ASSOCIATES (2010, November, v. 17, no. 2)

Library Association/Conference Information

Paraprofessional Library Support Staff Awards: US, Canada and Australia

Library Journal’s (LJ) Paraprofessional of the Year

Library Journal will honor one support staffer with its 12th annual Paraprofessional of the Year award in its March 1, 2011, issue. The award, sponsored by DEMCO, comes with a $1500 cash prize and a reception to honor the winner at the American Library Association conference in June. The award recognizes the essential role of paraprofessionals, now the largest constituency of library workers in the US, in providing excellent library service. It places special emphasis on the efforts of the winner to further the role of paraprofessionals in the library profession. The winner will be profiled in the March 1 issue of LJ.

Nominating criteria

The criteria for LJ’s Paraprofessional of the Year are excellence in performing their job, including contribution(s) enabling the library to best serve its constituents and/or its community (whether town, college/university, school, or corporation), the encouragement of reading and the use of the library’s resources, a commitment to free access to information for all, and the candidate’s work to build networks, organizations, and/or groups to back excellence in library work and new career paths for support staff, and improved communication and the breaking down of barriers between support staff and the MLS librarians with whom they work. Nominating letters should name the candidate and describe in 500 words or less why the nominee deserves the award. Supporting letters and accompanying material will be considered, but the nominating letter itself will be of prime importance.

Nominations may be emailed to

Nominations sent through regular mail should be addressed to:

Paraprofessional of the Year Award
c/o Library Journal
360 Park Avenue South.
New York, NY 10010.

Please note: the postmark deadline for all nominations is January 10, 2011.

We would like to thank Library Journal for permission to reprint the above information. The information about the award can be found at

Canadian Library Association (CLA) Library Technician Interest Group Award of Merit
by Karen Hilderbrandt

In 2005, a proposal to initiate a new award for library technicians was presented and approved by the CLA Executive Council. The award was first presented in 2006.

The purpose of establishing the award was to acknowledge library technicians who demonstrate outstanding professional achievement and leadership in the library and information community at a regional, provincial or national level.

Selection Criteria:
The selection criteria is based upon the significant achievements of the nominees in regards to their service to the profession through participation in library technician organizations or library technician interest groups, as well as their proven leadership abilities in actively promoting library technicians regionally, provincially or nationally.

Selection Process:
The recipient is chosen by the CLA Library Technician Interest Group Award of Merit Committee. The committee is chaired by the CLA Library Technician Interest Group Convenor and is composed of interested library technicians from across Canada.

The Committee will review the activities which illustrate the outstanding leadership and contributions of the nominee; a brief biography/resume of nominee outlining their achievements and library technician background; and at least two letters endorsing the nominee.

Each nomination must be sponsored by at least two members of a provincial or national library technician association. Nominations must be submitted on an official nomination form and must be accompanied the required documentation. The submission deadline for the award will be February 28 each year, and the award will be made at the CLA Annual Conference.

How the Award/Grant links to the CLA Strategic Plan
Two of the CLA strategic initiatives identified as “transform CLA into a member-driven association” and “design and implement an effective membership growth strategy” can be linked to award. At the time the award was proposed, the number of library technicians who were members of CLA was small; possibly because library technicians often felt inconsequential and powerless within such a large organization. With the inception of the CLA Library Technician Interest Group Award of Merit, the benefits were twofold. First of all, having CLA support this award reinforced to library technicians that CLA recognized them as professionals. It also provided evidence that the members of CLA LTIG have a say in the direction of the organization, thereby assisting CLA in achieving their second strategic initiative of becoming a member-driven association. Secondly, by CLA officially recognizing this award, more library technicians took note of CLA and the benefits of becoming a member of this association, thus assisting in the third CLA strategic initiative, that being the membership growth strategy.

External funding and sponsorship:
Libramation has been sponsoring the award since its inception. The sponsorship they provide includes the cost of the award, as well as travel, one night accommodations and conference registration. The award is presented to the recipient by the President of Libramation at the Interest Group business meeting during the CLA conference.

Recipients of the CLA LTIG Award of Merit:
2006 – Dianne Walker (BC)
2007 – Erica Smith (NS)
2008 – Carmelita Cousins (NS)
2010 – Karen Darby (NFLD)

Information about the award can be found at CLA Library Technicians Interest Group Award of Merit

Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)
Library Technician of the Year

The Library Technician of the Year award aims to promote the role and image of library technicians within the library profession and has been awarded since 1989. The award is administered by the ALIA National Library Technicians Group and has been sponsored for many years, by Edith Cowan University.

This award is only available to a personal Library Technician member of ALIA and a member of a library technician group.

When a library technician is being nominated for the award reports a received from a number of people including, employers, supervisors and colleagues. Some of the criteria the referees can use when they are preparing the report and what the awarding committee can consider when assessing each nomination are:

What their contribution has been to the advancement of library technicians

Have they been:
– An advocate for library technicians within the profession;
– A mentor to other library technicians;
– Accepted a leadership role within the profession/ALIA or participated actively in a library technician group.

Whether they have published in journals

Have they:
– Undertaken and had published any research, in hardcopy or electronic format;
– Contributed articles, features or columns for the benefit of library technicians;
– Been an editor or co-editor of a publication;
– Facilitated or contributed to online forums.

Their presentations at conferences

Have they been a conference presenter, including poster sessions, panel member or program designer?

Personal achievement within the library sector

Have they:
– Achieved promotional advances within their career;
– Undertaken ongoing professional development;
– Made a unique contribution to the profession.

Development within the Association

Have they:
– Attended professional development opportunities;
– Provided professional development to others;
– Been a member of a committee within the profession;
– Facilitated an online network, forum or service;
– Been part of a conference planning committee;
– Initiated professional development program, a conference or a network.

It is not essential that a nominee meet all of these criteria. It is both the diversity of their contribution and their quality that is considered.

Nominations close 1st July 2011.

For further information on the award and nomination form

To see a list of the Library Technicians of the Year