Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award

Call for Nominations Announcement

The REFORMA Awards Committee is seeking nominations for the 2023 Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award (LAA). This award was created in 2013 to recognize those who have achieved excellence in librarianship over an extended (over 20 years) period of service and who have made significant and lasting contributions to REFORMA, as well as to the Latino and the Spanish-speaking communities.

The Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award consists of a $500 stipend.

FAQ's about the award

About Elizabeth Martinez

Throughout her illustrious career, Elizabeth Martinez has been known for her visionary leadership, innovative ideas and advocacy for cultural diversity. Elizabeth in collaboration with Dr. Amulfo Trejo founded and organized REFORMA, The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, and the Committee to Recruit Mexican American Librarians in California. She co-chaired the first ALA policy on diversity “Equity at Issue” in 1986 and as ALA executive director she developed the Spectrum Scholarship program. Since 1997, ALA has awarded more than 800 Spectrum Scholarships to library school students from diverse backgrounds. Her commitment to communities of color and the poor has inspired generations of librarians of all backgrounds who have benefited from her leadership in the field.

Ms. Martinez has been the director of the Los Angeles Public Library, the Orange County Public Library, and the Salinas Public Library systems. She was instrumental in the implementation of Knowledge River, a national program for the recruitment of Hispanic and Native American librarians at the University of Arizona and has taught thousands of students at the University of Arizona, San Jose State University, Simmons College and UCLA. 

She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the ALA Equality Award, the Elizabeth Martinez Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh PA, the Elizabeth Martinez REFORMA LA Chapter Scholarship, the Pen West Award, the MANA Award, and many others.

Elizabeth A. Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

2023 - Lucia Martinez Gonzalez
​2022 - Oralia Garza de Cortés
2021 - Patrick Sullivan
2020 - Luis Chaparro and Susan C. Luévano
2019 - Camila Alire and Orlando Archibeque
2018 - Luis Herrera and Teresa "Tess" Tobin
2017 - Ana Elba Pavon
2016 - Dr. Kathleen de la Peña McCook
2015 - Loida García-Febo
2014 - Sandra Rios Balderrama

REFORMA Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award (LAA)- FAQ

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

No more than three (3) other statements of support may be submitted. The letters should reflect the attributes of the nominee in the most positive light and in accordance with the LAA qualifications. Statements of support should be strategically solicited as only three (3) letters will be accepted. The three (3) 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 LAA is meant to honor the nominee’s body of work in the achievement of excellence in librarianship over an extensive career of service and who has made significant and lasting contributions to REFORMA, as well as to the Latino and the Spanish-speaking community. The nominee’s contributions to REFORMA during a career lasting over 20 years will carry a slightly heavier weight when the final score is tabulated.

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

Yes. Nominee and/or awardee must be a member in good standing by the application submission date.

4. What type and level of lifetime achievements are considered worthy of recognition?

Types and levels of library service include but are not limited to leadership, administration, educating and mentoring new librarians, outreach, advocacy, technology-based services, collection development, information literacy, publications, or initiating a program or service that benefits the Latino and the Spanish-speaking community. Candidates will also be judged on their contributions to librarianship and REFORMA and/or on behalf of REFORMA, at the chapter, national and/or international level.

5. What comprises a complete nomination packet?

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

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

Questions may be addressed to awards@reforma.org