Lucia Martinez Gonzalez

2023 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

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 Lucia Martinez Gonzalez as the LAA recipient.

Lucia Gonzalez came from Cuba to the US with her parents and sister as refugees. She was 11 years old and didn’t know the language. In 1983 she obtained her Bachelor's Degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and in 1988 her MLIS from the University of South Florida, Tampa.  She is the author of The Bossy Gallito, 1996 Pura Belpré Children’s Literature Honor Medal; Señor Cat’s Romance and Other Favorite Stories from Latin America, and The Storyteller’s Candle, 2009 Pura Belpré Children’s Literature Honor Medal.  Lucia served as Chair of REFORMA's Children & YA Services Committee from 2006-2016; is a co-founding member of Noche de Cuentos; two-time recipient of Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers Award, the 2010-11 Past-President of REFORMA; and the 2020-21 President of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC).  She is inspired by the pioneering work of Pura Belpré and the visionary librarians who were, and continue to be, innovators in providing services to immigrant families and who understand the importance of honoring culture and preserving stories.