For immediate release | August 19, 2010

BCALA honors members at 7th National Conference of African American Librarians

CHICAGO—The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association, presented five awards during its 7th National Conference of African American Librarians, held Aug. 4-8, 2010 in Birmingham, Ala.

The BCALA Library Advocacy Award, recognizing demonstrated, dedicated commitment in support of library and information services to African American and other ethnic communities, was presented to Rudolph Clay, head, Library Outreach and African and African American studies librarian, Washington University Libraries.

Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., information research specialist, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress; Karen Lemmons, media specialist, Howe Elementary School; and Kelvin Watson, head, Acquisitions and Collection Development Branch and chief collection development officer, National Agricultural Library, each received a BCALA Appreciation Award, awarded to an individual who has made an unusual and significant contribution to the effectiveness of the Black Caucus, the African-American community and to the programs and activities of the BCALA.

The BCALA Professional Achievement Award, recognizing an individual who has exhibited meritorious achievement and distinction in the field of African American librarianship, was presented to Joyce Jelks, retired reference librarian, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library System.

The Distinguished Service to the Library Profession Award was presented to Rose T. Dawson, director of libraries, Alexandria Public Library. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant and extraordinary contributions in service to the library profession, such as introducing new concepts, providing exceptional leadership or setting unprecedented standards for participation in the profession.

Cassandra R. Allen, outreach librarian, Outreach and Special Populations Branch, Division of Specialized Information Services, National Library of Medicine, is the recipient of the Distinguished Service to the BCALA Award, recognizing significant and continuous service to the ongoing operation, organization and growth of the Black Caucus of ALA.

The BCALA NCAAL Awards and Honors Committee includes John Page (co-chair), Dr. Richard Bradberry (co-chair), Adrienna Pannell-Williams, Dr. Theodosia Shields, Andrea Cheney, Peggy Blake, Dr. Annie Payton, Barbara Ann Williams, Felix Unaeze and Dr. Gleniece Robinson.

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation’s African American community, and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians. Founded in 1970, BCALA is an affiliate organization of the American Library Association. To learn more about BCALA, please visit


Miguel Figueroa