JCLC Advocacy, Author and Distinguished Service awards announced

Contact: Liana Zhou

JCLC Award Committee Chair



For Immediate Release

October 15, 2006

JCLC Advocacy, Author and Distinguished Service

Awards announced

Fifteen honored for their lasting contributions to diversity in U.S. libraries

DALLAS - The Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) Awards and Scholarships Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the JCLC Advocacy, Author, and Distinguished Service Awards.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to recognize these fifteen individuals for their substantial and lasting contribution to libraries and librarianship,” said JCLC Awards Chair Liana Zhou. “Each award recipient has fueled an appreciation of diversity in our multicultural society.”

Each of the five ethnic caucuses of the American Library Association (ALA) named one recipient in each award category. A total of 15 award recipients will receive a plaque at the
JCLC themed “Gathering at the Waters: Embracing Our Spirits, Telling Our Stories,” held
October 11-15 in Dallas. In addition to a plaque, each JCLC Distinguished Service Award recipient will also receive $1,000.

Caucus selections are as follows:

American Indian Library Association (AILA)

  • Naomi R. Caldwell, Recipient of JCLC Advocacy Award

    Naomi R. Caldwell, member of the Ramapough Lenape Nation, is an expert advocate for library services for Native Americans: persuasive and constant. She is known for providing a calming voice of reason to the perpetual and often heated issue of the portrayal of American Indians in children's literature. Her seminal work, co-authored with Lisa Mitten, "I is Not for Indians: The Portrayal of American Indians in Books for Youth" has become an important guide by which the uninitiated might learn to be more sensitive to this issue.

  • James Welch (1940-2003), JCLC Author Award

    James Welch, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, was part of a movement called the Native American Renaissance that brought awareness and interest to Native American literature. He was awarded the American Book Award in 1986, and in 1997 the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas. He was also honored with a medal for The Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government.

  • Bonnie Biggs, Recipient of JCLC Distinguished Service Award

    Bonnie Biggs, Professor Emeritus and Tribal Liaison at California State University, San Marcos and former president of the American Indian Library Association, has worked tirelessly for over twenty years to establish and develop tribal libraries. Her efforts have touched the lives of many not just in Southern California but throughout the country. She has personally visited nearly 75 tribal libraries in California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arizona and several other states. She is a role model, an advocate and a mentor.

Asian Pacific American Library Association (APALA)

  • Patricia (Patty) M. Y. Wong, Recipient of JCLC Advocacy Award

    With over 20 years of experience in libraries as an administrator, school librarian, children’s librarian, cataloger, and special librarian, Patty Wong has been a steadfast advocate for communities of color. Currently Deputy Director of Library Services at the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library, Patty is actively involved with six cities and library advisory boards, six friends groups, and one library and literacy foundation.

  • Linda Sue Park, Recipient of JCLC Author Award

    "Tree-ear's determination and bravery in pursuing his dream of becoming a potter takes readers on a literary journey that demonstrates how courage, honor and perseverance can overcome great odds and bring great happiness. Park effectively conveys 12th century Korea in this masterful piece of historical fiction," said Kathleen Odean, chair of the Newbery Award Selection Committee when ALA named Linda Sue Park’s A Single Shard Newbery Medal winner in 2002.

  • Sushila Shah, Recipient of JCLC Distinguished Service Award

    Sushila Shah is well known among librarians of color for her dedicated service to better understanding the needs of diverse populations. She has worked tirelessly in many capacities, both in the Asian Pacific American Library Association (APALA) as well as in ALA committees that are concerned with diversity. She has served on numerous committees in ALA, the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALECTS), the Library Administration and Management Association (LAMA), and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA)

  • Wendy B. Tann, Recipient of JCLC Advocacy Award

    Wendy B. Tann, of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia: Library & Research Center at Temple University Health Sciences Center Library, is a kind, gracious, and thoughtful mentor in the field of librarianship. Wendy encourages students to get involved in volunteer activities which help the black community of Philadelphia in the form of book giveaways, disseminating information to professionals, students, and children and teaching new information regarding accessing information. She models herself by sharing her experiences.

  • Dr. Maya Angelou, Recipient of JCLC Author Award

    Dr. Angelou (born Marguerite Johnson) is one of the remarkable voices of contemporary literature. As a world renowned poet, educator, actress, civil rights activist, and playwright, her illuminating writings and lectures are inspirational as well as motivational. Dr. Angelou has authored twelve books, and was among 25 African American women honored by Oprah Winfrey in 2005 at her “Legends Ball.” Angelou has evolved as one of the greatest American heroines of our time and the BCALA is pleased to honor her achievements.

  • Binnie T. Wilkin, Recipient of JCLC Distinguished Service Award

    Binnie T. Wilkin is a librarian’s librarian. Over the years, she has performed as an outstanding storyteller, lectured and served on the faculty of several distinguished universities such as UCLA Graduate School of Library and Information Science and the University of Hawaii.

Chinese American Library Association (CALA)

  • Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee, Recipient of JCLC Advocacy Award

    In his distinctive career, Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee has already achieved many “Firsts" domestically including “the first American library director of Chinese origin” and “the first Chinese appointed as Chief of Asian Division, Library of Congress.” He is also a well-known figure in international librarianship. He has left footprints in the five continents, especially in Southeast Asia, as a library consultant and lecturer. Because of the role model he set as a world citizen who advanced human understanding while setting unparalleled standards to the profession, he is highly praised as “the International Ambassador of Library.”

  • Amy Tan, Recipient of JCLC Author Award

    Amy Tan is one of the most celebrated authors in America. Twenty years ago, a list of well-known American authors would have included virtually no Asian Americans. Today Amy Tan is one of America’s most popular novelists. For her first book, “
    The Joy Luck Club,” Amy Tan won the National Book Award and the L.A. Times Book Award in 1989. Although her books are primarily concerned with the lives of Asian American women, her stories have found an enthusiastic audience among Americans of all backgrounds, and have already been translated into 23 languages.

  • Ms. Sally Tseng, Recipient of JCLC Distinguished Service Award

    Ms. Sally Tseng has legendary experience for promoting librarianship in the community of color. She was one of the founders who made the Chinese American Librarian Association (CALA) a national organization in the early 1980s, and served as its President from 1984-1985 and the Executive Director from 1999 to present. Under her visionary leadership and tireless work, CALA has made significant growth in its membership and distinguished itself as a major entity in the library profession both at home and abroad. As a driving force behind CALA, Ms. Tseng is also a strong advocate for diversity in the library profession as well as in ALA governance. She was one of the first few CALA members elected to the ALA Council. Ms. Tseng has also played a great many leadership roles in various professional organizations and societies such as ALA, ACRL, ALCTS and APALA.

National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (

  • Sandra Rios Balderrama, Recipient of JCLC Advocacy Award

    Sandra Rios Balderrama’s achievements and contributions to librarianship should be recognized and celebrated. She has had a tremendous impact on key professional associations and organizations. She has promoted, advocated and believed in multiculturalism and diversity in libraries as Director of the Office for Diversity of the American Library Association, as National REFORMA President (1997-1998), co-founder of the Pura Belpre Award; Vice-President of the Trejo Foster Foundation and, most recently, as REFORMA office manager. She is without a doubt a key leader in the profession, a mentor and friend extraordinaire.

  • Rudolfo Anaya, Recipient of JCLC Author Award

    Rudolfo Anaya has made a substantial and lasting contribution to the understanding of diversity and a multicultural society. He is regarded as the founder of modern Chicano Literature. He has taught, mentored, and encouraged many of the new authors writing today. He provided a place of solitude for writers called “La Casita” in Jemez Springs for three months in the summer for several years. Authors were able to stay a week at La Casita to find inspiration for their work. It was a very generous gift to the authors who went there and took advantage of such a beautiful place.

  • Albert J. Milo, Recipient of JCLC Distinguished Service Award

    Throughout his career, Albert J. Milo has demonstrated strong leadership and dedication to the library profession. He has devoted his career to providing library service to underrepresented communities. He earned his M.L.S. degree at the University of Michigan’s Graduate School of Library Science. His first professional position was at the Chicago Public Library and his subsequent positions included posts with the Anaheim Public Library, City of Commerce Public Library, Santiago Cooperative Library System, and the California State University at Fullerton Library. His most recent position has been as Library Director of the Fullerton Public Library in Fullerton, California.

The JCLC is sponsored by the five ethnic caucus associations affiliated with the ALA, that include the American Indian Library Association (AILA); the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA); the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA); the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), and the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA).

To learn more about the JCLC and other award announcements please visit
www.ala.org/jclc .