Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award

About the Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award
A bi-annual award recognizing and honoring a librarian who invests time and talent to make positive changes in the profession of librarianship by:
  • taking risks to further the cause;
  • helping new librarians grow and achieve;
  • working for change within the American Library Association or other library organization;
  • inspiring colleagues to excel or make the impossible possible.

Administered by:

American Library Association logo

2022 Winner(s)

Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada

Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, adult services assistant manager, Palos Verdes Library District, Rolling Hills Estates, California as the recipient of the 2022 Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award. Pelayo-Lozada is executive director of the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association and president-elect of the American Library Association (2022-23 President). She is a determined advocate for issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion, inspiring those around her.

What was unswervingly cited in the many recommendation letters received was Pelayo-Lozada’s passion for doing the hard work of bringing groups together to strive towards greater cooperation and understanding. Pelayo-Lozada is seen as an agent for change through listening to others and understanding their concerns, all with the goal of the growth of the organization or committee that she was a part of.

Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada’s contributions to ALA and librarianship are numerous. To list the number of committees, task forces, and boards that she has served on or is currently serving on is a true testament to her passion for moving ideas forward. She served as 2016 president of the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) and was later appointed APALA executive director (2019-2022). She has held many influential positions – from chairing the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) Advisory Committee to serving on ALA Council and the Executive Board. Her noted work as chair of the Steering Committee for Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE) highlighted her skill and passion for moving ALA forward as an organization. In 2021, Pelayo-Lozada was elected ALA president 2022-2023.

“Visionary,” “a ball of fire,” “compassionate,” “inspiring” are the words and phrases most used by her colleagues. Her tireless efforts around equity, inclusiveness, and diversity continue to inspire those who work with her.  Her energy, her devotion are catalysts of change, and she personifies someone that can make the impossible possible.