Luis Chaparro and Susan C. Luévano

2020 Lifetime Achievement Award (LAA) Winners

The Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award (LAA) was created 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.

This year, the Awards Committee selected two LAA recipients: Luis Chaparro and Susan C. Luévano.

Luis Chaparro

Luis Chaparro spent his full professional career at El Paso Community College retiring as Director of Library Technical Services in February 2019. His life-long passion on a professional level has been to improve literacy and library services to the diverse and growing Latino population of the United States. This passion was ignited in 1977 when as a newly minted librarian he joined the El Paso Chapter of REFORMA- a group of enthusiastic and idealistic MLS graduates with fresh ideas to revolutionize the library profession. Luis was elected chapter president a year later, and during his tenure significant initiatives took place. Among them was the community mobilization to diversify the all-white male board of El Paso Public Library. This effort bore fruits some years later as Luis, along with Cesar Caballero, another key member of the local chapter, were elected to serve on the board. In the following years, Luis served in different capacities for both the local chapter and the National organization. One of his most important and lasting contributions to the organization was the leadership he provided in the creation of the Reforma Education Foundation- REF in collaboration with Cesar Caballero. Since its inception, the REF organized four annual events during ALA Summer Conferences to raise funds for scholarships for deserving students of Library Science. To this date, the balance is more than $43,000. These funds will provide the seed money for a proposed National Reforma Trust Fund. Once the fund reaches the threshold of $100,000, the proceeds will be used to continue the scholarship program. At present, Luis is enjoying retirement and spending time with his grandchildren. He continues to live in El Paso, Texas with his wife, Dolores. 


Susan C. Luévano

Susan C. Luévano, a Chicana from Santa Ana, CA, has been a REFORMA member since 1975.  The daughter of Mexican immigrants, she received her MLS from the University of Oregon.  Susan has been a public services librarian in academic libraries for 46 years specializing in ethnic studies.  Semi-retired from California State University Long Beach, Ms. Luévano, continues to advocate for Latinx students and staff on campus and has been actively involved in local social justice struggles.  She is the author of both library, local history, and social science research. Susan is a founding member of the El Paso (TX) and the Orange County (CA) chapters of REFORMA and has remained active in national REFORMA and the Orange County Chapter. In addition, Ms. Luévano served as one of national REFORMA’s representatives on the Steering Committee for the 3rd Joint Council of Librarians of Color Conference (2018).  One of her proudest accomplishments was serving as the first woman president of national REFORMA (1985/86).