Mary Dempsey receives 2007 Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship

Contact: Cheryl Malden
Program Officer
For Immediate Release
April 6, 2007

Mary Dempsey receives 2007 Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship

CHICAGO--- The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce Mary Dempsey, Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library, is the 2007 recipient of the Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship. The award, given annually to honor an individual for contributing significantly to the public recognition and appreciation of librarianship through professional performance, teaching, and/or writing, consists of $1,000 and a citation of achievement.

Mary Dempsey is being recognized for her contributions to public library service and the profession of librarianship as Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library. Since she assumed office in 1994, library-wide strategic plans, emphasizing professional development and training have been implemented, 40 new library branches have been constructed and the 79-branch system has been thoroughly revitalized. Through an emphasis on neighborhood revitalization through branch library construction, Chicago is now a national model in the use of libraries as magnets for development.

The article announcing Mary Dempsey’s receipt of one of Governing Magazine’s 2006 Public Official of the Year Awards stated, “Twelve years age, the Chicago Tribune called the city’s public library system ‘the runt of the litter’ among local cultural fixtures. Only six years later, the newspaper was touting it as ‘a national showcase.’ Since then, the Chicago Public Library has continued to burnish its reputation as a powerful educational, social and economic force in the city.”

Members of the 2007 Ken Haycock Award Jury are: John A. Moorman (chair), Williamsburg Regional Library (Va.); Lizbeth Bishoff, University of Colorado-Boulder; Tina Bradley, Arkansas State University; Eva M. Davis, Ann Arbor District Library (Mich.); and Rodney E. Lippard, Barton College (N.C.).

The 2007 Ken Haycock Award will be presented on Tuesday, June 26, at the ALA Award Ceremony and Reception during the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

The deadline for submission of applications for the 2008 Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship is December 1, 2007. Guidelines and application forms are available at