Luis Herrera & Teresa "Tess" Tobin

Haydee C. Hodis
REFORMA Dr. Arnulfo D. Trejo Librarian of The Year (LOTY) Award & the Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement (LAA) Award Committee

REFORMA Announces 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award (LAA) Winner
REFORMA is proud to announce the recipients of the 2018 Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement
(LAA) Award, Luis Herrera and Teresa “Tess” Tobin.
Luis Herrera has had an illustrious and distinguished career spanning over 40 years. He recently retired after a13 year tenure as the City Librarian of San Francisco, California. Herrera previously served as the Director of Information Services for Pasadena Public Library and the Deputy Director of the San Diego and Long Beach Library systems in California. He has served as President of both the Public Library Association and the California Library Association and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Herrera is the immediate past Chair of Cal Humanities and served on the Board of the Digital Public Library of America. He was also appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the Board of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Mr. Herrera has also been very involved with REFORMA for over three decades, serving as President of our national REFORMA organization in 1982; and President of Arizona and Los Angeles Chapters, 1979 and 1988, among other positions of leadership. He most recently and served on the task force that made recommendations to the 2018 Reforma Executive Committee concerning financial management.
Some highlights among Mr. Herrera’s  many awards and recognitions include:  2014 Peggy Sullivan Award for Outstanding Service to Children, American Library Association, June 2014; Top Innovator Awards, Urban Libraries Council - 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016; Librarian of the Year, Library Journal, January 2012; Community Service Recognition, Pasadena Unified School District PTA, April 2001; Community Partnership Award, Los Angeles Chapter of the Urban League, 1998; Community Service Recognition, Pasadena Unified School District PTA, April 2001; REFORMA Librarian of the Year, 1993; Future Urban Administrator Award, California State University, Long Beach, Center for Public Policy and Administration, 1990.

Colleagues say this about Luis Herrera:

“During his tenure [at SFPL], he led the library’s effort to provide excellent service to San Francisco’s Latino and Spanish-speaking communities to include a recognized large Latino interest collection of books that highlight the history and culture of Latin American and a large Spanish language collection. Additionally, it was through Luis’ leadership efforts that the Mission District received a totally remodeled branch library which serves a large Latino community.” -- Janice Greenberg
“Luis embodies the attributes that make a great leader: commitment for continuous improvements and innovation; a strong work ethic; a skilled mentor; an effective communicator and, above all, a willingness to serve the Library profession by taking leadership roles in local, state and federal arenas. He possesses the keen ability to unite people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives under a common goal of making libraries inclusive and accessible to all.....Luis demonstrated strong and dedicated leadership as he steered the library through the completion of a complicated branch renovation program and the re- affirmation of a dedicated funding measure for the library.” -- Ramiro Salazar
“Luis is a valued colleague and wonderful mentor. He has advised many students and new professionals in the library field, particularly ensuring that Latino and Latina librarians and staff are supported in their career paths. He has engaged many levels of staff at the San Francisco Public Library in a leadership development initiative that has changed the nature and focus of that library’s workforce.” -- Susan Hildreth
Currently retired, Teresa “Tess” Tobin has served as a Personnel Services Library, Administrative Librarian and Reference and Instruction Librarian at the New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York for 17 years. She has also worked as the Manager of Media and Classroom Services for the University Library at Rutgers University for 7 years.
As President of REFORMA, Ms. Tobin led the organization through one of the most tumultuous years in the organization’s history, which included funds lost through a major phishing crime and the cancellation of the REFORMA National Conference in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Irma. Ms. Tobin handled these sensitive and urgent issues with excellent leadership and responsiveness, ensuring the reputation and integrity of the organization remain at its highest amongst members.

In addition to being President of REFORMA National, Ms. Tobin is an active member of REFORMA’s North East Chapter, as well as REFORMA’s several Committees; the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA); and the American Library Association (ALA).
Ms. Tobin has authored several publications, most recently: Multicultural Library Manifesto Toolkit, IFLA, 2015; Discovering Librarianship: Recruiting a Workforce Reflective of the Communities Libraries Serve, NYLA, 2013; and An Overview: Multicultural Communities: Guidelines for Library Services, IFLA, 2011. She also co-chaired the exhibits committee for RNCV in San Diego, CA, 2015.
Ms. Tobin has proven to be an unwavering leader to REFORMA and the field of librarianship through her tireless work solving major issues that could have otherwise damaged REFORMA beyond repair.
Colleagues say this about Tess Tobin:
“She has demonstrated excellent leadership skills and caring manner became apparent while working with a diverse membership. Her abiding interest in the professional growth of members and students are particularly noteworthy as evidenced by her involvement in local, national and international organizations and activities.” -- Mario M. Gonzalez
Mr. Herrera and Ms. Tobin will be honored at the 2018 American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in New Orleans, Louisiana at the REFORMA Awards Ceremony.
Hilton Riverside
Sunday, June 24
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
The REFORMA Dr. Arnulfo D. Trejo Librarian of the Year (LOTY) Award & the Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award Committee:
  • Haydee C. Hodis, (Chair)
  • Roxana Benavides, Appointed Committee Member
For more information about the LAA and REFORMA, visit

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