For immediate release | March 27, 2012

San Francisco State University’s Labor Archives and Research Center earns RUSA award for preservation and promotion of labor history

CHICAGO — The Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco State University, is the winner of the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) 2012 John Sessions Memorial Award.

Established in 1980, the John Sessions Memorial Award recognizes a library or library system which has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and in so doing has brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. The award is co-sponsored by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO. Among the Center’s notable contributions are the book “San Francisco Labor Landmarks Guide Book”; several online exhibits, including one entitled “Look for the Union Label: A Celebration of Union Logos and Emblems”; and a 25th anniversary celebration that included the program “Sympathetic,” which honored the experience of those who witnessed and participated in the funeral march for two workers killed during the 1934 Pacific Maritime Strike.

”We selected the Center for its efforts to educate the community on the accomplishments of labor through its public programs, publications, exhibitions and oral history project,” said Jannie Cobb, award committee chair. “These resources and the Center's outreach efforts illustrate their commitment to preserving and highlighting the history of labor.”

"The John Sessions Memorial Award provides welcome recognition from our colleagues that we’ve been successful in our mission to preserve and promote labor history,” said Catherine Powell, director of the Labor Archives and Research Center. “The Labor Archives has devoted significant resources to public programs, exhibits, oral history theater projects and a labor landmarks guide book because we see this work as central to our mission as acquiring collections."

The library will receive its award plaque at the RUSA Awards Reception, scheduled for 5 - 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 24 as a part of RUSA’s events at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif. The exact location of this event will be announced in late spring. For more information, visit RUSA’s website or the Annual Conference website.

The Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more about the association at


Elizabeth Markel