CHICAGO — The Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) of the American Library Association has established the Herb Biblo Outstanding Leadership Award for Social Justice & Equality. Herb Biblo was a long-time member and supporter of SRRT from the early days of SRRT in the 1970s until his death in 2018. He also served as ALA Treasurer from 1980 – 1984 and as ALA Councilor for many years alongside his wife Mary Biblo.
The purpose of this award is to recognize an individual for outstanding leadership in promoting social justice and/or equality within the library profession. Leadership can be demonstrated by accomplishments through the Social Responsibilities Round Table or other ALA bodies, socially responsible groups within state, provincial, regional, or city library organizations, and/or international library organizations. Preference will be given to persons who have had the widest impact, including influence on the greater society outside the library environment. To be eligible for this award, individuals must be members of SRRT or other library organizations or groups with similar goals and objectives.
Criteria for the award may include but are not limited to:
- Evidence of concrete accomplishments related to social responsibility in librarianship or library science education, for example:
- Work on racial and social justice, promoting feminist and LGBTQ+ rights, services for people who are experiencing homelessness, who are undocumented, as well as others who have been disenfranchised and/or marginalized, the promotion of civil and human rights domestically and internationally, education and lobbying for anti-imperialist US foreign policies, the promotion of peaceful relations among nations, the promotion of alternative publications, defense of whistleblowers and the freedom to publish, defense of free speech including workplace speech, promotion of unions and other labor organizations, achievements in environmental education and action, leadership in opposing mass surveillance, and critiquing new technologies.
- A convincing and well-constructed proposal.
Applications for the award are currently being accepted. Awards may be given either for specific projects and programs or for a lifetime of achievement.
The first award will be presented at the 2022 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. One award per year of $2,000 will be initially given out. Contributions to the Herb Biblo Award for Outstanding Leadership are currently being accepted on the official ALA donation page:
Since 1969, members of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) have worked to make the American Library Association (ALA) more democratic. They have also worked to promote a more progressive agenda. In doing so, SRRT has provided a home within ALA for progressive librarians, library workers, and supporters who agree to promote social responsibility as a core value of librarianship. For more information about SRRT, visit their website at