CRITERIA: This award is conferred on an intermittent basis to an individual who most successfully advances the cause of libraries on a local, regional, or statewide basis through work to support libraries and library awareness.
On Thursday May 28th, 2020, REFORMA retired member Ida D. McGhee was awarded the 2020 Library Champion Award during the annual Rhode Island Library Conference, which was held virtually this year.
Ida accepted the award on behalf of the founders of Cornucopia of Rhode Island: A Library Community of Color (CORI) and its members.
CORI was established when Ida retired from the Hartford Public Library as manager of the Library on Wheels Department and relocated from Connecticut to Rhode Island in the summer of 2004. She met with Dr. Michael Havener, the past dean of the University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. He enlisted Dr. Donna Gilton, a professor in the program, and attorney Denise Dowdell, who is also a librarian in Rhode Island. The four of them met for months to set the groundwork for CORI. In September 2005, CORI went live with a gathering at URI’s University Club to formally introduce CORI. The guest speaker was Andrew P. Jackson (Sekou Molefi Baako), past president of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (ALA). In the spring of 2006, CORI presented at the Rhode Island Library Association’s annual conference with a presentation by Dr. Carla Hayden, past president of ALA and current Librarian of Congress.
As they say, the rest is history. CORI continues to recruit librarians of color to the profession, to mentor, to present diverse programs, to be of support to the library community, and to enhance diversity not only in Rhode Island but also throughout the nation.
Visit CORI’s blog for detailed information.