Ann Sparanese named Futas winner

Contact: Cheryl Malden


For Immediate Release

April 25, 2003

Ann Sparanese named Futas winner

Ann Sparanese is the 2003 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award.

The $1,000 award and citation, donated by the Elizabeth Futas Memorial Fund, recognizes and honors a librarian who invests time and talent to make positive changes in the profession of librarianship.

Sparanese, head of adult and young adult services, Englewood Public Library, Englewood, N.J., has applied and acquired grants to build collections in African American studies, Hispanic studies, and increased the library’s collection on labor issues.
As shop steward of her library union, Sparanese is an activist and speaks out whenever the situation demands it.
She learned of the plight of Michael Moore’s book “Stupid White Men: And Other Excuses for the State of the Nation” and initiated the campaign to berate Harper Collins for its plan to pulp
the book unless Moore made substantial changes including changing the title.
To Sparanese this was not one mans struggle with a publishing house but was a battle to preserve free speech and stop censorship.
The book has been reprinted numerous times and returned to #1 on the
New York Times bestseller list in 2003.
Moore attributes the publication of this novel to Sparanese.

“Ann Sparanese’s life and work demonstrate her commitment to the values espoused in ALA’s Elizabeth J. Futas Catalyst for Change Award,” said Chair Gina Millsap.
“As a community activist, role model and mentor for new librarians, and leader in the American Library Association, she is helping shape the future for
Most recently, her championship of Michael Moore’s book, “Stupid White Men,” in the face of censorship from Moore’s publisher was not only a victory in the ongoing fight for intellectual freedom, but a clarion call to librarians everywhere that they can and must wield their power to protect freedom of expression and thought.”

At ALA’s Presidents Program at the 2003 Midwinter Meeting, speaker, Amy Goodman recognized Sparanese as a “librarian for the People.”

The March 15
th issue of
Library Journal included Sparanese in their article “Mover & Shaker.”
They said “Some people still believe librarians are quiet, harmless folks who don’t make waves.
Some people, especially those whose rights are threatened, need to meet Ann Sparanese.”

Sparanese came to the profession late, she received her library science degree in 1990 from Rutgers University.
Even though she has not been in the profession long, she is a catalyst for change.

The Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award will be presented Tuesday,
June 24, during the ALA/CLA joint Annual Conference in Toronto.