Patricia Helm Smith receives Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/23/2019


Cheryl Malden

Program Officer


American Library Association


CHICAGO — Patricia Helm Smith, retired executive director of the Texas Library Association (TLA), is the American Library Association (ALA) 2019 Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship recipient.

The award, which seeks to acknowledge exceptional contributions to promoting the field of Library Science, reflects her accomplishments and service to the profession.

During her 30-year tenure as executive director of TLA, TLA launched a series of leadership programs, including the Executive Leadership Institute and the TALL Texans leadership program, focusing on leadership development for librarians across Texas to assume critical roles in the management and leadership of their libraries and also for advocacy for legislative initiatives in local, regional and state politics.

Smith said one of the rewards of her TLA days was working with the amazing people of TLA to forge new directions for libraries and librarians, working under the reality of huge financial constraints in Texas, to better serve students, faculty, administrators and the public, to meet evolving member needs, with a goal of continuous improvement . “My passion was to foster a ‘can-do’ environment for change and innovation and to create a culture of excellence and strategic visioning. In hindsight, what I treasure the most was recruiting and cultivating new leaders and coaching colleagues to achieve their personal career and organizational goals.”

ALA Past President, and fellow Texan, Julie Todaro, dean, Library Services, Austin Community College, has worked with Smith in varied settings, on Texas initiatives, on ALA presidential initiatives, and in the profession in general. Dr. Todaro said “Pat is that rare blend of person who is committed to a profession but has a laser focus on expanding the recognition of the profession as well as making others successful. She shines at making other people’s dreams come true!”

Prior to her time at TLA, Pat was Manager, Systems Development in the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. She was elected to the TLA Executive Board as the ALA Councilor to the American Library Association. “That experience began my love affair with the powerful impact of associations to influence public policy and societal change,” she said.

Serving multiple terms on the ALA Council as a Councilor-at-Large, that body twice elected Smith to the ALA Executive Board.

Among her ALA commitments, she chaired several committees, including BARC and the Committee on Legislation. She served on the Nominating, Finance and Audit, and Library Advocacy committees and as a number of ALA Presidential initiatives, in addition to the committees to select an ALA Executive Director and a director of the ALA Washington Office.

Smith was honored by the Texas Society of Association Executives as Distinguished Executive of the Year in 2014. The University of Texas at Austin School of Information named her their Distinguished Alumna in 2009, in recognition of her professional leadership and contributions to the field of librarianship and exemplary service to the people of Texas.

The 2019 Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship Jury members are: Chair, Susan S. DiMattia, DiMattia Associates; J. Drusilla Carter, director, Pearle L. Crawford Memorial Library, Dudley, Massachusetts; Dorothy M. Persson, emeritus librarian, education and psychology subject specialist, University of Iowa Libraries; Elizabeth Kirkpatrick Philippi, school program coordinator, Texas State Library and Archives Commission; and Brittany Richardson, web services librarian, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

The award will be presented at the American Library Association Annual Meeting, June 23, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

The deadline for submission of applications for the 2020 Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship is February 1, 2020 Guidelines and applications are available on the ALA website.