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SEATTLE, JANUARY 26, 2019 –Fayrene Muhammad, recently retired Assistant Director of Rockford Public Library in Rockford, Illinois, was selected as the 2018 winner of the DEMCO / ALA Black Caucus Award for Excellence in Librarianship.  This annual award consists of $500 and an engraved bronze statuette made possible by a grant from DEMCO, Inc. of Madison, Wisconsin. It is presented to the librarian who has made significant contributions to promoting the status of African Americans in the library profession. Specific contributions may include but are not limited to, research and scholarship, recruitment, professional development, planning or implementation of programs, or advocacy (public relations).  This year’s winner was announced at the BCALA Membership meeting that took place at the 2019 ALA Mid-Winter Meeting.

Muhammad commented, “Winning this amazing award would not have been possible without the inspiration I received from members of BCALA, for whom I have the deepest respect, and from whom I have derived the strength to challenge myself and perform better at each stage of my career.  Thank you BCALA, Demco and all those who assisted me on this journey.”

A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Muhammad has worked in public, academic and special libraries in Joliet, Warrenville, Evanston and Rockford, Illinois. Her areas of expertise are research, reference, outreach, programming and managing digital collections.

She  is currently a member of the American Library Association, Public Library Association, Illinois Library Association, Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Chicago Chapter of BCALA, Beta Phi Mu, Afro American Historical and Genealogical Society of Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, Rockford African American History Council, Taus, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., NAACP, and Kwanzaa 365.

For more information about the DEMCO / ALA Black Caucus Award for Excellence in Librarianship, including a list of past recipients, visit:


About The Black Caucus of the American Library Association

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation’s African American community; and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians.