Paul Howard Award for Courage

About the Paul Howard Award for Courage
A bi-annual award consisting of $1,000 and a 24k gold-framed citation of achievement honoring a librarian, library board, library group, or an individual who has exhibited unusual courage for the benefit of library programs or services.
Courage is defined by the donor, Paul Howard, as:
"the quality of mind which enables one to face adversity, difficulty,
or danger with resolution and fortitude . . . it is that characteristic
which enables librarians to seek the achievement of goals in spite of all opposing forces."

Administered by:

American Library Association logo

2021 Winner(s)

Amy Dodson

Library Director, Douglas County Public Library, Minden, NY

Dodson and DCPL made national news in July 2020 after she and her staff drafted a statement of solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter – openly denouncing racism and racial inequality – and posted it to the library’s social media. In response, the library began receiving negative messages and threats via mail, email and social media.  Dodson also experienced backlash from local county agencies, including the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, which issued a letter threatening to withhold police protection from DCPL. Local supporters of Black Lives Matter came to Dodson’s defense, peacefully protesting the statement issued by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, and were met with an armed counterprotest.