RUSA John Sessions Memorial Award

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Established in 1980, the RUSA John Sessions Memorial Award recognizes a library or library system which has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and by doing so has brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. Such efforts may include outreach projects to local labor unions; establishment of, or significant expansion of, special labor collections; initiation of programs of special interest to the labor community; or other library activities that serve the labor community. The winner will receive a citation and the award is sponsored by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO.

The jury is a committee comprised of RUSA members who have demonstrated interest in or experience with library service to labor groups. Nominees will be reviewed in a closed meeting of the committee.



To nominate a library or library system, complete the nomination form.


Submission Guidelines:

Submit the following materials in the John Sessions Memorial Award nomination form:

  1. A typed document describing the following (approximately one paragraph each):
    a. Type of project
    b. Description of project
    c. Your assessment of the project
    d. Labor contacts and/or relationship with the labor community

Questions should be directed to the committee chair Allan Kleiman,


Award Recipients

2023: Princeton University’s Industrial Relations Library

2022: Nash Photo Collection of the Washington State University Libraries, Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections

2021: Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
2020: Labor Collections of the Archives and Special Collections of the UAA/APU Consortium Library
2019: (no award given)
2018: State Historical Society of Iowa
2017: East Side Freedom Library – St. Paul, Minnesota
2016: The Center for Labor Education and Research, University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu
2015: Calcasieu Parish Library System, Southwest Louisiana (SWLA) Workforce Resource Guide
2014: Local History and Genealogy Department of Toledo-Lucas County Public Library (Ohio)
2013: Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
2012: Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco State University
2011: Russell Library, Business & Career Programs
2010: Murray-Green Library at Roosevelt University, Chicago
2009: Wirtz Labor Library
2008: The Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Union Affairs, Wayne State University
2007: James B. Carey Library
2006: Joan Cassidy
2005: Bridgeport (CT) Public Library’s Historical Collection
2004: Ruth A. Haas Library, Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, Conn.
2003: Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library
2002: The Web Design Group for the Allegheny County Labor Council
2001: Duane G. Meyer Library, Southwest Missouri State University
2000: Lodi Memorial Library of Lodi, New Jersey
1999: Libraries for the Future
1998: The Institute of Industrial Relations Library
1997: Englewood (NJ) Public Library
1996: Metropolitan Detroit Professionals Library, UAW Local 2200
1995: Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries and Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives, Labor History Collection, Butte, Montana
1994: Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University
1993: Texas Labor Archives, University of Texas at Arlington
1992: National Association of Letter Carriers, Information Center, Washington, D.C.
1991: Department of Archives and Special Collections, Ohio University Libraries, Athens, Ohio
1990: Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, Minnesota
1989: Citizens Library (Peter G. Sullivan, Director), Washington
1988: Southern Labor Archives, Georgia State University
1987: Lorain (Ohio) Public Library
1986: Martin P. Catherwood Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
1985: Birmingham (Alabama) Public Library
1984: Jackson-George Regional Library System, Pascagoula, Mississippi
1983: State Historical Society of Wisconsin Library
1982: Wagner Labor Archives, Bobst Library, New York University
1981: Muncie (Indiana) Public Library