By Michele Nicole Johnson
The winner of this year’s Charles Beard Library Advocacy Award is the late Honorable John Lewis, a former member of Congress, award-winning author, and icon of the Civil Rights Movement.
Lewis was honored today at GLA’s annual awards ceremony during the virtual Georgia Libraries Conference 2021. The Charles Beard Library Advocacy Award was originally called the Library Advocacy Award. It was renamed in 2003 to honor Charles Beard, Georgia’s strongest library advocate. The Charles Beard Library Advocacy Award is given each year to recognize someone not employed in or by a library who has made outstanding contributions to libraries.
This is the first time the Georgia Library Association has presented this award posthumously. Lewis died last year of pancreatic cancer at the age of 80 after serving more than 30 years as a U.S. Representative from Georgia.
As a young boy in Alabama, Lewis never forgot being denied a library card because of segregation laws. He grew up to become a staunch supporter of public libraries and the author of several books, including his award-winning memoir, March, a graphic novel trilogy. He was one of the original Freedom Riders and a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, just to name a few of his many accomplishments and contributions.
Congratulations to all of the award winners honored today at GLC 2021. They are:
Team Award – Cobb County Public Library Census 2020 Committee
Library Support Services Award – Daniel Zeiger, Director of Information Technology, Georgia Public Library Service
Mid-Career Award – Teneka Jones Williams, former Outreach Librarian, Georgia Public Library Service, and owner of Royal Petals ATL
McJenkin-Rheay Award – John Mack Freeman, Head of Public Services, Georgia Institute of Technology
Bob Richardson Award – Tamika Barnes, Associate Dean, Perimeter Library Services
Charles Beard Library Advocacy Award – The Honorable John Lewis (1940-2020), former United States Representative and Author
Nix-Jones Award – Wendy Cornelisen, Assistant State Librarian for Library Innovation and Collaboration, Georgia Public Library Service
Presidential Commendation Award – Angela Glowcheski, Deputy Director, Sequoyah Regional Library System
Presidential Commendation Award – Benjamin Bryson, Assistant Director, Marshes of Glynn Library System