Dr. Arnulfo D. Trejo Librarian of the Year Award

About the Award

The Arnulfo D. Trejo Librarian of the Year (LOTY) Award is presented annually to recognize an early or mid-career librarian who has excelled in the field of librarianship, promoted and advocated services to the Spanish-speaking and Latino/x/é communities, and made outstanding contributions to REFORMA during the previous two years. The award consists of a commemorative plaque and a $500 stipend. The recipient will be honored at the American Library Association Annual Conference.

The deadline for submitting nominations is April 15, 2024.

FAQ's About the Award

Questions regarding the application process may be addressed to Madeline Peña, Awards Committee Chair, at awards@reforma.org.
Dr. Arnulfo D. Trejo

Dr. Arnulfo Duenes Trejo, 1922 - 2002

Founding President of REFORMA

Arnulfo Trejo was an internationally known librarian, educator, and author who helped lead the movement to increase collection of Hispanic literature in American libraries. Through his teaching and leadership positions, Dr. Trejo played an equally significant role in raising awareness of the value of Hispanic librarians, providing substantial growth and learning opportunities to ensure individual and collective successes.

Dr. Trejo was born in Villa Vicente Guerrero, Durango, México. He served in the U.S. Army Infantry in the South Pacific during World War II, receiving a Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star Medal, and a Philippine Liberation Ribbon. After returning home to the U.S., he earned a B.A. from the University of Arizona, an M.A. in Spanish language and literature from the University of the Americas, an M.A. in library science from Kent State University, and a doctorate from the National University of México.

Dr. Trejo began his career in academic libraries at the National University of México, followed by UCLA, and California State University in Long Beach. In 1960 he became a professor of Library Science at UCLA and later moved to Tucson to join the faculty ranks at the University of Arizona, where he was a professor of English and library Science until 1984. Highlights of Dr. Trejo’s contributions to Hispanics in the library profession and Spanish-speaking populations include:
• American Library Association Consultant to the United States Agency for International Development, helping to establish academic libraries in South America: Peru and Venezuela National Universities, 1968-1970.

• The founding of REFORMA in 1971, serving as National President from 1971-1974.

• Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona, establishing and directing the Graduate Library Institute for Spanish Speaking Americans (GLISA) within the School of Information Resources and Library Science.

• Founder and President of Hispanic Books Distributors, ensuring the provision of high-quality Spanish language informational and educational materials to schools and libraries.

• Author and editor of several books aiding Hispanic librarians including: Bibliografía Comentada Sobre Administración de Negocios y Disciplinas Conexas, Con un Directorio de Algunas Instituciones Importantes en la Especialidad (1967); Bibliografía Chicana: A Guide to Information Sources (1975), Diccionario Etimológico del Léxico Latino Americano de la Delincuencia (1968); and Directory of Spanish-Speaking/Spanish Surnamed Librarians in the United States (1973, Rev. 1986). He was an editor and contributor of The Chicanos: As We See Ourselves (1979), editor and publisher of Hispanic Books Bulletin Highways, Folklore Americas, and Wilson Library Bulletin.

• Recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Simon Bolivar Award; El Tiradito Award; League of Mexican-American Women Annual Award, Arizona State Library Association; Distinguished Alumni Award from Kent State University School of Library Science; and Honorary ALA Membership.

• Through the Trejo Foster Foundation for Hispanic library Education and its biannual institutes, his work continued to provide forums that prepare librarians to overcome the challenges they face in their commitment to creating a more diverse profession. 

• In his retirement, he devoted time to establishing REFORMA chapters and school clubs to inspire Hispanic youth, planting the seeds for the next generation of library and information science professionals.

“Dr. Trejo was a visionary who dreamed of a better future for our communities. He would be proud of all REFORMISTAS who are carrying on his legacy, understanding our challenges and predicaments, but above all our potential and commitment to change our own destiny with better education and caring for our future generations.” —Ninfa Trejo, August 2008.

Arnulfo D. Trejo Librarian of the Year Award Recipients

2024 - Abigail Morales
2023 - Nicanor Diaz
2022 - Alicia K. Long
2021 - Maria Estrella and Michele Villagran
2020 - Adriana Blancarte Hayward
2019 - Maria Cotto and Edwin Rodarte
2018 - Sonia Bautista
2017 - David López
2016 - Ady Huertas
2015 - Madeline Peña
2014 - Salvador Avila
2013 - Óscar Baeza
2012 - Silvia Cisneros
2011 - Juan Carlos Rodríguez
2010 - Oralia Garza de Cortés and Susana Hinojosa
2009 - Susan Luevano
2008 - Ron Rodríguez
2007 - Toni Bissessar
2006 - Elva Garza
2005 - Armando Ramírez
2004 - José Aponte
2003 - Sandra Ríos Balderrama
2002 - Kathleen de la Peña McCook
2001 - John Ayala
2000 - Margo Gutiérrez
1999 - Ben Ocón
1998 - Ramiro Salazar
1997 - Camila Alire
1996 - Lillian Castillo-Speed
1995 - Hector Hernández and Albert J. Milo
1994 - Mario M. González
1993 - Luis Herrera
1992 - Salvador Güereña

REFORMA Dr. Arnulfo D. Trejo Librarian Of The Year (LOTY) Award - FAQ

1. How many and what type of letters of recommendation are needed?

No more than three statements of support may be submitted. The statements should reflect the attributes of the nominee in the most positive light and in accordance with the award qualifications. The statements should come from individuals who can best describe and attest to the nominee's performance in meeting the objectives of this award.

2. Does the nominee need to have worked for a certain number of years as a librarian to be eligible?

The Committee will give highest priority to early or mid-career candidates who have promoted and advocated services to the Spanish-speaking and Latino/x/é communities, including the fulfillment of unmet needs in the previous two years.

3. Does the nominee have to be a REFORMA member?

Yes. Nominees and/or awardees must be members in good standing by the application deadline.

4. How is the nominee rated?

A point system is utilized in rating the nominee according to these factors, which are in order of “weight” in importance: promoting and advocating library services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking, including the fulfillment of unmet needs in the community, specifically during the most current past two years; contributions to REFORMA at the local, state, or national level, specifically during past two years. Contributions do not need to be in an official leadership capacity. The nominee's contributions to REFORMA carry a slightly heavier weight when the final score is tabulated.

5. What type and level of current year promoting/creating/ advocating library services to the Spanish-speaking and Latino/x/é are considered worthy of recognition?

Types and levels of library service include but are not limited to outreach, advocacy, technology-based services, collection development, information literacy, publications, or a REFORMA-related initiative—either at a local, state, national, regional, or international level.

6. What comprises a complete nomination packet?

A completed application must include:
  1. Complete online nomination form.
  2. An essay/statement of the nominee’s achievements from the nominator.
  3. Up to three statements of support.
Incomplete packets or packets received after the deadline will be disqualified from consideration.

7. Who do I contact if I have questions or need advice?

Questions may be addressed to awards@reforma.org.