For immediate release | January 2, 2013

ALA congratulates D.C. chief librarian on being first to receive architecture award

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Maureen Sullivan, president of the American Library Association (ALA), applauded D.C. Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper for having the distinction of being the first librarian to receive the Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture from the American Institute of Architects. The award recognizes individuals who have furthered public awareness and appreciation of design excellence.

Since becoming chief librarian of the D.C. Public Library in 2006, Cooper has recruited well-known architects to modernize and transform the city’s libraries into vibrant centers of activity. As a result of her efforts to revitalize the library system, the city’s public libraries respond to an exceedingly large number of residents who have taken a new interest in their local branches.

According to city data, the number of books borrowed has more than tripled since 2006. In addition, more than 10,000 children visit the library each month for story times and other early literacy programs.

“We commend Ginnie Cooper for leading the recent renaissance of the D.C. Public Library,” said Sullivan. “By overseeing the design and development of high-quality architecture, Cooper has inspired city-wide appreciation for libraries and transformed public beliefs about the important roles that they can play in our communities.”

“We thank the American Institute of Architects for awarding the first librarian in the history of the prestigious honor, and we congratulate the Institute for recognizing Cooper’s commitment to quality design,” said Sullivan.

To learn more about the award and Ginnie Cooper’s work, visit

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 60,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.


Jazzy Wright

Press Officer

Washington Office (WASH)

800-545-2433 ext. 8208