Alma Dawson receives 2005 Equality Award

Contact: Cheryl Malden

Program Officer

For Immediate Release

March 3, 2005

Alma Dawson receives 2005 Equality Award

CHICAGO – Alma Dawson is the 2005 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Equality Award, which recognizes contributions for promoting equality in the library profession. The award, given annually to an individual or group, consists of a citation and $500 donated by Scarecrow Press, a member of the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.

Dawson, associate professor at the School of Library & Information Science, Louisiana State University, is recognized for her leadership in affirmative action efforts in library and information science, both as a librarian and as a library educator for more than 14 years. She has impacted positively diverse groups of librarians with her contribution to education and research.

By establishing networks of diverse librarians and facilitating their collaboration with library school students, Dawson created a growing mentoring movement. As a result of such a collaborative work, many minority students have been brought to the profession and many minority librarians have developed their career. Dawson's recent effort has helped develop a scholarship for minority LIS students.

“The Equality Award Jury recognizes Dr. Alma Dawson's demonstrated commitment for leading minority students and librarians toward successful librarianship,” said Chair Mohan Ramaswamy. “She has positively impacted diverse groups of librarians with her contribution to education and research. Dr. Dawson's contributions are not only directed to a widely diverse audience, but also are sustainable. Dr. Dawson researches and publishes on promoting diversity. Thus, her service covers different facets of librarianship including education, research and service. With this the Jury selects Dr. Dawson to receive the 2005 Award.”

Beth Paskoff, dean, SLIS, Louisiana State University, nominated Dawson because “she has a long and productive record of promoting equality in library and information science. She is quiet and unassuming, and has done all of this because it was the right thing to do, not because she expected any recognition.”

Dawson is an active member of the American Library Association (ALA). She also is a member of the Association for College and Research Librarians (ACRL), Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) and Library Research Round Table (LRRT)

The Equality Award will be presented Tuesday, June 28, during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.