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California Library Hall of Fame
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About the award | Current year's inductees | Full list of California Library Hall of Fame members

California Library Hall of Fame

California librarianship has had a rich and fascinating history. From our world-renowned county library systems created in the early 1900s to our dedicated school and public librarians determined to continue serving interned Japanese-American children during World War II, from our academic librarians' fight against McCarthyism in the 1950s to our statewide fight against illiteracy in the 1980s, Californians have been among the first in the library profession to embrace innovation and champion services to all populations.

The California Library Hall of Fame honors the historical significance and lifetime achievements of the many librarians, library workers and supporters who have helped promote and improve library services in California. All members of the library community are invited to nominate individuals who have made an historically significant contribution to the improvement of California libraries over a sustained period of time.

No more than ten nominees are inducted into the Hall of Fame in any given year. Inductees are featured in CLA's online California Library Hall of Fame and honored at the CLA Awards Ceremony during the annual conference. The California Library Hall of Fame is coordinated by CLA's Library History Interest Group.

Submit a nomination for the California Library Hall of Fame.

2014 Hall of Fame Honorees

The California Library Association is honored to announce the 2014 California Library Hall of Fame inductees.

  • Clara Breed (1909-1994) – Former director of San Diego Public Library, who is perhaps best known for her advocacy on behalf of Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II

  • Ina Coolbrith (1841-1928) – Early Oakland city librarian and California’s first poet laureate

  • Harriet G. Eddy (1876-1966) – California’s first county library organizer, who also helped develop library services in Russia

  • Liz Gibson (1942-2013) – Popular California State Library consultant, who was a main force in helping libraries automate statewide

  • Barbara Jeffus (1946-   ) – Recently retired school library consultant for the California Department of Education, who advocated on behalf of libraries at both the state and national levels

  • Charles Lummis (1859-1928) – Colorful Southwestern cultural leader and early director of the Los Angeles Public Library

  • Joseph A. Rosenthal (1929-2012) – Former university librarian at UC Berkeley, who helped establish the Research Libraries Group

  • David Sabsay (1931-2010) – Former Sonoma county librarian and key architect behind the Public Library Development Act, which enabled the creation of regional systems in California

Award Information

The California Library Hall of Fame honors the historical significance and lifetime achievement of the many librarians, library workers and supporters who have helped promote and improve library services in California. All members of the library community are invited to nominate individuals who have made an historically significant contribution to the improvement of California libraries over a sustained period of time.

No more than ten nominees are inducted into the Hall of Fame in any given year. Inductees are featured in CLA's online California Library Hall of Fame and honored at CLA's Awards Gala during the annual conference. The California Library Hall of Fame is coordinated by CLA's Library History Interest Group.

Nomination period
The 2014 award nomination period is closed.

Eligibility

  • Only individuals, retired and/or deceased, who have worked in and/or advocated on behalf of California libraries may be nominated.
  • CLA membership is not required for those persons being nominated, though they must have played a significant leadership role in California library history.
  • Nominators are not required to be CLA members. However, if a nomination is made by a non-member, the nomination must be endorsed by a CLA member. If you need assistance in finding a CLA member to endorse your nomination, please contact the CLA office no later than two weeks prior to the deadline.

How to nominate
Nominators should submit a statement of no more than 500 words in support of their nomination. Selection criteria for induction into the California Library Hall of Fame include:

  • an individual's record of leadership in the California Library Association and/or other statewide library group(s) or institution(s);
  • the historical importance and impact of the person's lifetime achievement in improving California library services; and
  • the person's contribution to improving library services at the national level.

Further information

  • The California Library Hall of Fame is coordinated by CLA's Library History Interest Group (LHIG).
  • LHIG will consider only those individuals who have been formally nominated for inclusion in the Hall of Fame.
  • LHIG reserves the right to induct no-one into the California Library Hall of Fame if qualified candidates are not found.
  • Nominators of successful nominees will be asked to provide a photograph of the inductee to be used on the California Library Hall of Fame website. Content from the nomination form may also be posted on the website.
  • Nominators may nominate more than one candidate for the California Library Hall of Fame, however, a separate nomination form must be submitted for each candidate.
  • Nominations and all supplementary materials must be received by 5:00pm on the submission deadline.
  • If you have questions, please contact Cindy Mediavilla.

California Library Hall of Fame Committee

  • Letitia Bowles, Hemet Public Library
  • Debra Hansen, SJSU SLIS
  • David McFadden, Southwestern Law School
  • Cindy Mediavilla, California State Library (Chair)
  • Kimberlee Wheeler, Butte County Library