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ALA Council passes resolutions in memory of Forsman, Shank

Posted By Jonathan M. Kelley, Tuesday, July 09, 2013

During the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago last week, the American Library Association Council passed two memorial resolutions commemorating FTRF Roll of Honor winners, Carolyn Forsman and Russell Shank:


Whereas the American Library Association (ALA) and the Freedom to Read Foundation lost a valued member and leader on January 19, 2013; and

Whereas Carolyn Forsman was a tireless and outspoken advocate of intellectual freedom and the freedom to read and received the Freedom to Read Foundation 2001 Roll of Honor Award; and

Whereas she was in the first class of doctoral students in library science at the University of Maryland, 1969-72; and

Whereas she served as a librarian at Vallejo Public Library and the Washington, DC Public Library; and

Whereas her excellent visualization skills and creative instinct led to jewelry that "spins, sparkles, flips, flashes, glows, winks, snaps & slinks” and an ALA booth that was a true pioneer of "maker space”; and 

Whereas she used her creativity to establish an ALA Exhibits booth to sell her jewelry and donate the proceeds to the Freedom to Read Foundation: now, therefore, be it 

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members: 

  1. recognizes the significant contributions of Carolyn Forsman to the cause of intellectual freedom and librarianship; and 
  2. extends its sincerest condolences to her friends and family.


Whereas the American Library Association (ALA) and the Freedom toRead Foundation lost a renowned member and leader on June 26, 2012 with the death of Russell Shank; and

Whereas Russell Shank served from 1967 to 1977 as the Smithsonian Institution’s first-ever director of libraries; and

Whereas he served as the first-ever vice chancellor for library and information services and planning, and in other leadership positions, at the UCLA Libraries from 1977-1989; and

Whereas he served as the President of the American Library Association from 1978-79, during which time he joined ALA’s Council in supporting the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment; and

Whereas he was a staunch defender of intellectual freedom and received the Freedom to Read Roll of Honor in 1990; and 

Whereas he was an extremely kind, sensitive person and in spite of his health challenges, never lost his sense of humor: now, therefore, be it 

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:

  1. Recognizes the significant contributions of Russell Shank over the course of his distinguished career and mourns his death; and         
  2. Extends its sincerest condolences to his friends and family.

Tags:  ALA  Annual Conference  Carolyn Forsman  Roll of Honor  Russell Shank 

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