ala/information today, inc. library of the future award winner

Contact: Cheryl Malden
Program Officer, ALA Governance Office
(312) 280-3247

For Immediate Release,
May 6, 2008

ALA/Information Today, Inc. Library of the Future Award winner

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />CHICAGO - The American Library Association is pleased to announce that the San Diego County Library (SDCL) is the 2008 winner of the ALA/Information Today, Inc. Library of the Future Award. This award is presented annually to a library with an application demonstrating innovative planning for, applications of, or development of patron training programs about information technology in a library setting.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

The winning initiative was SDCL’s Gateway/Al-Bawaba Project, an exemplary community outreach program that provides Internet and computer instruction to the immigrant Middle Eastern population in San Diego County. Arabic-speaking instructors are recruited to teach, and patrons can enroll in bilingual classes held at three San Diego County Libraries. Translated class materials are used to support classes that impart lessons in basic computer use, Arabic keyboarding, use of the Internet and e-mail, finding maps and directions and using the SDCL online catalog and premium databases. This cultural-specific effort encourages adult learning and technological literacy while attracting a segment of the San Diego community that might not have otherwise been served.

When advised of the library’s successful award application, SDCL Assistant Director Betty Waznis indicated that library staff members who worked on the project were very proud to have been selected. The announcement was made by Steven M. Adams, chair of the ALA jury appointed to adjudicate applications submitted for consideration of this award.

“The award jury members were impressed by this innovative initiative. The ‘Library of the Future’ concept is about more than just technological advancement. When libraries reach out to underserved populations in the way that SDCL has, we ensure a bright future for our communities and our library organizations,” Adams said.

For more information about SDCL’s Gateway/Al-Bawaba Project please visit:

The members of the 2008 ALA/Information Today, Inc. Library of the Future Award Jury are: Steven M. Adams, Princeton University Library, Princeton, N.J.; Barbara Bailey, Welles-Turner Library, Glastonbury, Conn.; Jasmine Posey, Greenwich Library, Greenwich, Conn.; Brian Schottlaender, University of California San Diego Library, San Diego, Calif.

The Library of the Future Award will be presented on Tuesday, July 1, at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif. The deadline for submission of applications for the 2009 ALA/Information Today, Inc. Library of the Future Award is Dec. 1. Guidelines and application forms are available on the ALA Web site: