Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award

To recognize an individual who has made a distinguished contribution to reference librarianship. This contribution may include an imaginative and constructive program in a particular library; authorship of a significant book or articles in the reference field; creative and inspirational teaching; active participation in professional associations devoted to reference services; or leadership in other noteworthy professional activities.

Isadore Gilbert Mudge is wearing a dress with leg o' mutton sleeves popular in the late 1800s, early 1900s when she began her career.


Year Began: 1958

During her career, which started in 1903 and concluded in 1941, Isadore Gilbert Mudge increased student independence in research and improved reference collections with several specific types of sources, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, and atlases, among others. A pioneer in reference librarianship, she coined the phrase “material, mind, and method” to describe her reference philosophy when she began teaching the class “Bibliography and Bibliographic Methods” as an associate professor at Columbia's School of Library Services. She edited the American Library Association’s Guide to Reference Books, a comprehensive bibliography of reference tools. To honor her career, the American Library Association created the Isadore Gilbert Mudge Citation in 1958 for librarians who make distinguished contributions to reference librarianship.


Administered by:



Frequency: Annual

This award presents a monetary prize of $5,000 and a citation.
*Monetary award amounts are subject to change without notice and are contingent upon donor funding supplied at the time the award is presented.


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Professional Recognition Information