May 4, 2000 John Cole Receives 2000 Lippincott Award from the American Library Association
Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-9191
John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, is the 2000 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Lippincott Award, which recognizes distinguished service to the profession of librarianship.
The cash award of $1,000, originally donated by the late Joseph W. Lippincott, is now donated by his son, Joseph W. Lippincott Jr. The award and citation will be presented during the ALA annual conference in Chicago in July.
The award recognizes Mr. Cole, a librarian and historian, "for his distinguished service as the founding director and driving force behind the Center for the Book. Under Cole's leadership, the Center for the Book has grown into an office of national and international importance." Furthermore, "Cole has exposed the American people to the power of the written word through dozens of national reading and library promotion projects including the landmark "Read More About It" series on CBS Television. The award also cites Mr. Cole's achievements as an author.
In 1996 Mr. Cole received the President's Award of the District of Columbia Library Association for "his outstanding contributions to the library community." In 1992 he 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, which "has set a standard of excellence for the nation's educational and cultural life that is an inspiration to all."
Mr. 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 Mr. Cole the first director of the newly established Center for the Book.
Mr. 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 four books and dozens of articles, most of them about the history, collections, or activities of the Library of Congress. Since 1978 he has edited 14 publications for the Center for the Book. In addition to his duties as director of the Center for the Book, he has served as the Library's acting associate librarian for cultural affairs (March 1990-February 1992) and acting director of publishing (September 1993-May 1995). He currently is co-chair of the Library's Bicentennial Steering Committee.