Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

March 25, 1994

Frank Kurt Cylke of Library of Congress To Receive Lippincott Award

Frank Kurt Cylke, Director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) of the Library of Congress, is this year's choice to receive the Joseph W. Lippincott Award, bestowed by the American Library Association (ALA) for a lifetime of distinguished librarianship. The award will be presented during the ALA Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, June 23-30.

Under Mr. Cylke's direction, the number of users of NLS services has increased to more than 700,000 persons, ranging in age from preschool to over 100. The budget of NLS has grown from $9.9 million in fiscal 1973, when Mr. Cylke was named director, to almost $43 million in fiscal 1994. He joined the Library in 1970 as executive director of the Federal Library Committee (now called Federal Library and Information Center Committee).

"Kurt Cylke has spent the past 20 years providing exceptional service to visually and physically impaired persons," said Librarian of Congress James. H. Billington. "I join the American Library Association in congratulating him on his distinguished achievement."

The award is named for its original sponsor: publisher, author and friend of libraries Joseph W. Lippincott, who designated that the award honor notable professional achievement by a librarian. Given since 1938, it was the first ALA award to honor a librarian.

Services of NLS are provided through a partnership among the Library of Congress, the U.S. Postal Service and 145 regional and subregional libraries across the United States and in its territories.

"Each partner has an important role to play," said Donald C. Curran, Associate Librarian for Constituent Services. "To bring out the best in everyone is the responsibility of the director. By getting all the players to act in harmony for a mutual goal, Kurt has made a most outstanding contribution."

Mr. Cylke's award is based on his leadership contributions in serving the many varied needs of blind and physically handicapped persons using the network coordinated by NLS, a free program of braille, large-print and recorded materials available to U.S. citizens anywhere in the world. Under Mr. Cylke's guidance the number of items available and their ease of use have increased dramatically.

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PR 94-061
ISSN 0731-3527

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