Cornell librarian receives John C. Tyson award


Contact: Ira Revels
Phone: (607) 255-1569

Cornell Librarian Receives John C. Tyson Award

Ira Revels Recognized by American Librarian Association’s Black Caucus

Ithaca, NY – A Cornell librarian has been awarded the prestigious John C. Tyson Award by the Black Caucus of the American Librarian Association (BCALA).

Ira Revels, a project manager in the library’s Division of Public Services and Assessment, was recognized for her work with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Library Alliance. She is the first librarian to receive the award since 1998.

Revels manages Cornell’s partnership with the HBCU Library Alliance. She has secured $850,000 in funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation since 2005 to help train librarians and archivists at 20 HBCU institutions in digital imaging, preservation and management. This effort has resulted in an online digital collection that chronicles the founding of America’s black colleges and universities and represents the first collaborative effort by HBCU libraries to make a historical collection digitally available.

In 2006, Revels was named one of Library Journal’s “Movers and Shakers.” She came to Cornell as a library fellow in 2001 after earning her library science degree at the University of Pittsburgh. The library fellows program, initiated in 2000 by University Librarian Sarah Thomas, was one of the first programs that encouraged the growth and professional development of underrepresented minorities in academic research libraries.

Revels is also a past secretary with the BCALA, where she has served on the recruitment and professional development committee. She helped implement BCALA’s "Night Out," a social event introducing prospective members to the caucus prior to the general American Library Association's annual membership meeting.

The John C. Tyson Award is granted to a librarian with less than 10 years experience who is building an impressive body of work. It is given in honor of Tyson, who served as the vice president and president-elect of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association from 1986 until 1990, and was instrumental in establishing the National Conference for African American Librarians. During his career, he served as the state librarian of Virginia, library director of the University of Richmond and as a professor of library and information science at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

About Cornell University Library

One of the leading academic research libraries in the United States, Cornell University Library is a highly valued partner in teaching, research, and learning at the university, offering cutting edge services and a full spectrum of library resources, from rare books and manuscripts to a rapidly expanding network of digital resources. Through such initiatives as the life sciences portal, the installation of a pioneering high-end mobile and flexible computer laboratory designed specifically for collaborative use, and innovative scholarly publishing support, the Library is an integral component of the many educational programs and research projects under way at Cornell.  To learn more about Cornell University Library, visit <>.