Patterson, Taylor named ALA honorary members

Contact: Elizabeth Dreazen
ALA Governance Office
For Immediate Release
February 4, 2005

Patterson, Taylor named ALA honorary members

(CHICAGO) Lotsee F. Patterson and Nettie B. Taylor were elected to honorary membership in the American Library Association (ALA) in action taken by the ALA Council at the ALA 2005 Midwinter Meeting, held January 14-19, 2005, in Boston.
Honorary membership, ALA's highest honor, is conferred in recognition of outstanding contributions of lasting importance to libraries and librarianship.

Lotsee F. Patterson, Ph.D., was nominated "in recognition of her lifelong commitment to establishing quality library services and programs for Native Americans, her accomplishments as an advocate for native and indigenous libraries on the regional, national and international levels, and her contributions as an author, library educator and mentor."

Patterson has been called "one of the most outspoken advocates for equitable library services for American Indians in the history of this country." She set the groundwork for the establishment of tribal libraries across this nation through a series of demonstration projects in the mid-1970s.

Patterson is a co-founder of the American Indian Library Association (AILA) and served as co-chair of the Native American pre-conferences to the 1979 and 1991 White House Conferences on Library and Information Services.
She was one of the key authors of the federal legislation that amended the Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) to include Title IV: "Library Services For Indian Tribes And Hawaiian Natives Program."

On the international level, Patterson helped establish the International Indigenous Librarians' Forum in 1999 and presided over the third forum in Santa Fe.

Patterson has testified as an expert witness to numerous commissions and select committees in Washington, D.C., where she also served as a senior advisor to the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.

A dedicated library educator and a prolific author, Patterson has mentored thousands of library school students at the University of Oklahoma and trained tribal librarians through her institute for training library aides in Pueblo Indian schools and her 1984 seminal project, "TRAILS" (Training And Assistance For Indian Library Services).

Patterson has served as an ALA Councilor and been an active member of AILA and the Oklahoma Library Association, both of which have recognized her with distinguished service awards.
She is the recipient of numerous other honors and awards, including ALA's Beta Phi Mu, Equality and Leadership awards; the U.S. National Commission on Library and Information Science Silver Award, presented for noteworthy and sustained contributions to libraries and information services; and an award of appreciation from the National Congress of American Indians. She is the first recipient of AILA's "Honoring Our Elders Award."

Nettie B. Taylor was nominated "in recognition of her extraordinary career as a librarian and library advocate spanning nearly seven decades.
Through her commitment to resource sharing and library cooperation, her tireless efforts to increase federal funding for libraries and her influence as a mentor to generations of librarians, Taylor has had a profound impact on the profession."

Taylor began her library career in 1936, and in 1948 moved to the Maryland State Department of Education, where she served for 40 years.
During her tenure, Taylor encouraged the evolution of small community libraries into county public library systems; worked to strengthen resource sharing via the Maryland State Library Network; and fostered the formation of three regional libraries to provide support services and collections for rural libraries.
She successfully lobbied the Maryland General Assembly for legislation that established a per-capita funding formula for public libraries and for legislation requiring county public libraries to hire directors with ALA-accredited master's of library science degrees.

On the national level, Taylor was involved with planning the 1979 and 1991 White House Conferences on Library and Information Services and served on the task forces charged with implementing the recommendations of both conferences.
She worked tirelessly over the decades to increase federal funding for libraries and was instrumental in the development and passage of the first Library Services Act in 1956 and in lobbying for passage of the Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA).

Taylor was a founding member of the Chief Officers Of State Library Agencies (COSLA).
An active member of ALA for 57 years, she also was a founding member and president of the Continuing Library Education Network and Exchange Round Table (CLENERT); president of the Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a division of ALA; and an ALA Councilor.

Her many honors include the Maryland Library Association Distinguished Service Award and the Joseph W. Lippincott Award for distinguished service to the field of librarianship.

Taylor's supporters organized a 90th birthday party for her on May 2, 2004. "Nettie @ Ninety" reflected her lifelong commitment to libraries by raising over $15,000 for the Maryland Library Leadership Institute, a program that trains and mentors future library leaders.

The honorees will receive honorary membership plaques in June 2005 during the opening general session of the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.