ACRL Women & Gender Studies Section Award for Significant Achievement in Women & Gender Studies Librarianship

Shirley Lew, dean of library, teaching, and learning services at Vancouver Community College, and Baharak Yousefi, head of library communications at Simon Fraser University, are the winners of the 2018 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Women and Gender Studies Section (WGSS) Award for Significant Achievement in Women and Gender Studies Librarianship. The WGSS award honors a significant or one-time contribution to women and gender studies librarianship.

A plaque and $750 award, donated by Duke University Press, will be presented to Lew and Yousefi at a WGSS event during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

“Lew’s and Yousefi’s book Feminists Among Us: Resistance and Advocacy in Library Leadership is a seminal review of the intersection of feminism, power, and leadership in our profession,” said award chair Dolores Fidishun, head librarian at Penn State Abington. “It is especially timely given the rise in awareness of women’s issues in our world today. We are happy to be able to honor their work with this year’s WGSS Significant Achievement Award.”

Feminists Among Us (Library Juice Press, 2017) makes explicit the ways in which a grounding in feminist theory and practice impacts the work of library administrators who identify as feminists. Recent scholarship by LIS researchers and practitioners on the intersections of gender with sexuality, race, class, and other social categories within libraries and other information environments have highlighted the need and desire of this community to engage with these concepts both in theory and praxis.

Feminists Among Us adds to this conversation by focusing on a subset of feminist LIS professionals and researchers in leadership roles who engage critically with both management work and librarianship. By collecting these often implicit professional acts, interactions, and dynamics and naming them as explicitly feminist, these accounts both document aspects of an existing community of practice as well as invite fellow feminists, advocates, and resisters to consider library leadership as a career path.

Lew received her M.L.I.S. from the University of British Columbia. Yousefi received her M.L.I.S. from the University of British Columbia, and her M.A. in Women’s Studies from Simon Fraser University.

The ACRL Women & Gender Studies Section Award for Significant Achievement in Women & Gender Studies Librarianship has historically recognized one-time achievement, by an individual or a group, during the particular year of the award. Achievement may be in any area of academic Women & Gender Studies Librarianship, including, but not limited to:

  • Publication of a monograph, journal article, website or media product;
  • Talk or other presentation at a nationally recognized conference;
  • Innovations in Women & Gender Studies librarianship, including but not limited to instruction;
  • Development of an exemplary program, collection, digitization project, or access tool to serve Women & Gender Studies students and/or faculty;
  • Significant creative & innovative contribution to the work of the ACRL Women & Gender Studies Section.

For a complete list of past recipients, please visit the awards section of the ACRL website.