2008 Melvil Dewey Medal Award recipient named

Contact: Cheryl Malden

Program Officer, ALA Governance Office

Tel: 312-280-3247



For Immediate Release

May 15, 2008

2008 Melvil Dewey Medal Award recipient named

Chicago – Sandra Nelson, librarian, author and consultant, has been chosen to receive the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2008 Melvil Dewey Medal Award, sponsored by OCLC. Beginning this year, OCLC will include a $2,000 cash award and the traditional medal. She is the 56th recipient of this prestigious professional honor, given in recognition of creative leadership of high order. The award is named after Melvil Dewey, who was actively interested in library management, library training, cataloging and classification and the tools and techniques of librarianship.

Ms. Nelson has excelled throughout a long and extensive library career, during which she has had a lasting impact on the areas of expertise exemplified by Melvil Dewey. She is well known for her editorial work on ALA’s Public Library Association’s (PLA) Results series and is the author of
Strategic Planning for Results and author or co-author of several other titles in the series. She has been involved in public library development during most of her 35-year career and worked at the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records and Tennessee State Library and Archives. As a consultant, she has helped many libraries and library professionals understand, develop and implement planning processes for their own organizations. “Her ability to effectively train colleagues in the library field underscores the impact she has had on our profession, said award jury Chair Ernest A. DiMattia of Ferguson Library, Stamford, Conn.”

Ms. Nelson has received many professional awards, including the ALA’s Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies’ Professional Achievement Award, and has served on a wide range of committees for PLA, the Tennessee Library Association and the Arizona State Library Association. She is a graduate of Franklin College (Ind.), and received an MLS from North Texas State University in Denton, Texas, where she was also honored with the Outstanding Alumni Award.

Other members of the 2008 Melvil Dewey Award jury are: Patricia S. Banach. Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, Conn.; Emily A. Bergman, Occidental College, Los Angeles; and Felecia A. Smith, University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

The 2008 Melvil Dewey Award will be presented at the ALA Award Ceremony and Reception Tuesday, July 1, during the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

The deadline for submissions of applications for the 2009 Melvil Dewey Award is Dec. 1, 2008 Guidelines and application forms are available online at