Carol P. Gilliam, Black Heritage Librarian at Roosevelt Public Library was selected as the 2017 honorable mention for the Zora Neale Hurston Award, sponsored by HarperCollins Publishers and administered by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association.
The Black Heritage Collection of the Roosevelt Public Library is a lending research collection on Long Island, New York. Gilliam has expanded the collection by adding a genealogy component for patrons to research family histories and experiences; included high school yearbooks and other Roosevelt memorabilia; increased the number of art exhibits and displays; and increased the number of audio-visual materials available and much more.
“I am forever grateful for the opportunity to head a stellar collection; the third largest in the state of New York,” said Gilliam. “No matter our political orientations, economic classifications, degrees of education, spiritual beliefs, language barriers or views, we must unite and continue to promote African American literature on all levels.”
The winner of the 2017 Zora Neale Hurston Award is Trevor Noah, host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and author of Born a Crime, for his immeasurable efforts of showcasing and promoting African-American writers, artists and cultural contributors and the works they’ve created on his Emmy and Peabody award-winning show.
Although Noah will not be attending the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago he will be acknowledged for his outstanding efforts in raising awareness and promoting African-American literature. The award prizes including, a $1,250 to fund travel expenses to Annual Conference, two tickets to the United for Libraries Gala Author Tea and The Laugh’s On Us, two complete sets of Zora Neale Hurston’s books and audiobooks, will be given to Gilliam at the RUSA Achievement Awards Ceremony on Sunday, June 25.
The Zora Neale Hurston Award honors an individual who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African-American literature. An acclaimed American author and folklorist who was closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance, Hurston is best known for her novels, but she also published many short stories, plays, ethnographic essays, and anthropological studies about the African American experience.
The Zora Neale Hurston Award committee includes: Barbara Bibel (Chair), Retired, Oakland Public Library; Serena Smith, Nova Southeastern University; Cynthia Sorrell, University of Maryland McKeldin Library.