The UC Santa Barbara Library has received a prestigious national award from the American Library Association (ALA) recognizing outstanding achievement in library public relations for "UCSB Reads for Earth Day," a 2007 community-wide effort to raise awareness about global environmental issues.
"The John Cotton Dana Award is the most prestigious of all library awards in the public relations field, and is important not only to the winning library, but also to the communities so positively impacted by these thoughtful and imaginative campaigns," said Sherrill Smith, chair of the association's award committee. The award includes a cash prize of $5,000.
UCSB was one of five libraries to win the Dana award, and the only university library to be so honored.
The "UCSB Reads for Earth Day" program was praised by the ALA for "reflecting the values of the Santa Barbara community, home of the original Earth Day, and for leading a campus-wide initiative to read, discuss, and even recycle (for other readers) the book, ‘Field Notes from a Catastrophe.'"
"We're pleased to be recognized for a program that plays to one of the great strengths of our university–its interdisciplinary and collaborative spirit in pursuit of knowledge," said Brenda Johnson, UCSB's university librarian.
Held in collaboration with the Santa Barbara Public Library, Patagonia, and many campus partners, the program reached a wide range of community members beyond the university, from high school students to Patagonia employees to users of recordings for the blind and dyslexic.
The John Cotton Dana Award is sponsored by the H. W. Wilson Company, the H. W. Wilson Foundation, and the Library Administration and Management Association, a division of the American Library Association.
Previously, the "UCSB Reads for Earth Day" program won a silver award in the category of community/governmental relations from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, an international association of professionals who advance educational institutions.