CHICAGO – Diedre Conkling, director of the Lincoln County Library District, has been selected as the 2018 winner of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Women and Gender Studies Section (WGSS) Career Achievement Award. The award honors significant long-standing contributions to women and gender studies in the field of librarianship over the course of a career. A plaque and $750 award, donated by Duke University Press, will be presented to Conkling at a WGSS event during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.
“Diedre Conkling has been the linchpin that holds together the collective women’s groups in ALA, including WGSS, the Feminist Task Force (FTF), the Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL), and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) Women Administrator’s Discussion Group,” said award chair Dolores Fidishun, head librarian at Penn State Abington. “Over the years, as the coordinator of FTF, she has partnered with chairs of WGSS and COSWL to plan and present the annual Introduction to Women’s Issues program.”
“As a longtime member of ALA Council and the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT), Conkling has continuously brought women’s issues to the forefront of our organization,” continued Fidishun. “She has served as an inspiration and mentor to many of us in the association. Through her activism she has demonstrated the power of women’s voices in ALA and in the world, always asking the important questions and looking for ways to move women’s agendas forward in ALA.”
“As one nominator wrote, ‘In whatever position she held at the moment – COSWL chair, FTF coordinator, SRRT coordinator, or simply committed librarian – she worked to bring together academic, public, school, and other librarians and library workers who shared a desire to focus on women’s issues in ALA and in libraries,’” said Fidishun. “For her leadership in bringing light to women’s and gender issues in our profession, we are proud to honor her with the WGSS Career Achievement Award.”
Conkling received her M.L.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.