Labor Collection at Bridgeport Public Library Wins American Library Association/ AFL-CIO Sessions Award for 2005

The AFL-CIO and the American Library Association Joint Committee on Library Service to Labor Groups has been a beacon for service to labor, and the link between the organizations has been integral to public learning and beneficial to both unions and libraries. Arthur S. Myers has described this partnership. Labor library service is recognized each year by the John Sessions Memorial Award from the American Library Association.

The award is supported by a donation from the AFL-CIO and is given to recognize a library or library system that has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and by doing so has brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States.

The Bridgeport Public Library Historical Collection wins the 2005 Sessions Award.

"The Bridgeport Public Library Historical Collection has been committed to collect and preserve their local labor history for over twenty years," said Dan Golodner, award committee chair. "Under Mary Witkowski's leadership the collection has been enhanced with an extensive oral history project with audio and transcripts on-line, but also a curriculum created with the help of area teachers. The library has done a great service to the community of Bridgeport by making available a part of their working class history to the world."

John Sessions Memorial Award Winners presented by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association since 1981.

  • 1981 — Muncie (Indiana) Public Library
  • 1982 — Wagner Labor Archives, Bobst Library, New York University
  • 1983 — State Historical Society of Wisconsin Library
  • 1984 — Jackson-George Regional Library System, Pascagoula, Mississippi
  • 1985 — Birmingham (Alabama) Public Library
  • 1986 — Martin P. Catherwood Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
  • 1987 — Lorain (Ohio) Public Library
  • 1988 — Southern Labor Archives, Georgia State University
  • 1989 — Citizens Library (Peter G. Sullivan, Director), Washington
  • 1990 — Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, Minnesota
  • 1991 — Department of Archives and Special Collections, Ohio University Libraries, Athens
  • 1992 — National Association of Letter Carriers, Information Center, Washington, D.C.
  • 1993 — Texas Labor Archives, University of Texas at Arlington
  • 1994 — Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University
  • 1995 — Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries and Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives, Labor History Collection, Butte, MT
  • 1996 — Metropolitan Detroit Professionals Library, UAW Local 2200
  • 1997 — Englewood (NJ) Public Library
  • 1998 — The Institute of Industrial Relations Library
  • 1999 — Libraries for the Future
  • 2000 — Lodi Memorial Library of Lodi, New Jersey
  • 2001 — Duane G. Meyer Library, Southwest Missouri State University
  • 2002 — The Web Design Group for the Allegheny County Labor Council
  • 2003 — Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library
  • 2004 — Ruth A. Haas Library, Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, Conn.

Book/ Journal
Deborah Joseph Schmidle, ed.
Services to the Labor Community
Library Trends 51 (Summer 2002).