CSLA presents five awards related to libraries and librarianship. For information about them, see this description of the annual library awards or print our library awards brochure. Use this library awards nomination form to submit a worthy candidate. Note: The Awards Committee reserves the right to suggest an alternate award category and will contact you for approval. If you would like to serve on the Awards Committee, send in this Awards Committee volunteer form.
CSLA also presents a book award, named for lifetime CSLA member, Dot Rodda. The Rodda Award recognizes a book that exhibits excellence in writing and has contributed significantly to congregational libraries through promotion of spiritual growth. The award is given to books for adults, young adults and children on a three-year rotational basis. View more information on the Rodda award, including a list of Rodda Award winners since its inception in 2006. Use this Rodda nomination form to nominate children's books for the 2017 award by Nov. 15, 2016.
2016 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Congregational Libraries, Harry Chan
The 2016 award for Outstanding Contribution to Congregational Libraries is given to Harry Chan, president of Media Flex/Bibliofiche, for his service and support to congregational libraries since 2004.
During 2001, Harry was approached by several New York State school library system directors who found their institutions unable to afford the continuing cost of the proprietary software that operated their 1.5-million-title union catalog. Having worked with Harry on other library automation projects over three years, they asked if he could develop new software for which they could afford both the initial development cost and ongoing support. Within 18 months the initial version of the Open-Source Automated Library System (OPALS) union catalog program was operational.
Today OPALS Union Catalog software also hosts CongreGate, a union catalog that currently includes some 59,000 titles owned by 15 CSLA member libraries, representing seven denominations and both individual congregational libraries and denominational resource centers. All of this has been graciously provided by Harry at no cost to any participating library. Although twelve of the libraries included in CongreGate also use OPALS for their local libraries, the other current participants use three different library automation companies' software for their local libraries. They are also included in the project at no cost.
Through his regular presence at CSLA conferences since 2008 as an exhibitor and a workshop presenter, Harry has helped congregational librarians expand their vision of what their libraries are capable of offering.
2016 Helen Keating Ott Award, Rabbi Ron Isaacs and Karen Rostoker-Gruber
The Helen Keating Ott Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children's Literature for 2016 goes to Rabbi Ron Isaacs and Karen Rostoker-Gruber. Named for Helen Keating Ott, one of CSLA's most active members and three times a national officer, this award honors a person or organization for significant contribution in promoting high moral and ethical values through children's literature. The first award was presented in 1980.
Rabbi Ron and Karen are both gifted and prolific authors with a passion for excellence in children's education and a knack for creative ways to reach a young audience. They were nominated jointly for their collaboration on a delightful children's book, Farmer Kobi's Hanukkah Match, the first of many planned books for children that illuminate values and enhance understanding of religious practices. They have been active in congregations and community centers, along with Karen's darling puppet Maria, entertaining and interacting with audiences through magic tricks, ventriloquism singing and reading.
2016 Rodda Award Winner, Coaltown Jesus by Ron Koertge
The Rodda Award is a book award named for lifetime CSLA member, Dot Rodda. This award recognizes a book that exhibits excellence in writing and has contributed significantly to congregational libraries through promotion of spiritual growth. The award is given to books for adults, young adults and children on a three-year rotational basis.
Coaltown Jesus, by Ron Koertge has been selected as the winner in the young adult category for 2016. This book tells the story of Walker, who struggles with the recent death of his brother and prays for help for his mother. When a very modern-day Jesus answers Walker's prayers in person, Walker begins his journey in understanding his own grief by talking with Jesus about life and death and finding the answer to his prayers in an unexpected. way.
Ron Koertge is the author of many celebrated novels, including Stoner & Spaz, Strays, and The Brimstone Journals, all American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults; Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, an American Library Association Top Ten Sports Books for Youth selection; and The Arizona Kid, an American Library Association pick for "one of the ten funniest books of the year." A two-time winner of the PEN Literary Award for Children's Literature, Ron lives in South Pasadena, California.