Nominations sought for Zora Neale Hurston Award

Contact: Liz Markel

Marketing Specialist, RUSA/ASCLA

(312) 280-4398


For Immediate Release

October 6, 2009

CHICAGO—Nominations are now being accepted for the 2010 Zora Neale Hurston Award, a Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) award presented annually to an individual RUSA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African-American literature.

Founded in 2008 and sponsored by HarperPerennial, the award is given to the nominee who has developed a project of outstanding quality and significance that promotes African-American literature and highlights its rich history and diversity. Projects may include, but are not limited to, a program, display, collection building efforts, a special readers’ advisory focus or an innovation in service. In addition, the candidate’s project should serve as a model for others, must be innovative and/or should advance service in this area.

In addition to honoring contributions to this important body of literature, the Zora Neale Hurston Award provides support for the winner’s professional development so that he or she can continue to build multicultural collections and serve diverse populations. To that end, the winner receives a cash prize of $1,250 to support participation in the ALA Annual Conference, tickets to the Literary Tastes breakfast and the ALTAFF Author tea and a set of the Zora Neale Hurston books published by HarperPerennial.

Interested candidates must submit a nomination letter that describes their project. Photos, booklists, screen captures or other forms of illustration of the project must be included. In addition, candidates should submit a brief, 250-word essay explaining how attending the annual conference will help further their efforts to support and promote African American literature. Self-nominations are welcome. All nomination materials should be submitted electronically in MS Word or PDF format to Bergis Jules, award committee chairperson, at

All nominations must be received by Dec. 15. The winner will be honored at the RUSA Awards Ceremony on the Monday of the ALA Annual Conference, next scheduled for June 24-29, 2010 in Washington, D.C.

The Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services and collection materials they need. Not a member, but interested in discounted registration rates on conference, preconferences and other events? Join, renew or add RUSA to your ALA membership at Learn more about the association at