March 25, 2011 Deanna Marcum to Receive ALA's Melvil Dewey Medal

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

Deanna Marcum, associate librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress, will receive the prestigious Melvil Dewey Medal from the American Library Association (ALA) at its annual convention in New Orleans this summer.

The award will be presented at the ALA Awards Ceremony Reception on Tuesday, June 28, during the 2011 ALA Annual Conference, which runs from June 23-28 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

In a letter announcing the award, Winston Tabb, dean of John Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries and chair of the 2011 Melvil Dewey Award Jury, told Marcum that the award recognizes her “transformational leadership in cataloging and classification, most notably the creation of the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, whose recommendations are being widely implemented; her high order of creative leadership as president of the Council on Library and Information Resources, uniting librarians, scholars and publishers to focus on the most pressing challenges of the digital age; and her vision of libraries as part of an international, interconnected, interdependent web of cultural heritage organizations.”

Marcum successfully solicited and received a $2 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to digitize books from the general collections in the Library of Congress. Thus far, nearly 75,000 books have been digitized and made freely accessible.

Marcum holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois, a master’s in Library Science from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate in American Studies from the University of Maryland. In 2010, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from North Carolina State University in recognition of her contributions to librarianship.

From 1989-92, Marcum was dean of the School of Library and Information Science at The Catholic University of America. She was subsequently appointed president of the Council on Library Resources and president of the Commission on Preservation and Access. She oversaw the merger of these two organizations into the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) in 1997 and served as its president until 2003. For six years, while at CLIR, Marcum served as co-dean of the Frye Leadership Institute, a program that prepared librarians, information technologists and faculty for academic leadership positions.

In 2003, Marcum was appointed as associate librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress. Comprising five directorates and three program offices, Library Services acquires, organizes, provides access to, maintains, secures and preserves the Library collections now totaling more than 147 million items.

Established in 1952, the Dewey medal and citation is given annually to an individual or group for a recent creative professional achievement of high order, particularly those areas of librarianship in which Melvil Dewey (1851-1931) was interested: library management, library training, cataloging and classification and the tools and techniques of librarianship. Presented annually by ALA, the award is sponsored by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at


PR 11-066
ISSN 0731-3527