Immediate Past President Shauntee Burns-Simpson Receives the 2023 DEMCO/BCALA Award for Excellence in Librarianship

On Sunday, June 25, 2023 during the 2023 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, IL, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) honored Immediate Past BCALA President Shauntee Burns-Simpson with the 2023 DEMCO/BCALA Award for Excellence in Librarianship. Shauntee is the Associate Director of the New York Public Library’s Center for Educators and Schools.

Shauntee received her MLIS from Queens College, in Queens, NY, and has several years of public library experience, with a focus on services to schools, youth, and information literacy. She is an active and committed member of BCALA and has contributed greatly to BCALA’s success. During her term as BCALA President:

  • BCALA partnered with the ALA Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT) to create the Black Literature Matters Comics Reading List.
  • BCALA Public Librarians and School Committee created a reading list for K-12, The Best of the Best Booklist.
  • BCALA received two IMLS grants: BHM and Breaking Barriers/iBlackCaucus.
  • BCALA partnered with Netflix for the Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices series.
  • The BCALA History Committee created a timeline showcasing the history of Black libraries and Black librarianship.
  • BCALA was featured in an ad in USA Today’s August 2021 special issue “Race in America.”
  • 11th National Conference of African American Librarians (held virtually).
  • BCALA’s 50th anniversary recognized in an article in American Libraries.
  • BCALA doubled its membership.
  • BCALA increased the number of affiliate chapters.
  • BCALA quadrupled the amount of programming.
  • BCALA introduced the Youth Literary Awards

In addition, Shauntee as a member of an all-woman editorial team, fostered the publication of The Black Librarian in America: Reflections, Resistance, and Reawakening.

Shauntee other accomplishments include:

  • New York Library Association’s Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award
  • YALSA’s Advancing Diversity Taskforce Member
  • Past President of the New York Black Librarians’ Caucus
  • Past President of the Reference Adult Services Section for the New York Library Association

Congratulations to Shauntee for a job well-done!

About the DEMCO/BCALA Award
The DEMCO/BCALA Award for Excellence in Librarianship is an annual award made possible by a grant from DEMCO, Inc., of Madison, Wisconsin. This award is presented to the librarian who has made significant contributions in 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). DEMCO also donates $500 each year to assist with funding the E.J. Josey Scholarship Fund.

About the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA)
BCALA 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.

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