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2012 Braverman Prize Winner Announced!

The Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG) is pleased to announce that Sara Zettervall is the 2012 winner of the Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize for her essay “Through a Distant Lens: Visions of Native Hawaiians in Children’s Picture Books." Zettervall is an MLS candidate at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN and will be attending the American Librarian Association annual meeting in Anaheim, CA later this month.

 In her essay, Zettervall takes a critical view of the depiction of Hawaii in children's picture books available to her from her local library in the Midwest, beginning with the premise that children's literature is one way in which Hawaii is exoticized by and for mainland Americans. "I realized I was raised on a very stereotypical
image of Hawaiian life," says Zettervall. "Unfortunately, I found that the stereotype is very much alive (in children's pictures books), with little to contradict it."

Zettervall commends St. Catherine for its strong emphasis on social justice, which has led her to focus on library outreach services, primarily through an internship at Hennepin County Public Library.

After reading about the Braverman Prize in an email announcement, Zettervall had been waiting for the "right paper" to submit. She found it in "Through a Distant Lens," which began as a project for a class, Social Justice in Children and Young Adult Literature. "I'm thrilled that it worked out, not just
for me but so that I can bring more attention to St. Kate's," Zettervall said. "We just received our ALA accreditation last year, and I hope this helps the library community see that we deserved it and draws new students to our program."  The Braverman Memorial Prize is awarded annually to a student in Library Science or Archival Studies for an essay submitted on the theme of progressive or activist librarianship. As winner of the prize, Zettervall receives a $300 stipend toward expenses at ALA Annual, and her essay will be published in an upcoming issue of Progressive Librarian, the PLG journal.

The award honors Miriam Ruth Gutman Braverman(1920-2002), who was a socialist, writer, activist librarian and longstanding member of the Progressive Librarians Guild, a founder of the ALA's Social Responsibilities Round Table, and a proponent of the social responsibilities perspective. The award is intended to celebrate Miriam's spirit of activism and faith in the power of people's collective social justice efforts and inspire future generations of librarians. The award has been given annually since 2003, most recently to Tiffany Chow, in 2011, for her essay "Design Implications: How Space Can Transform the Library and its Public." Past prize-winning essays can be found at PLG's website, http://libr.org/plg/  The Progressive Librarian's Guild is committed to providing a forum for the open exchange of radical views on library issues, as well as taking stands on issues confronting library workers and the world around them. Its members reject the sterile notion of the neutrality of librarianship, and strongly oppose the commodification of information which turns the 'information commons' into privatized, commercialized zones. For more information or to join PLG, visit the group's website at http://libr.org/plg/. If you are at ALA Annual in Anaheim, CA, please plan to join members of PLG at their meeting Sunday June 24 from 4-5 p.m at  Royal Ballroom A, Hyatt Regency Orange County, 11999 Harbor Blvd.    For information about the Braverman Prize, please contact 2012 Braverman Prize Committee Chair Steve Lorenz, at stevelorz@gmail.com