Gladys Smiley Bell and Dr. Kenneth A. Yamashita receive the 2007 Equality Award

Contact: Cheryl Malden

Program Officer

For Immediate Release

May 15, 2007

Gladys Smiley Bell and Dr. Kenneth A. Yamashita receive

the 2007 Equality Award

CHICAGO - Gladys Smiley Bell, Peabody Librarian, The William R. And Norma B. Harvey Library, Hampton University, Hampton, Va. and Dr. Kenneth A. Yamashita, Library Division Manager, Stockton-San Joaquin County Library, Stockton, Calif. are the 2007 recipients of the American Library Association (ALA) Equality Award, which recognizes contributions toward promoting equality in the library profession.

The award, given annually to an individual or group, consists of a citation and $500 donated by The Scarecrow Press, Inc., a member of the Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group.

Bell and Yamashita are being recognized for their work as co-chairs of the first Joint Conference of Librarians of Color, held Oct. 12-15, 2006, in Dallas, TX. Under their leadership, the five ethnic affiliate associations of the ALA worked together to sponsor "Gathering at the Waters: Embracing Our Spirits, Telling Our Stories," the first-ever national conference for librarians and library workers of color. More than 1,000 participants and 129 exhibitors participated in this historic event.

Both Bell and Yamashita are long–time champions of diversity in librarianship. Bell has served as president (2000-2002) of the Black Caucus of ALA (BCALA) and published extensively on diversity issues. Yamashita has held numerous leadership positions, including president (1996-97) of the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA).

"The jury selected Gladys Smiley Bell and Dr. Kenneth A. Yamashita because of their inspired and dedicated leadership. The logistical issues alone were tremendous, but they worked collaboratively and with a sense of purpose," said c hair Robert R. Newlen of the Library of Congress.

Other members of the 2007 Equality Award Jury are: Yolanda J. Cuesta, Cuesta Multicultural Consulting (Calif.); Hellena Olivia Stokes, Houston Public Library; Roberta Thomas, Grayslake Area Public Library District (Texas ); and Li Zhang, Mississippi State University/Mitchell Memorial Library.

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

The deadline for submission of applications for the 2008 Equality Award is December 1, 2007. Guidelines and application forms are available at: