This is the season for award giving. You've got your Oscars, Grammmys and Razzies and literature is no exception. In our continuation of celebrating Black History Month, today and tommorow I'll spotlight two awards given to African-Americans for their contribution to African-American literature.
Anthony Loum of the Brooklyn Public Library has been selected as the 2010 winner of the Zora Neale Hurston Award.
Mr. Loum was selected for his work in planning and ensuring the quality of programs delivered by the Brooklyn Public Library in the 2009 Big Read for which Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” was the chosen book. Mr. Loum coordinated with key partners for the use of performance spaces, performers and the materials used and donated for the book discussions, screenings and craft workshops. These programs, which were innovative and targeted a variety of age groups, took place at locations across the city. The programs and events introduced Hurston to a new audience of readers and provided professional development workshops to support the continued reading of Hurston’s works in city schools.
The Zora Neale Hurston Award, which is administered by the Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), recognizes a RUSA member’s significant efforts to promote African American writers and African American literature in their libraries. Through the generous sponsorship of HarperCollins, the award enables the winner to further their professional development so that they can continue to build multicultural collections and serve diverse populations.
Mr. Loum was selected by the 2010 Zora Neale Hurston Award Committee, which includes Chairperson Bergis Jules, Deborah Costa, Charlene Rue, Lucy Lockley and John Lawrence.
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.