Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Register
California Library Hall of Fame
Share |

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

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 annual conference. The California Library Hall of Fame is coordinated by CLA's Library History Interest Group.

Nomination information for the California Library Hall of Fame.

2018 Hall of Fame Honorees

The California Library Association is honored to announce the 2018 California Library Hall of Fame inductees.

  • Betty Blackman currently retired, was dean of libraries at the California State University, Dominguez Hills, served as American Library Association board member, and was the first African-American person to be appointed dean of libraries by CSU.

  • Rue Randall Clifford (1887-1964), a high school teacher, acquired Carnegie funds to create the South San Francisco Public Library, where she served as secretary to the library board for 37 years.

  • Mabel Gillis (1882-1961) served as the first woman to be appointed California state librarian, a position she held for 22 years, and was a mentor to many young, mostly female librarians throughout the state.

  • Andrew Smith Hallidie (1834-1900), president of the Mechanics Institute of San Francisco, California’s oldest library to serve the public, helped draft the Rogers Act, which authorized California cities to establish public libraries and levy property taxes to fund library service.

  • J. Myron (Mike) Jacobstein (1920-2005) was Stanford University law librarian and professor of law, co-authored eight editions of the basic textbook Fundamentals of Legal Research and was one of the original editors of what eventually became the legal periodical index LegalTrac.

  • John Jewell (1940-2017) was the California State Library’s first microcomputer specialist, developed the online publication Studies in the News for state leaders, and ultimately served as chief of State Library services.

  • Frances Linn (1873-1962), Santa Barbara’s first public library director was, as California Library Association vice president in 1927, responsible for creating and distributing the famous orange signs designating county library outlets throughout the state.

  • Everett Perry (1876-1933), director of the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) for 23 years and president of the California Library Association in 1917, is best known for building LAPL’s iconic central library, one of the most significant public buildings in Los Angeles.

Award Information

Nomination period
The 2019 nomination period closed on Monday, April 15, 2019 at 5:00PM PST.


  • Only individuals, living or deceased, who have worked in and/or advocated on behalf of California libraries may be nominated.
  • The nominee must have made an historically significant and sustained contribution to the improvement of California libraries.
  • 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/or impact of the person's sustained 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.

Nomination period is now closed

2019 California Library Hall of Fame Committee

  • Letitia Bowles, Hemet Public Library
  • Debra Hansen, SJSU iSchool (retired)
  • David McFadden, Southwestern Law School
  • Michelle Meades, Placentia Library District
  • Cindy Mediavilla, Library Consultant (Chair)
  • Kimberlee Wheeler, Butte County Library