This year I was fortunate to win the Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award. I will miss the award ceremony because I am home taking care of my sick cat, but it's not like I would have gotten to make a speech anyway. Still, I have people to thank, so I thought I'd make my little speech here.
First, a million thanks to Ann Sparanese, who nominated me. Letters of support were written by my Radical Reference partners in crime James Jacobs and Shinjoung Yeo, Elaine Harger, and Diane Fay. All five of them are roll models to me in library activism.
Although it's hard to feel like I'm only his reflection, or that my achievements in librarianship are in large part due to the confidence I have due to knowing him and his powerful library friends, I still have to give mad props to my father, Mitch Freedman. I should also single out one of those friends, Sandy Berman, who has been an inspiration not just to me, but to librarians all over the world for like 35 years. Another of my inspirations has been Kathleen de la Peña McCook, a real guru of women's and ethnic diversity issues in librarianship. Other special heroes, particularly in the area of alternative press collections, are Chris Dodge and Jim Danky. Maybe the biggest shout out should go to my NYC Radical Reference Collective volunteers, particularly Melissa Morrone, Julie Crawford Tozer, Jonny Cope, John Beekman, Gretchen Gano, Dena Marger, Emily Drabinski and whoever all I forgot to name.
In the award announcement, I was cited for my work with Radical Reference, which I already mentioned; ALA's Better Salaries Task Force; and the zine collection at Barnard College. I have to thank my fellow Task Force members and the ALA staffers who supported us, particularly Lorelle Swader and Marci Merola. I also owe a huge debt of graditude to my colleagues at Barnard: my boss Carol Falcione, the Dean of Information Services for letting me do my thing and supporting me to go to conferences and let me start the zine collection; and my fellow reference librarians, Lois Coleman, Karen Denise Dobrusky, and Heidi Martin Winston, who because of my involvement in the kinds of things people get awards for, probably did more of the kinds of things you don't (instruction, consultations, selection, local projects, etc.). They never showed annoyance or resentment when I would go off to conferences and things and they had to do extra reference shifts or whatever. I feel like some typical husband thanking my wife or a boss thanking my secretary, and while I sure hope it wasn't that extreme, there's just shit you can't get done if someone else isn't taking care of the hearth. Oh for the day when what can be viewed as "women's work" is just as valued as the bigger picture stuff.
And speaking of spouses, finally, I have to thank mine, Eric Goldhagen, who has been my partner in many of my conference presentations and who inspires me with his own activism, at ABC No Rio, his work in the open source computer technology world, and all the crazy shit he's been involved with in his 20 years on the lower east side. I don't know how I ever got anything done before I had him in my life to inspire and support me. Same with our beloved cat Partners who is, seriously, a deity.
The last thing I'll do in my little thank you speech is detail what I plan to do with the $1,000 prize. I will give $333 each to the ABC No Rio Zine Library, the ALA-APA, and Radical Reference. I guess I'll keep the extra buck. In the interest of full disclosure, I won another award this year, and I'm keeping the $250 from that one.