Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

June 6, 1996

John Cole Receives 1996 President's Award From D.C. Library Association

John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book and a 30-year Library of Congress veteran, has received the 1996 President's Award of the District of Columbia Library Association (DCLA) for his "outstanding contributions to the library community." The award recognizes Dr. Cole's leadership of the Center for the Book and its advocacy program on books, reading, and libraries; his many contributions to the Library of Congress as an institution; and his work in helping DCLA mark its centennial in 1994--particularly his book, Capital Libraries and Librarians: A Brief History of the District of Columbia Library Association (1994).

The DCLA President's Award, officially titled the Ainsworth Rand Spofford Award, was established in 1990. It is named for the man who served as Librarian of Congress from 1864-97 and as DCLA's first president in 1894-95. The first recipient was Elizabeth W. Stone, Dean of Catholic University's School of Library and Information Science. Hardy R. Franklin, director of the District of Columbia Public Library, received the honor in 1995. John Cole is the first recipient from the Library of Congress.

Dr. Cole came to the Library of Congress in 1966 and worked in the Congressional Research Service and the Reference Department before becoming chair, in 1976, of a Library-wide Task Force on Goals, Organization, and Planning established by Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin. In 1977, when the Task Force's work ended, Dr. Boorstin named Dr. Cole the first director of the newly established Center for the Book.

In 1992, Dr. Cole received a special achievement award from the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science for his "strong and spirited leadership" of the Center for the Book. In its award citation, the commission noted that the center "has set a standard of excellence for the nation's educational and cultural life that is an inspiration to all."

Dr. Cole is a graduate of the University of Washington, Johns Hopkins University, and George Washington University, where in 1971 he received a Ph.D. in American civilization. He is the author of five books, including three historical works about the Library of Congress, and of many articles about the Library of Congress and the role of books, reading, and libraries in society. Since 1978, he has edited 14 publications for the Center for the Book. In addition to his duties as the center's director, from March 1990 until February 1992, he served as the Library's acting associate librarian for cultural affairs and, from September 1993 until May 1995, as its acting director of publishing.

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PR 96-88
ISSN 0731-3527

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