Zora Neale Hurston Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 Zora Neale Hurston Award offered by the American Library Association Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).

This annual award, founded in 2008, is given to an ALA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African American literature. To further the professional development of the winner so that he or she can continue to build multicultural collections and serve diverse populations, the winner receives funds to attend the ALA Annual Conference, tickets to the Literary Tastes breakfast and the FOLUSA Author tea, and a set of the Zora Neale Hurston books published by Harper Perennial at the time the award is made.

Candidates will be evaluated based on the quality and contribution of their project. Project examples include, but are not limited to, a program, display, collection building efforts, a special readers’ advisory focus, or innovation
in service. Candidates will also be evaluated on the extent their projects promoted African American literature and highlighted its rich history and diversity. In addition, the candidate’s project should serve as a model for others, must be innovative and/or should advance service in this area.

Candidates will also be evaluated based on the quality of their essay and the ideas expressed therein (clarity of content and form, clear goals and benefits of attendance, commitment to ALA and the library profession, enthusiasm, and potential growth perceived).

Some previous winners of the award include Lavonda K. Broadnax of the Library of Congress for her bibliography, Selected Literature Published by the Civil War Soul Sisters; Vanessa Irvin Morris, Drexel University, for her book The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Street Literature; Theresa Venable, Children’s Defense Fund Haley Farm’s Langston Hughes Library for library programming featuring African-American authors and African-American illustrators of children’s picture books at the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture and the Big Read, and Anthony Loum, Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), for his work planning and ensuring the quality of programs delivered by BPL in the 2009 Big Read for which Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God was the chosen book.

The 2014 award will presented at the RUSA Awards Reception during the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV, June 26- July 1, 2014.  To nominate someone, download and complete the [http://www.ala.org/rusa/sites/ala.org.rusa/files/content/awards/znh/znhurston.pdf] nomination form (PDF format), and follow the submission instructions therein.
Questions should be directed to the committee chair, Jannie R. Cobb
mail to: jcobb@nlc.edu ]jcobb@nlc.edu.

The deadline for nominations is January 15, 2014.