Ann Sparanese is the 2024 recipient of SRRT’s Herb Biblo Outstanding Leadership Award for Social Justice and Equality

For Immediate Release
Thu, 02/29/2024


Hillary Pearson

Program Manager, Accessibility Services

Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS)

American Library Association

The Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) of the American Library Association has named Ann Sparanese as the 2024 winner of the Herb Biblo Outstanding Leadership Award for Social Justice and Equality. 

The $4000 award is funded by an SRRT/ALA endowment and Library Juice Academy, and the purpose of this award is to recognize an individual for outstanding leadership in promoting social justice and/or equality within the library profession.

Leadership can be demonstrated by accomplishments through the Social Responsibilities Round Table or other ALA bodies, socially responsible groups within state, provincial, regional, or city library organizations, and/or international library organizations.

Ann began her library career in the early 1990’s after earning her MLIS from Rutgers University in 1990. Upon beginning work with the Englewood Public Library in New Jersey, she became a shop steward for the library, which began extensive involvement with the Bergen County Trade & Labor Council. 

In her work with SRRT and the Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG), Ann had a leadership role in combating the “Cuban Libraries” misinformation campaign and advocating for the removal of US sanctions. She has also contributed to ALA through serving on ALA Council and the AFL-CIO/ALA Joint Committee on Library Service to Labor Groups. She is perhaps best known for her efforts to stop the destruction of Michael Moore’s bestselling book, "Stupid White Men: And Other Excuses for the State of the Nation," by his publisher, Harper Collins. She initiated the process, which led to Harper Collins backing down from its self-imposed censorship. 

Ann worked for the Englewood Public Library for many years, developing collections and services that better reflected the communities that they served. She stated in her Summer 2003 Progressive Librarian article, “Activist Librarianship: Heritage or Heresy,” the following statement: “Socially responsible librarianship is librarianship that is part of—not dissociated from—society and its needs, problems and concerns.” She has lived this principle in her personal and professional life and continues working as an activist within her community today. 


About SRRT

The Social Responsibilities Round Tables (SRRT) is a unit within the American Library Association. It works to make ALA more democratic and to establish progressive priorities not only for the Association but also for the entire profession. Concern for human and economic rights was an important element in the founding of SRRT and remains an urgent concern today. SRRT believes that libraries and librarians must recognize and help solve social problems and inequities in order to carry out their mandate to work for the common good and bolster democracy.