The Joint Council of Librarians of Color named winner of 2021 ALA Equality Award

For Immediate Release
Tue, 03/09/2021


Cheryl Malden

Program Officer


American Library Association


CHICAGO — The Joint Council of Librarians of Color (JCLC) was the unanimous choice of the award jury to receive the 2021 American Library Association (ALA) Equality Award.  The award consists of $1,000 and a framed citation.

Formed in 2015 as a non-profit affiliate of ALA, the JCLC is comprised of the five national associations representing people of color in the library and information profession.

                American Indian Library Association (AILA)

                Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA)

                Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA)

                Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA)

                REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish speaking

The Purpose Statement of the JCLC is “to promote librarianship within communities of color, support literacy and the preservation of history and cultural heritage, collaborate on common issues, and to host the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color every four years.”  The next conference, currently in the planning stages, will be held in October 2022 in St. Pete Beach, Florida.

The JCLC provides scholarships for students, awards grants to libraries for cultural programming, and acquires and donates relevant library materials. Among its other roles, JCLC advises ALA and other professional organizations of constituent concerns.  Noting these and other projects and activities, the letter of nomination states “I believe JCLC should be honored for what they have accomplished in a relatively short amount of time and for the forward-looking conferences that are forthcoming.”

The Equality Award, sponsored by Rowman & Littlefield, is awarded annually, in recognition of achievement for outstanding contribution toward promoting equality in the library profession, either by a sustained contribution or a single outstanding accomplishment.  The award may be given for an activist or scholarly contribution in such areas as pay equity, affirmative action, legislative work and non-sexist education.

Jury members for the 2021 Equality Award include Eva M. Davis, Canton Public Library, MI; Dora Ho, Los Angeles Public Library (non-voting); Aubrey Iglesias, New Mexico State University Library; Meredith Steiner, San Francisco Public Library; Ann K. Symons, Douglas, Alaska; Susan S. DiMattia, Stamford, Connecticut, chair.