Long-time CIRB librarian wins Black Caucus of the American Library Association Advocacy Award


Community College of Rhode Island librarian Ida McGhee of Richmond recently won the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) 2021 Library Advocacy Award, presented annually to those who demonstrate their commitment to advocating for library services and d information for African Americans and people of color.

One of eight honorees, McGhee received the award in August at the National Conference of African American Librarians’ (NCAAL) virtual awards and honors ceremony. The theme of this year’s conference was “Culture Keepers XI: The Sankofa Experience: Inspired by Our Past, Enlightening Our Future”.

This is McGhee’s second award in as many years; in 2020, she won the Library Champion Award at the Rhode Island Library Conference for her outstanding work in building a platform for librarians of color within our state.

“These awards, although bestowed on me, are a team effort,” said McGhee. “I didn’t do anything alone. I would like to have an impact on the librarian profession to mentor and recruit students, especially students of color, into the profession. BCALA is an avenue that plays a decisive role in this process and it is very significant to belong to such an organization. I encourage all CIRB students, staff and faculty to use our libraries. We are here for you.”

In addition to her work as a CCRI librarian, McGhee is one of the founders of Cornucopia of Rhode Island: A Library Community of Color (CORI), an organization started in 2005 that promotes library services to people of color in Rhode Island and the development of librarians and library staff of color through the exchange of ideas, mentoring opportunities and community outreach. She has worked at the CCRI since 2011 and has been an Assistant Professor on the Warwick, Providence and Lincoln campuses.

McGhee is also a retired member of REFORMA: The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking and the former head of the Library on Wheels department at the Hartford Public Library, where she also ran her own sponsored book club. by the library and served on the Standing Committee on the Status of Women in Hartford. During her 28 years at the Hartford Public Library, McGhee was also co-vice-chair of the BCALA Connecticut chapter before moving to Rhode Island in 2004.

BCALA was formed to serve as an advocate for the development, promotion and improvement of library services and resources to the African American community nationwide; and provide leadership in the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians.

The CIRB has libraries on each of its four campuses with access to print and online books, journals and other resources. Other library services include: citation support, on-campus and off-campus catalog and database access, reference support, and laptop and iPad loan options.

For more information visit www.ccri.edu.

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