarianship

Name of Award

John Ames Humphry was the Executive Director of Forest Press from 1977 to 1985. During that time, he was instrumental in promoting the international use of the Dewey Decimal system and publishing the Dewey Decimal system in other languages, including Arabic, French, Italian, Hindi, and Spanish. Mr. Humphry also served as Director of the Springfield, Massachusetts City Library from 1948-1964, Director of the Brooklyn Public Library from 1964-1967 and State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner, New York State Education Department, from 1967-1977. He was also a visiting lecturer for the American International College from 1959-1961.

Recognizing Mr. Humphry's achievements, the International Relations Committee (IRC) of the American Library Association (ALA) established the John Ames Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award in 1987 on the occasion of Mr. Humphry's retirement. The award is supported by an annual contribution of $1,000 from OCLC/Forest Press, Inc.

Definitions and Criteria

The award is to be given to a librarian or other individual, in the United States or elsewhere, who has made a significant contribution to international librarianship. The contribution may include, but is not limited to, the publication of significant professional literature, participation in library organizations, the introduction of new technologies or theories, or outstanding teaching. Primary consideration will be given to contributions in the field of subject analysis and subject classification and to contributions in Third World countries, although the award is not limited to these areas.

All nominations should include, as appropriate, personal history or vita, with emphasis on achievements related to international librarianship; bibliography, critical reviews, articles, etc. letters seconding the nomination or other letters of commendation or appreciation.

Number and Frequency of Award

One award will be made annually, for a minimum period of five years, renewable by mutual agreement of the ALA's International Relations Committee and the donor, OCLC/Forest Press, Inc. In years in which no suitable nominations are received, the award will not be made.

Form of the Award

A cash award of $1,000 and a certificate will be given.


OCLC/Forest Press, Inc.

85 Watervliet Avenue

Albany, New York 12206.

Telephone: 518-489-8549


Jury to administer award:

The ALA international Relations Committee will administer the award and a jury of five members will be appointed annually prior to the ALA Annual Conference by the chair of the IRC.

Nomination of Candidates:

Deadline for receipt of nominations is January 31, 2024. The jury will meet at the ALA Midwinter Meeting to select the award recipient. Persons who were candidates, but not selected, may have their nominations re-submitted for 3 consecutive years. Persons who were candidates, but not selected during the current year, will be automatically considered for the following year. Members of the jury may submit nominations and are encouraged to do so. Receipt of each nomination will be promptly acknowledged to the person who made the nomination. Nominations should be sent to:

c/o International Relations Office

American Library Association

50 East Huron Street

Chicago, IL 60611-2795


Selection of Recipient:

Selection procedures are based upon the processes detailed in the ALA Awards Manual.


The identity of award nominees and all supporting data become the confidential property of the jury and will not be released except when such information is used in the citation or biographical sketch of the winner.


The jury chair is responsible for notifying the recipient of the award. The winner should be cautioned that while the news of his or her selection may be shared with close friends and colleagues, no formal announcement is to be made until the information is officially released by ALA at the beginning of the Annual Conference. Winner will be announced after the ALA Midwinter Meeting.


The award will be presented at the American Library Association Annual Conference International Librarians Reception by a representative of ALA and OCLC/Forest Press.