Atifa Rawan named Futas winner

Cheryl Malden

Program Officer

For Immediate Release

March 31, 2005

Atifa Rawan named Futas winner

CHICAGO - Atifa Rawan is the 2005 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.

Rawan is the social sciences/governments documents librarian at the University of Arizona Library in Tucson, Ariz. She has taken professional and personal risks to effect change in libraries not only in the United States, but also in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. Her bravery helped to assess and train the library staff to rebuild libraries and library collections in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.

Rawan used her sabbatical leave to visit and work in Kabul on three different occasions. On her first trip, she was invited by the Asia Foundation to assess the libraries of Kabul University, the Institute of Diplomacy Library, the Institute of Technology and the Kabul Public Library. The second trip included the provision of training to Kabul Library staff, the Kabul Institute of Medicine staff, and the Kabul University of Education Library. For her third trip, her sabbatical included an award of $62,500 seed money from the International Arid Lands Consortium (IALC). She wrote a proposal in collaboration with the University of Arizona Arid Lands Information Center to rebuild agricultural information capabilities in Afghanistan.

Rawan coordinated the virtual depository library pilot project at the University of Arizona Library. An article describing the pilot and her involvement, “Assessing the virtual depository program: the Arizona experience
,” can be found online at in the
Journal of Government Information 30 (2004) 710-726.

"Ms. Rawan's contributions to the profession embody the very spirit of ALA's Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award,” said Award Chair Charles Harmon. “Not only has she placed her very life at risk to help rebuild Kabul's libraries, she has demonstrated a remarkable ability to lead change in areas of electronic government information here in the United States. Dr. Futas, for whom the award is named, would have been proud to have her name associated with Ms. Rawan's."

Laura J. Bender, one of the nominators said, “Atifa is a librarian with unbelievable energy and professional spirit. I am proud to be her team leader and a witness to her outstanding work ethic, and her desire to learn and teach us all.”

Cheryl Knott Malone, colleague, friend and nominator said, “Atifa mentors and nurtures others in the field of librarianship. Atifa inspires me and my students through her obvious commitment not only to service but to effecting the kinds of changes needed to make library services as productive and enlightening as possible for all concerned.”

Members of the 2005 Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award Committee are: Chair Charles, Harmon, Neal-Schuman Publishers Inc, New York; Linda J. Goff, California State University Sacramento University Library, Sacramento, Calif.; Norice Lee, New Mexico State University Library, Las Cruces, N.M.; Elizabeth A. Margutti, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.; and Carla J. Stoffle, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.

The Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award will be presented Tuesday, June 28, during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.